Today was just as informative as the other days in class but we learned more about what one organization in particular is doing about environmental conservation. Norman Gershenz, CEO and co-founder of SaveNature.org is a graduate student form SF State and came to talk to us about his organization, the impact that its had, and what we can do to help the cause.
Norman talked about how he founded the non-profit organization and how he changed a lot of Zoos and Aquariums to start working on educating the public about environmental conservation and more importantly to start working on ways to donate to create more wildlife sanctuaries. To date SaveNature.org has raised more than $3.9 million thanks to the efforts of 150 institutions, 2,700 schools, and millions of children and adults. This money is used to protect wildlife in ways that I personally have never heard about.
The goal, as Norman talked about, is to save ecosystems. Not just saving specific species, but save the ecosystem so that thousands of other species can be protected. I’ve heard it from other people, seeing as I’m friends with someone who works for a non-profit marine biology institution called MSI, that Zoos and Aquariums don’t always do the best job of educating the public about environmental conservation. The first time I heard about this I didn’t believe it, but the more I hear about it the more I start to realize that these “attractions” don’t do as much as they could to aid in the protection of wildlife. So it is nice to see that there is an organization out there that helps Zoos and Aquariums to utilize their reach with the public to raise money and awareness for conservation.
One great way that the program brings in money is through adopting acres or coral reefs around the world. You can adopt sites around the world from Brazil to Costa Rica to Indonesia and help save acres of wildlife. For just $25 you can save half an acre of wildlife, which is pretty amazing. They also have quarter machines around several Zoos and Aquariums, which help to save 90 square feet of wildlife. This has really inspired me to help any way that I can, and has made me more aware of how I should help donate more when I visit these locations. Adopting these locations is something I would do even with no income coming in. For $100 to save 2 acres of Coral Reef, that’s chump change for the effect you can have on the environment (a positive effect for once).