Animal related

Otter Project Inc

  • Monterey, CA
  • http://www.otterproject.org

Mission Statement

The Otter Project promotes the rapid recovery of the threatened California sea otter through science-based policy and advocacy.  The California sea otter population has grown in fits and starts and is currently in decline (2011). Listed under the Endangered Species Act, the entire Calif. population numbers around 2,800 animals. The California sea otter is both an umbrella species and a keystone species. As an umbrella species, protections created for the sea otter - and its habitat - will benefit a large variety of other species. As a keystone species, the otter is responsible for much of the structure of the ecosystem in which it lives. Diversity and productivity are enhanced by the return of the sea otter to its historic range.

Main Programs

  1. Oil
  2. Habitat
  3. Water quality
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We work primarily with the ESA threatened California Sea Otter.  For water quality issues we work on both inland and marine issues of the Central Coast of California.  Interest in sea otters is international and we often work with issues (large vessel traffic, ocean zoning, water quality standards) that have national and international implications.

ruling year

1999

Executive Director and Founder

Self-reported

Mr. Steve Shimek

Keywords

Self-reported

sea otter, endangered species, water quality, animal welfare, California, Monterey Coastkeeper

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Also Known As

The Otter Project / Monterey Coastkeeper

EIN

77-0490102

 Number

6754190186

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (K05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

The Otter Project takes on "big picture" issues such as tanker and container ship traffic along the Pacific Coast; marine parks and conservation reserves; and agricultural pollution.  We are successful: Our proposal to confine large vessels to offshore traffic lanes was adopted by the UN; 200 square miles of ocean parks and conservation areas were created within the sea otter range; and we are working aggressively to deal with agricultural pollution.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Oil

opposition to offshore oil drilling; support of alternative energy ideas and proposals; large vessel (tanker and container ship) traffic; oil spill readiness and response

Category

Environment

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$50,000.00

Program 2

Habitat

Ending the no-otter; marine protected areas

Category

Environment

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$50,000.00

Program 3

Water quality

Municipal stormwater; agricultural runoff; wetland and riparian function

Category

Environment

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$100,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

National

We work primarily with the ESA threatened California Sea Otter.  For water quality issues we work on both inland and marine issues of the Central Coast of California.  Interest in sea otters is international and we often work with issues (large vessel traffic, ocean zoning, water quality standards) that have national and international implications.

Funding Needs

The Otter Project is always seeking funds to advance our work.  We have traditional programs as well as more difficult to fund litigation. We also offer memberships.   To directly address litigation: In our 12 year history to date we have filed four lawsuits; we are certain not overly aggressive.  But our lawsuits have been very significant and have changed the conditions within the otter's environment.  Offshore oil drilling.  Win. No-otter zone.  Settlement (Win).  The process to end the zone was formally opened in October 2011. Agricultural discharges.  In process. MCWRA.  In process. (so far so good!)  Funding litigation is a special challenge.  Our expenses for litigation are generally reasonable as we are often represented by the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic.

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

The Otter Project, Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Otter Project Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director and Founder

Mr. Steve Shimek

BIO

Steve Shimek has unique mix of qualifications for leading the sea otter recovery effort. He has a BS Biology from UC Santa Cruz (1975) and has a sea otter research background. He has published technical papers on sea otter behavior including: Shimek, S.J. and A. Monk. 1977. The daily activity of the sea otter off the Monterey Peninsula. Journal of Wildlife Management 41(2): 117?123. Shimek, S.J. 1977. The underwater foraging habits of the sea otter Enhydra lutris. California Fish and Game Bulletin 63(2): 38-39. After leaving research, Mr. Shimek developed a marketing background and has written and helped to implement marketing plans for national and international corporations such as The North Face and Hoechst Celanese (Textiles Division) among others. During his marketing career he served as public information officer for the State of Montana during the Yellowstone fires of 1988. In the international media spotlight, Mr. Shimek had to explain the ramifications and benefits of fire as a natural process. He has broad experience working with nonprofits and conservation groups, serving as President of the Montana Cross Country Ski Areas Association, founder for the Citizens for Wise Land Use Practices (in Montana), a founding delegate to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and marketing coordinator for The Conservation Alliance. Mr. Shimek was recently honored with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries "Sanctuary Reflections Award for Conservation".

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director and Founder

"Hello!

The Otter Project is a relatively small organization that works on very big issues.  We focus on issues that have a population level impact on our otters.  Our program areas reflect the threats to otters: oil, quality of habitat, and poor water quality.  We are smart and effective, and we strive to be the best prepared people in any room.  Thank you for your interest.

Steve Shimek"

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Sarah Damron

Surfrider Foundation

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?