The Safina Center

aka The Safina Center   |   Setauket, NY   |  www.safinacenter.org

Mission

At the Safina Center we advance the case for life on Earth by fusing scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action. We create an original blend of science, art, and literature in the form of award-winning books and articles, scientific research, photography, films, sound-art, and spoken words. We bear first-hand witness and then we speak up, we speak out, and we teach. Our work is designed to inspire and engage others to devote their time and energies to conservation of wild things and wild places. Our creative works have proven their power to change people’s lives and their view of the world.

Ruling year info

2002

Principal Officer

Dr. Carl Safina

Main address

80 North Country Road

Setauket, NY 11733 USA

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Formerly known as

The Blue Ocean Institute

EIN

61-1406022

NTEE code info

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Carl Safina's Work

Carl Safina is best known for lyrical non-fiction writing. His work explores how we are changing the natural world and what the changes mean for human and non-human beings. Safina sees that the durability of human dignity and survival of the natural world will depend on each other; we cannot preserve the wild unless we preserve human dignity, and we cannot conserve human dignity while continuing to degrade nature. His work fuses scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action.

Carl was born to parents whose Brooklyn apartment was filled with singing canaries—his father’s hobby. Trips to New York’s zoos, aquarium, American Museum of Natural History, and his uncles’ boat lit a city kid’s early fascination with animals. He began raising homing pigeons at age seven, and spent his teen years training hawks and owls, and immersed in fishing, bird-banding, and camping. Soon these passions took him on adventures in Kenya, Nepal, Greenland, and Arctic Canada and beyond.

Carl Safina’s seven books include “Song for the Blue Ocean,” “The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World,” “A Sea in Flames; The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout,” “Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel,” and others. He hosted the 10-part PBS television series Saving the Ocean (which can be viewed at PBS.org). Carl contributes frequently to CNN.com, National Geographic,The New York Times, Audubon, The Huffington Post and others. His most recent TED Talk received a million views in its first month.

Audubon magazine named Carl Safina among its “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century.” In 2011, Utne Reader listed him among “25 Visionaries Changing the World.” His work has won the Lannan Literary Award, Orion Book Award, National Academies’ Science Communication Award; the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Raab medals; Pew and Guggenheim fellowships, and a MacArthur “genius” fellowship.

Safina’s seabird studies earned him a Rutgers University PhD, then for a decade he worked on overhauling fishing policies, helping restore ocean wildlife. In the 1990s he helped lead campaigns to ban high-seas driftnets, overhaul U. S. fisheries law, improve international management of fisheries targeting tunas and sharks, achieve passage of a United Nations global fisheries treaty, and reduce albatross and sea turtle drownings on commercial fishing lines. Along the way, he became a leading voice for conservation, widening his interests from what is at stake in the natural world to who is at stake among the non-human beings who share this astonishing planet.

He is the endowed professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the steering committee of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at the University’s School of Journalism, and is founder of The Safina Center. He has honorary doctorates from Drexel and Long Island Universities and the State University of New York.

Safina has been profiled in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and on Nightline, and has been featured on National Public Radio; Bill Moyers’ special Earth on Edge; on on TV shows ranging from The Martha Stewart Show to The Colbert Report.

His latest bestselling book, Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel, affirms his role as one of today’s leading voices for nature. In The New York Review of Books, Tim Flannery wrote: “Beyond Words is gloriously written… Along with Darwin’s Origin and Richard Dawkins’s Selfish Gene,Beyond Words has the potential to change our relationship with the natural world.”

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our Fellows Program helps support distinctly innovative minds whose work is urgently addressing global change.

The exceptional, world-class talents whom we hand-pick to join with us as Fellows are best-selling authors, Emmy-winning filmmakers, photographers, artists, and scientists whose work to solve pressing issues has already achieved international recognition.

“Our Fellows help boost our ability to be a thought-leading group, small in size and big in influence,” says founder, Carl Safina.

To accelerate their transformative work, our Center provides partial support enabling Fellows to complete critical aspects of their projects such as travel, editing, or writing that might not otherwise get done.

Safina Center Fellows work independently and collaboratively in North and South America, Africa, South Asia, Hawaii, the Canary Islands, the western Pacific, and beyond. Each one-year fellowship has a defined scope of work and is potentially renewable.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Safina Center has been at the vanguard of safe and sustainable seafood since our organization’s founding. Our Sustainable Seafood Program helps consumers, chefs, retailers and the medical community discover the connection between human health, a healthy ocean, fishing, and seafood. We translate seafood science so that you can make informed choices.

Healthy Oceans Seafood Guide – wild-caught seafood ratings
About Our Seafood Ratings – science-based criteria and methodology used to rate species
Ocean-Friendly Substitutes – sustainable substitutes for many commonly used species
Seafood FAQs – answers to FAQs about sustainable seafood
Mercury in Seafood – blogs, videos, articles and full report
Seafood Advice for Medical Professionals
Chefs & Ocean Health – 5 easy steps for chefs to take to support healthy oceans
Fishing Gear 101 – learn how different types of gear can be eco-friendly or very destructive

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Financials

The Safina Center
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Safina Center

Board of directors
as of 07/09/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

B. Eric Graham

EnerNOC

Term: 2006 -

B. Eric Graham

EnerNOC

Rainer Judd

Judd Foundation

Sven -Olof Lindblad

Lindblad Expeditions

John (Jack) Macrae, III

Henry Holt and Company

Jane F. Ross

The Alfred And Jane Ross Foundation

William Miller

Bilol Miller Associates

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and 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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/9/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/09/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.