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Quarterly Connection December 2020


Our mission is to protect coastal habitats through educating and connecting people with the environment.


Pictured above: CC Inc and public volunteers at the conclusion of the Oslo Boat Ramp clean up on November 7th. We collected a staggering 434.17 pounds of human trash! The top four items included 402 glass pieces, 221 plastic pieces, 143 glass bottles, and 106 cans.


Founding Director Kendra Cope releasing a rehabilitated juvenile green turtle originally rescued by CCinc volunteers (Pre-COVID).


Founder's Report

We have made it, we have reached the end of 2020! This has been a year none of us could have prepared for but together have made it through. This time of year always makes me reflect on the good that has happened and there has been a lot of good shining over the heartaches of this year. This year CCinc had over 10,000 online viewers at our Turtle Digs, we have grown the number of passionate volunteers leading us into the future, we have established a new certification program for being turtle-friendly, we've built new relationships with local businesses who strive to support sustainability, and we have adapted to the times to ensure we continue to meet our mission of protecting coastal habitats.  

We have truly made an impact this year, and we are only just getting started. We are looking forward to partnering with other environmental organizations like the ELC and are truly exciting about protecting 600,000 sea turtle hatchlings this next season. You and your support have allowed our team to create these great memories and make a difference in our community. So thank you for all you have done and we hope you continue sharing your love for CCinc with others as we close out this year strong and continue reaching our funding goals to protect our coastal habitats and our sea turtles. Happy Holidays!!!

-- Kendra Cope      


By The Numbers


Total number of nests laid on Indian River County beaches. This total is made up of Loggerheads- 6,217, Greens-1,153, and Leatherbacks- 73.


Total pounds of trash removed by our Coastal Cleanups and weekly Educational zone cleanups.

The most common items included 7,737 plastic pieces, 2,025 foam pieces, and 10,597 cigarette butts. 


The pounds of sing;-use wrapping collected by Wrap Program.

This material will be bundled by the County and recycled into outdoor furniture, playground equipment, planking and and more. 


Number of volunteers that make CCinc run smoothly. We are beyond thankful for each and every one of you and hope to see this number continue to increase! 



Covid-19 Updates: Thank you for your continued support!

This year has been one of the toughest in history, but thanks to supporters like you CCinc has been able to adapt new safety protocols and procedures to make sure you can still be a part of the big impacts we are making in our community of Vero Beach. Volunteers and community members wear masks, sanitizer is always available, and distancing is enforced at all events and programs. We will continue to follow these COVID protocols to ensure the safety and good health of all individuals because you are our first priority. Thank you for being a part of our CCinc family. 

Educate. Connect. Protect. 



CCinc's Annual Drive - Help Protect 600,000 Hatchlings!

Thanks to all of you we have already reached 40% of our goal.

Did you know? 

Three of the seven global species of sea turtles have chosen Vero Beach to call their nesting home. They love it here, just as much as you do. However, due to human-related threats, only 1 out of every 1,000 hatchlings is said to make it to adulthood. During the 2020 nesting season, it is estimated 566,000 hatchlings were produced, but maybe only 56 of them will return in 20 years to reproduce. CCinc wants to continue working hard to increase the numbers of hatchlings produced in Vero Beach so our populations can recover and sea turtles can continue keeping our beaches healthy by feeding the dunes through the mixing of important nutrients between land and sea. 

How will we protect 600,000 hatchlings?

With your support! After a nest is laid, about 100 hatchlings are left to survive all on their own. CCinc ensures their survival by preventing major obstacles such as plastic debris commonly mistaken as food, artificially bright beaches distracting turtles from the ocean, and uninformed development and tourism interfering with successful nest incubation. Our educational and community involvement programs directly contribute to a sea turtle's ability to beat the 1 in 1,000 odds. With your support, CCinc will continue to fund programs to keep beaches clean, build a sustainable community, and increase our education about sea turtles and their contribution to healthy coastlines. 

It only takes $0.10 to protect a sea turtle hatchling.



Turtle T.R.A.C.K.E.R.S. Initiative

Sea Turtle Conservation the Coastal Connections Way

Turtle Digs Impact Summary 2020

     - Public nest excavations - 12                                                                                - Hatchlings saved - 15 

     - Hatching success average - 97.4 %                                                                       - Viewer audience - 10,000+


Partially Funded By: National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation


Washback pictures taken under Permit #259 and #261. Turtles are cared for and transported to the Brevard Zoo by CCinc volunteers. 

Finding a Washback

When strong weather systems such as tropical storms, hurricanes, or thunderstorms roll near shore, the rough wave action may make it difficult for newly hatched turtles to stay afloat. These little ones may become exhausted and wash back up on the beach. We call these post-hatchling turtles WASHBACKS. These turtles are typically extremely tired, are in need of energy and time to rest. 

  • If you ever see one of these little cuties out on the beach, please call Florida Fish and Wildlife. They will authorize you to help in the rescue and care of this tired washback.

FWC Hotline: 1-888-404-3922 (FWC) 

  • Hatchlings Rescued from Public Digs: 15
  • Post-Hatchlings Rescued from Dropbox: 43


A total of 58 sea turtle hatchlings have been rescued and cared for by Coastal Connections in 2020. 



Thats a WRAP! 

There are a few differences between recycling plastic film and recycling other plastics, like bottles, jars and jugs. The main difference? Except in a few cases, plastic film cannot be recycled in your curbside bin at home. Instead, it must be taken to a drop-off location, like a grocery or other retail store, to be collected for recycling. Like all plastics collected for recycling, plastic film can be recycled into many useful products. Plastic film can be used to make composite lumber for making decks, benches, and playground sets. Plastic film can also be reprocessed into small pellets, which can be made into new bags, pallets, containers, crates, and pipes. In the United States ( we use over 380 billion plastic bags and wraps yearly, requiring 12 million barrels of oil to create. 

CCinc is dedicated to helping our community practice sustainability in all aspects, and our WRAP program will ensure that local businesses have the opportunity to properly recycle their plastic film. A few local businesses that have adopted this program are Anthony's Apparel, Riomar Country Club, Purple Plum (Ocean Drive), and Purple Plum (Mall).

In return, CCinc provides the business with:

  • WRAP bins/bags 
  • Initial educational pre-installation meeting with business staff
  • Regular WRAP bin pick-ups/data collection by CCinc WRAP volunteers 
  • Monthly WRAP program debrief/educational meetings by CCinc WRAP coordinators 
  • Press releases and positive acknowledgments for your good work 

If you or a business you know may be interested in becoming a WRAP partner, please email 


*Pictured: Denise (Riomar Country Club), Dan (Rotary of Vero Beach), Kendra (CCinc), Clare (CCinc)


Vero Goes Zero Initiative 

Community Sustainability Because Together We Can Make Change

Partially Funded By: Surfing Preservation Foundation 

Coastal Cleanups - Big Success

We are pleased to announce CCinc and its supporters have conducted 6 large coastal cleanups in 2020. Locations included Humiston Beach, Tracking Station, South Beach, Wabasso Causeway, and Oslo Boat Ramp. Overall, we had hundreds of individuals participate and collect 971 lbs of trash from these coastal areas! Our top three items removed include 4,882 cigarette butts, 3,411 plastic pieces, and 1,648 wrappers. Our new COVID-19 procedures were followed including strong mask recommendations, social distancing, and increased sanitation for popular hand-held items. We are so thankful that everyone was patient with our new rules and we were still able to clean up our waterways, beaches, and community! 

Vero Caffe: Plastic Free Celebration

Coastal Connection's Vero Goes Zero initiative exists to minimize the use of single-use plastics and increase the rate of recycling in Indian River County. Through this program, CCinc provides a 1-month supply of single-use plastic alternative products for Cups, Straws, Containers, Bags, and Utensils to VGZ committed restaurants. Additionally, each business that is part of this program will make a long-term commitment to offering sustainable products after the 1-month pilot period is complete. We are happy to announce that Vero Caffe has gone PLASTIC FREE! We had an educational celebration outside their cafe to promote their new sustainable products to the public. We also want to thank the Surfing's Evolution and Preservation Foundation for supporting this initiative and allowing us to create a sustainable community! Have you visited Vero Caffe recently? Help us learn more about your willingness to support sustainable businesses by taking This Short Survey Here

Beach Basket Program

CCinc has partnered with local municipalities to install and monitor the blue beach basket program. These baskets are located at the entrance to public beach parks (and some private businesses) and are free for all patrons visiting the beach parks. Since sea turtle nesting season ended, our dedicated volunteers have organized a weekly clean up group that meets at Sexton Plaza Beach every Wednesday at 7:00am. Overall, this small group of early risers has removed 375 pounds of trash off our busiest beach in the heart of Vero! The top three items removed are 5,705 cigarette butts, 4,296 plastic pieces, and 2,025 foam pieces. We encourage you to clean up trash during your beach visit and dispose of that debris when returning the basket to the stand for others to use. 

County Beach Accesses  

  • Wabasso 
  • Tracking Station 
  • Round Island 

City Beach Accesses

  • Humiston
  • Sexton Plaza
  • South Beach
  • Flame Vine
  • Jaycee


Upcoming Events!   

Wednesday Sunrise Beach Cleans - 7am at Sexton Plaza

(Events occur each week, weather permitting)


Vero Beach Half Marathon - January 24th

(CCinc is proud to be the beneficiary of this amazing race. Volunteers are needed for race day.)




Events are updated all the time and the best place to find out what CCinc is up to next is by visiting our live event calendar.


Thank you for subscribing to Coastal Connections' Quarterly Connection where will be updating supporters like you every few months on what programs and projects we are working on, areas we may need your assistance in, and successes to celebrate together! Thank you so much for your interest and support for CCinc. We ask that you please share this newsletter with others and encourage them to sign up for regular CCinc updates. 

Coastal Connections, Inc.

Please Visit Our Partner - Purple Plum Boutique

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