The mission of the Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO) is to create, unite and empower a Colorado coalition with shared values, goals and actions to promote healthy oceans through education and community engagement.


The Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO) was founded in 2010, with the goal “to inspire and empower Colorado citizens to promote healthy oceans, through education and community involvement.” We are sponsored by The Ocean Foundation in Washington, D.C. Though we are a relatively new organization, we have already built a constituency of over 2160 supporters, held three major regional conferences on ocean protection, conducted many iterations of an ongoing monthly education and networking event series, completed a Strategic Plan, launched the Ocean Ambassadors certification program and have had great coverage in regional, national and international media. We have garnered recognition, involvement, and support from luminaries in the ocean protection movement — people like Dr. Sylvia Earle, Marine Researcher In- Residence at the National Geographic Society; Jean-Michel Cousteau, Founder of the Ocean Futures Society; and Dan Basta, Director of the U. S. National Marine Sanctuary System.

Until now, there has never been a unified voice for ocean protection in the Mountain States. The Colorado Ocean Coalition believes that you don’t have to be near the ocean to care about it. Our complex global economy and the interconnectedness of ecological systems mean that the actions we take in the mountains impact the health of the sea. These actions include eating seafood, using plastics, driving cars and sharing environmental ethics with our family and friends. We live on an ocean planet and the choices we make in the middle of the country have direct ties to the seas.

The First Inland Ocean Community

In a formal resolution, Assemblymember Mark Stones from Monterey, CA recognizes Colorado Ocean Coalition, Boulder City and County as the First Inland Ocean Community in the United States. NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary co-sponsored the resolution.

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