The Colorado Ocean Coalition (COCO) is a project of The Ocean Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization. Vicki Nichols Goldstein founded COCO to engage and connect people living inland in local and national ocean conservation efforts. The key to our success is directly related to the energy and initiative of all those who believe in COCO.
Vicki Nichols Goldstein Founder & Executive Director
Vicki Nichols Goldstein is the founder and Executive Director of the Colorado Ocean Coalition. She has been an ocean junkie for most of her life, growing up in the mud flats of Southern New Jersey and hauling whale bones around Maine. Vicki has worked in the non-profit and ocean conservation field for over twenty-five years from Washington, D.C. to Santa Cruz, Calif., addressing a multitude of issues including vessel traffic, sustainable seafood, oil spill contingency planning, Marine Protected Areas and fisheries interactions.
Annie Smith Operations Manager & Interim OA/OR Coordinator
Andrea is a 2014 graduate of the University of Colorado with a BA in Environmental Studies and Geology. She began working with COCO as an intern in 2012/13 under the direction of the founder and moved her way around Colorado interning for Boulder County’s Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center focusing on songbirds and waterfowl and as a summer camp counselor for the Girl Scouts of Colorado in Red Feather Lakes, CO. Now since 2015, she is back working for COCO where she uses her knowledge of the environment, technology, design, social media, and videography to further inspire the Boulder community about ocean and watershed issues.
Andrea Biniskiewicz Intern
My name is Andrea, and I am a recent CU graduate with a double major in Environmental Studies and Ecology/ Evolutionary Biology. You can find me hiking, hanging out by water, or eating mac n cheese and pizza. I find true happiness in the sea, and seek to protect it! My favorite species of all is Orcinus orca!
Kate Berreman Intern
Kate is a student at Western Washington University and majoring in Environmental Science. She was raised in Grass Valley, California and then Lyons, CO and has always possessed a love for water whether it’s swimming in local rivers or exploring tide pools. She is an avid mountain biker, skier, and runner who is always looking for ways to give back to the environment!
Colorado Ocean Coalition Advisory Board
Join the board!
Richard Marks Chairman of the Advisory Board
Richard J. Marks has led national initiatives and strategic planning that promote advancement of renewable energy and clean water solutions in conservation and environmental finance. He produces positive communications and media content, while convening some of the world's leading researchers and technology innovators with the goal of exchanging ideas and provoking thought into action. Richard is passionate about fairness, the environment, equality, Nature and the arts. Richard loves the challenge of implementing and mobilizing progressive ideas and programs.
Amy Britton is a mother and environmental steward. She grew up on lakes in Minnesota where her love of water first developed. Despite living in the mountains of Colorado, she continues to spend a lot of time on the ocean. She has sailed with her husband and two children everywhere from Newfoundland to Venezula and races sailboats. Amy loves snorkeling and diving and envisions a world where the reefs are re-populated with colorful fish for all future generations to appreciate and protect.
Growing up in landlocked Colorado did not stop Alexandra Miller from falling in love with the majesty of the oceans at an early age. Since becoming a certified scuba diver at age 12, she has become a partner at Denver Divers and an SSI Dive Control Specialist Instructor. Her twin passions are teaching and advocating for the health and protection of the underwater world. Alexandra graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in Environmental Studies and is currently working towards the completion of an MBA through the University of Colorado. She believes as a scuba diver we have a strong responsibility to protect our ocean for generations to come.completion of an MBA through the University of Colorado. She believes as a scuba diver we have a strong responsibility to protect our ocean for generations to come.
Debbie, COCO's plastic pollution specialist, is a tireless advocate with a passion for natural science and a background in coalition building, public policy and business administration. Her focus is on microplastic pollution in rivers, lakes and oceans. She is currently building a coalition to explore the impacts of tiny pieces of plastic entering the food chain. She holds Masters degrees from the Daniels College of Business at DU and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. In her free time she skis, runs rivers, hikes, dives and snorkels with her husband, friends, and two grown kids.
Growing up near the cornfields of Ohio didn’t stop Erin from discovering the magic of coral reefs during a high school marine biology course. That passion led to SCUBA, an around-the-world study abroad experience focused on global water resources, a thesis on coral reef habitat assessments, and a career in water. Erin holds a Masters of Environmental Science from Miami of Ohio, was a 2012 John A. Knauss Sea Grant Marine Policy Fellow with NOAA’s Office of Education, led Teens4Oceans’ youth marine research programs in Boulder, and now serves as the Watershed Coordinator for the Little Thompson Watershed Coalition based in Lyons.
Jane was raised on the Great Lakes, has lived on both east and west coasts, and now resides in the snowy mountains of Colorado. As an avid skier, scuba diver and sailor, Jane used to take clean water and bountiful seafood for granted. She is now committed to educating and working to preserve these resources for future generations. Jane advises the growth of the Inland Ocean Movement via local chapters in order to unite the inland states, educate, and enhance knowledge.
Janice Lopitz has been passionate about water quality for her entire career. She supports the efforts of COCO by connecting people who share the desire to make a difference. Janice believes the work COCO does to help community members see the connection to the ocean from a mile high is invaluable to both our local environment and the world as a whole. During her career she served in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters’ Office of Water in Washington, D.C., Maryland’s Patuxent Naval Air Station’s Environmental Office and the Palo Alto Wastewater Treatment Facility. Upon arriving in Colorado, Janice worked as an industrial waste inspector at Boulder’s wastewater treatment facility. She then spent a decade as the program coordinator for the Keep it Clean Partnership a regional watershed-based stormwater quality management program serving the communities in Boulder County.
Jenifer Atkinson leads the education coalition committee for youth grades K-12. She is passionate about empowering youth and facilitating inclusion by introducing progressive education programs. Jenifer facilitates corporate and public sector partnerships that build awareness about the many ways in which 80% of pollution in the ocean is derived from an inland source. Jenifer has launched multi-national and entrepreneurial platforms — including Microsoft's MSN Internet in 22 countries and nine different languages. Jenifer grew up on the Pacific Ocean, is a certified SCUBA diver and a committed advocate for improving our waters, lands and minds.
Josh Goldstein is a CPA and attorney, currently living in Boulder. Josh has spent the majority of his professional life practicing corporate law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Chief General Counsel and Secretary of Intrawest. Josh grew up on Long Island, New York, and has been passionate about the marine environment for his entire life. Josh is an avid angler, boater and certified SCUBA diver. He brings expert advice on administrative, legal and organizational matters.
Max Boykoff is a Fellow in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), an Associate Professor in Environmental Studies, and Director at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (CSTPR) at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He is also a Deputy Editor at the journal of Climatic Change and a Senior Fellow at the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute. His research and creative work focuses on cultural politics and environmental governance, creative climate communications, science-policy interactions, and climate adaptation. He is a co-author and editor of six books and edited volumes, and over fifty articles and book chapters. He strongly supports the growth of the inland ocean movement.
Paddy Ryan, PhD
Paddy Ryan (Dr. Patrick Ryan) , spent many years in New Zealand, Fiji, and the UK. After completing his doctorate at the University of Caterbury, New Zealand, in ecology he learned to dive and take underwater photos, twin passions he still pursues with enthusiasm (he is now a Dive Master with around 1500 dives logged). Dr. Ryan worked as a Freshwater Biologist and then Environmental Planner for New Zealand’s West Coast Regional Council.In 1997, Paddy moved to Denver to start a new life in the States. He has worked at Metro State, Johnson & Wales University, Colorado School of Mines, and Metropolitan State University. He teaches Biology and Invertebrate Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science and Ecotourism. Paddy has published 49 books and scientific papers, 38 Consultancy reports and over 300 popular articles and continues to write books and create documentary films.
Shawn Rodine has had salt water running through his veins since he was a newborn on the beaches of Hawaii. The importance of water conservation and education has always been a priority on both a personal and professional level. Paddler, surfer, diver, river guide, fly fisher, he is on the water almost daily. His biggest impact is with sharing a love of water and awareness through Rocky Mountain Paddleboard.
Ted Ross oversees a Waterkeeper Alliance coalition that encourages approaches to watershed respect and conservation for drinkable, swimmable, fishable waters. He is a business executive and consultant with a 30+ year career at IBM, Price Waterhouse and Arthur Andersen in information technology strategy and services. He has long felt the primordial draw of the waters and has a deep enthusiasm for Hawaii, SCUBA and the fishes of the world. He has an emerging passion for the economic, ecological and engineering issues associated with the removal of dams. Ted has been a Boulder resident since moving from Atlanta, GA in 1996, graduated from the University of Michigan, is married and has raised three daughters.
Christopher Shrope Advisory Board Fellow
Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder, MBA Candidate 2018 Chris Shrope is currently a MBA Candidate at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado specializing in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Finance. He is an Eagle Scout and graduated from St. Lawrence University in 2013 with a Double Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Environmental Studies. After graduation Chris spent three years in the tourism industry as a volunteer coordinator for Governor Cuomo’s inaugural Adirondack Challenge event, the Lead Market Research surveyor for Winter Park Resort and the Business Manager for Rentals at Arkansas Valley Adventure. Chris enjoys long walks on the beach, skiing, rock climbing, rafting, yoga, and international travel.