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How are Patagonia And Catchafire Joining Forces to Save The Ocean


How are Patagonia And Catchafire Joining Forces to Save The Ocean

Patagonia is a sustainable clothing store devoted to protecting the planet and they’re taking their environmental efforts to the next level. Not only is their clothing line made with recycled materials, but their commitment to preserve and protect our planet is also having a huge impact.
Patagonia has been giving back to environmental organizations since 1985. From supporting the fight against oil drilling to giving 1% of their revenue to nonprofits protecting our planet, Patagonia is making change possible.
What’s more, Patagonia supports grassroots causes having a direct impact on local communities.

Patagonia and Ocean Blue Project


By giving 1% for the Planet, Patagonia provided $89 million to on-the-ground environmental efforts. Patagonia’s World Trout Initiative funds organizations offering impact-oriented solutions for endangered salmon species.
Through this initiative, Patagonia provided Ocean Blue with thousands of dollars to plant native trees in the streams of the Willamette River, in Oregon. And this is just the beginning of Patagonia’s support for Ocean Blue.
In early 2018, Patagonia gave Ocean Blue the funding needed to plant Trees for Streams for a project in Periwinkle Creek, a tributary of the Willamette River in Albany, Oregon. With the funding came the Catchafire platform…

Meet Catchafire

Catchafire is a New York-based company making skill-based connections between professional volunteers and non-profit organizations. It’s an online platform mobilizing the world’s talent for good.
Since that time, Ocean Blue has worked with volunteers through Catchafire. The value of the projects worked on is currently at $505,732.
In March, the Development Director of Ocean Blue Project— who works with Catchafire daily—  Karisa Boyce, posted two projects on Catchafire. One received over 30 applicants and another received over 20.
An email from Catchafire arrived in Karisa’s inbox apologizing for the glitch. Typically, Catchafire limits the number of applicants to 3 per project.
Patagonia Action Works had sent out a newsletter featuring Ocean Blue’s projects on Catchafire.
While she was overwhelmed, Karisa was ecstatic about interviewing each applicant and finding a project to fit each volunteer’s skill set and passion. The glitch turned out to be a game-changer for Ocean Blue.
Between 2019 and 2020, we have significantly increased the value of our volunteer support. Even with a major decrease in volunteer numbers due to COVID-19.

Patagonia Action Works


Patagonia Action Works is a gateway to connect driven people to non-profit environmental organizations in their community. Its goal is to make it easier for people to get involved in environmental actions including events, petitions, donations, and volunteering opportunities.
Since 1985, Patagonia Action Works has provided over $100 million to their partners— grassroots environmental groups. This astonishing funding is helping preserve water, land, biodiversity, among other impactful causes.
“Because we believe that the most direct path to real change is through grassroots momentum, our funding focuses on organizations that create a strong base of citizen support.” Patagonia Action Works.
If you’re an environmental organization looking for a grant to fund your projects, apply to PAW here. Their programs usually support projects fighting the root causes of climate change.
Through Patagonia Action Works and all of its other environmental initiatives, they’re leading the way to a better, greener future— for you and all generations ahead.

On The Spotlight: Meet Our Talented Volunteers

Thanks to Catchafire and Patagonia, we were able to build a strong team of volunteers. Their work and dedication have helped us improve our organization and grow our impact. We want to introduce the team of volunteers who flooded our doorstep back in March, most of whom are still working as part of the Ocean Blue team today.

These are our Volunteers:



Meet: Rick Waggoner, editor in chief.

Rick is a copywriter based in Villa Rica, GA. Originally from Richmond, VA, Rick spent twenty years working in communications, public relations, and education with non-profit organizations in Asia.
Rick came to Ocean Blue Project via Patagonia’s Catchafire platform in 2020. During the course of his time with OBP, Rick has invested his energies into building the team of writers who write for our environmental news blog.
Rick can often be found sharing his love for the outdoors with his wife and two boys. Together they enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, and traditional archery.
Meet: Cieara West, documentary, and blogging.
Cieara writes from sunny Los Angeles, California where she works in the entertainment industry for film, tv, and podcasts. She spends her weekends hiking along the coast and exploring National Parks.
Cieara strives toward racial, social, and environmental justice in which she believes we can tackle anything that comes our way! She’s an Alumna of the University of Georgia- Go Dawgs!
Meet: Jen Caudill, editorial calendar.
Freelance writer and explorer, Jen Caudill is passionate about covering environmental issues to keep an informed public and affect change. She loves dogs, running, rain, wildlife, and public land and has written for Clif Bar, American Wild Horse Campaign.
Jen was instrumental in setting the foundation for the Ocean Blue Environmental News Blog including the creation of the editorial calendar where dozens of volunteer bloggers now collaborate to raise awareness through this very article and many others like it.

Mobile App (we are currently seeking a developer pro bono)

Meet: Anan Sadiya: mobile app prototype.

Anan is a Software Engineer, iOS Developer specifically, from Arraba, Israel. When he started working on the Ocean Blue project he was working for a startup in Barcelona, Spain. And nowadays due to the coronavirus situation, he is back home and working for Shutterfly in Haifa, Israel.
He grew up volunteering by organizing summer camps for children in his village, but he didn’t stop there and also wanted to help using his engineering skills.

Using the amazing volunteer platform Catchafire, he found the Ocean Blue Project and it was the perfect opportunity for him to help them develop the mobile app prototype.
He is glad to announce that he will be leading the mobile app development.

Blue Schools

Meet: Lexi Depol, artist for blue schools.
Lexi is a digital artist and freelance illustrator from New York, New York.  Having grown up in a family of skiers and mountaineers, Lexi had an instilled passion for the natural world from the very beginning.
Moreover, her previous experience as a volunteer at the local Wolf Conservation Center taught her the importance of spreading the mission to protect the planet however one can. Ocean Blue Project and its amazing team provided yet another wonderful opportunity for Lexi to put her own talents and efforts towards an amazing cause.
Meet: Maxwell Pereyra, Blue Schools guidance, and assessments.
Max is an educational researcher who specializes in educational assessment and evaluation. He was born and educated in California, having earned a bachelor of science in engineering from the University of California, Riverside, and a Master of Education from UCLA.
Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, where he primarily conducts research about college student development. After graduating from college, his family moved to Oregon, and while he currently resides in Los Angeles he has the privilege of visiting Oregon frequently and enjoying its beautiful natural landscapes.
He’s happy to contribute his expertise in survey research methodology and educational data analysis in order to support the Ocean Blue Project and their incredible cause!

Communication and Outreach

Meet: Jenn Jeck, donor communications then newsletters.
Jenn is a communications program manager in the telecom industry in Littleton, Colorado. Jenn is passionate about breaking down barriers through meaningful and engaging communication and loves contributing her professional skills to help clean the ocean and protect our home planet.
She started volunteering with Ocean Blue Project through Catchafire in May 2020 to write donor and volunteer communications, which has evolved into her managing the newsletter. Jenn’s favorite part about working with Ocean Blue Project is helping to expand their reach through the newsletter and getting to work with such selfless and dedicated people.
Meet: Jamie Brian, corporate sponsor outreach.

Jamie Brian is a commercial pilot and freelance writer living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about the environment, animals, running, and creating a better world. Jamie believes that it is more important now than ever to be an engaged citizen.
Volunteering virtually with Ocean Blue Project is a fantastic opportunity to connect with other professionals and protect our oceans.


Meet: Luis Colomer, strategic planning.

Vowing to leave our Ocean a little better than he found it, Luis Colomer contributes to the Ocean Blue Project’s family of remarkable teammates by providing them with diverse perspectives and insights on strategic planning and organizational development.
With more than 15 years of Strategy & Operations experience, he’s obsessed with helping small yet mighty and impactful organizations whose passions are rooted in collective action. Especially those who want to do absurdly cool and innovative things in conservation management and ocean sustainability.
Luis holds an MBA from Georgetown *Go Hoyas* and finds writing in the 3rd person like this somewhat uncomfortable. A big fan of coastlines, surf, salt water, and national parks, when he isn’t on lockdown in our Nation’s Capital, he is off exploring and making new friends.
Meet: Jeff Leitner, strategy and government contracts.
Jeff has been working in strategy and writing for the Government contracting community for 30+ years. He is currently Vice President of Consulting for Red Team Consulting. He lives in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He has previously worked in International Development and animal protection.
He spends as much time as possible in the outdoors and, while Colorado provides amazing opportunities for hiking and getting outside, he misses the coast and being able to look out over the horizon of an ocean.

Web Development

Meet: Bruce Jones, SEO, and weekly web development training.

Bruce Jones has been working in the digital marketing world for more than 16 years, with 7 Google certifications and past adult classes instructor for an Illinois community college. Owns an SEO training and consulting firm in Naperville IL currently. 
He loves the outdoors, kayaking and sailing and wants to help keep the oceans and beaches clean for future generations. He works with the Ocean Blue Project team during weekly Zoom meetings discussing inbound marketing strategy, keyword research, and lead flow optimization. 
Catchafire impact:
Meet: Christian Nanas, web development
Christian is a Full Stack Designer for his company Concept Web Designs. He currently lives in Seattle, WA, but has been a digital nomad based in Brooklyn for the past half-year to explore all the beautiful nature and waters our Earth has to offer.
His passion for rock climbing and mountaineering made him a big proponent for environmental conservation. Volunteering with Ocean Blue Project provided an opportunity for him to do his part to spread the mission and values of Ocean Blue to virtually and physically everyone.
It’s been a great pleasure to collaborate, share ideas, and think creatively with like-minded people on how to save our Oceans and Environment.

Research & Environmental Projects

Meet: Surabhi Ram, research analyst and grants researcher
Surabhi was born and raised in Bangalore, India. She did her undergrad in Economics in the UK and her Master’s at UCSB. She has since worked at both corporate companies and non-profit organizations, gaining a strong background in data analysis and risk management.
She currently lives in San Diego and enjoys hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring the coast. She is passionate about environmental issues, particularly those relating to marine conservation.
Volunteering at Ocean Blue Project has been the ideal opportunity for her to be involved in causes she is passionate about and has enjoyed working collaboratively with other like-minded individuals.
Meet: Violette Pradel, research analyst
Violette is a curious French who cares about social issues and the environment. She grew up on an island and has always enjoyed the proximity of the ocean. She is fond of activities linked to the sea – sailing, scuba diving, and many more – but likes hiking as well.
She holds an MBA from Lehigh University and currently works for an Investment Bank in NYC.

Meet: Tonia Jorgenson, research analyst.

Tonia is passionate about environmental causes, animals, nature, research science, and endurance sports. She is a former research scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tonia currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin.
Working with Ocean Blue Project provides an excellent opportunity to be involved in an interesting project, a positive way to give back to causes she wishes to support, and allows for collaborations with like-minded professionals from all across the globe.

Photos of Volunteers