First off, thanks to our generous donor who will be matching donations until September 17th. That means for the next month all donations count double! Click here for the donations page!
As the crew prepares itself for the upcoming Elephant Ivory Project (EIP) expedition to the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) in December, a long list of tasks must be completed. Nearing the top of this list is fundraising. However, curbing elephant poaching and saving elephants won‚Äôt be done through funding alone; education is a vital component and the EIP crew knows it.
Combining fundraising and education, EIP expedition member Trip Jennings and partner Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky arranged an adventure/education presentation in Marin County, CA to raise funds and awareness for the upcoming expedition.¬† Trip held the audience captive with his background in kayaking, conservation and adventure. He shared details from the Epicocity Project‚Äôs last expedition to the DRC with National Geographic where they completed the first descent of the lower Congo river-surviving rapids larger than school busses and spontaneous vortex whirlpools (not to mention the pack-hunting monster Goliath tiger fish they were helping scientists study).
To the less adventurous person, surviving the DRC once is enough. For the Epicocity crew, once is just the beginning. Trip‚Äôs presentation included his introduction, and subsequent invitation to return to the DRC, from wildlife forensic Dr. Sam Wasser, the staggeringly high number of elephants poached for ivory (104 per day in 2009), the inversely proportional number of elephants remaining on the planet (485.000 in Asia and Africa combined) and how returning to the DRC to collect elephant scat samples will save elephants.
The evening was a success, with one presentation attendee offering a $500 matching donation through September 17th, 2010.¬† If you‚Äôve been thinking of donating to make this conservation project possible NOW IS THE TIME! Donate before September 17th and your tax-deductible contribution will be matched-up to $500!
Despite putting in the wrong order for weather (we wanted SUN! not Bay Area FOG!), this adventure/education presentation + fundraiser could not have been possible without the dedicated support of Marin County residents Jacqueline Zimmer and Linda Sawtell. In addition, our whistles couldn‚Äôt have been wetted better thanks to the wine donation of Sonoma County vineyard Bodega Rancho.
Lastly, a trip to the Bay gave us the perfect excuse to hit the beach for an afternoon of surfing (or at least get a few great attempts in) at Pacifica beach.
If you know of a captive adventure and conservation-orientated audience that would like to host an Elephant Ivory Project presentation please let us know! We‚Äôd love to keep educating folks about elephant poaching and the ivory trade as well as fundraise for our upcoming expedition.