THE SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY FUNDRAISER GEOCOIN

Please help save whales and other marine wildlife with your purchase of this unique geocoin.

This coin was designed by Steve O'Neil (aka: CrotalusRex in the Geocaching community)

who is also the creator of the

Crikey! Fundraiser Geocoin

and the

CrotalusRex and Mimichan Turtle Tracks Fundraiser Geocoin.

Steve wanted to help the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society fight the wildlife criminals of the world so he came up with the idea for this coin while watching the Animal Planet series Whale Wars last fall. Steve was greatly inspired by Sea Shepherd Founder and President Captain Paul Watson and his crew of brave and dedicated volunteers who set sail in the anti-whaling ship the Steve Irwin to hunt down and attempt to stop or slow down the Japanese whaling fleet from illegally poaching whales in the southern ocean whale sanctuary south of Australia. Steve wanted to raise funds for Sea Shepherd and help spread the word of their cause so he teamed up with Sea Shepherd and CoinsandPins.comto create this new and truly unique wildlife conservation fundraiser Geocoin.

Before you find out how you can get your very own Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Fundraiser Geocoin it is important to understand the critical role Sea Shepherd plays in the protection of ocean wildlife and habitats worldwide. Please read the mission Statement and Project Proposal to better understand where your money will go when you purchase this special geocoin.

1. Sea Shepherd's Mission Statement:

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Our mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced marine ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.

2. Sea Shepherd's Whale Campaign:

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been the most aggressive and most successful whale-saving organization in the world. We are the whales' navy and we are committed to providing defense for all whales worldwide. It is a huge undertaking and a charitable mission that is ongoing. Even though the International Whaling Commission (IWC) enacted a moratorium in 1986 on all commercial whaling, three nations, Iceland, Norway and Japan, have brutally slaughtered over 25,000 whales under the guise of scientific research for strictly commercial purposes. The IWC lacks the vested interest and capacity to enforce this moratorium. Sea Shepherd, guided by the United Nations World Charter for Nature, is the only organization whose mission is to enforce these international conservation regulations on the high seas. Sea Shepherd challenges the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and all whalers to critically examine the motives that drive the slaughter of whales. The slaughter of intelligent creatures is not justifiable on any grounds. Whaling must be permanently outlawed as a matter of international law. As Sea Shepherd has said for years, "There is no will or motivation by the IWC or member countries to enforce the IWC ban on whaling because the countries which should be doing the enforcing are too busy making money at the whales' expense."

This is a shocking photograph but the nations that continue to kill whales say that it is in the name of research--I ask you, does this look like "research" ? Please help Sea Shepherd stop the slaughter of the oceans wildlife before it is too late.

This video accuracy explains why Japan is in the wrong by continuing to hunt whales under the smokescreen of "research."

Another good video.

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The Sea Shepherd Fundraiser Geocoin

The first minting and sale of the Sea Shepherd Fundraiser Geocoin is over. If you purchased a coin--THANK YOU on behalf of the wildlife of the oceans that will directly benefit from your purchase of this unique coin. THANK YOU on behalf of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who will continue to protect and defend ocean wildlife and wild places. THANK YOU from me, Steve O'Neil, the creator of this coin. I never thought that so many caring people would embrace my fundraiser coin idea so well. Thank you for supporting Sea Shepherd and caring about what happens to wildlife!

The first run of the SSCS coin was sold only through the coinsandpins.com website from July 18 through July 26, 2009.

Although all of the first minting of the Sea Shepherd Fundraiser geocoin have been sold and there are no current plans to do a second run of coins, there may be a second minting in the future based on demand. I will post updates on possible future SSCS coins on this page .

ALL FUNDS raised, past and future, from the sale of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society fundraiser geocoin will be donated to the

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

to help fund their wildlife protection and conservation efforts around the world.

The coin was produced in two finishes--gold and antique silver.

These special coins are trackable on Geocaching.com with the tracking number individual to each coin printed on the edge of the coin.

The Sea Shepherd Geocoin is SOLD OUT. But there may be a second run in the future based on demand.

Visit The Sea Shepherd website to learn more about their current efforts to protect wildlife in the world's oceans.

Email Steve for more information--thank you!

ContactSteve

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NOTE for Geocachers: CrotalusRex (aka Steve O'Neil) designed this coin to raise money and awareness for Sea Shepherd. If you purchase or acquire one or more of these coins please consider releasing at least one coin to travel the world so that it may spread Sea Shepherd's mission and message of wildlife conservation and protection to the far corners of the world. Please be sure to add a link to this page from your Sea Shepherd Fundraiser coins Geocaching.com page so that geocachers who find your coin can learn more about its history and mission.

To track your coin (once you activate it on Geocaching.com or Coincodes.com) you may simply log onto Geocaching.comand enter its tracking number to find out more about how to track it.

This coin was designed by Steve O'Neil, officially authorized by The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and produced by CoinsandPins.com

THANK YOU! to everyone who purchased one or more of these special coins. In doing so you are directly supporting the conservation of marine wildlife all over the planet. Whales, seals, sharks, sea turtles, tuna and other ocean wildlife are vanishing as you sit reading these words. They are being taken by pirate fishermen who blatantly break the rules. They are being illegally taken in the name of research and sold as food in restaurants and grocery stores all over the world. Please help support Sea Shepherd so they can stop these wildlife perpetrators by purchasing one or more of these very special wildlife conservation fundraiser geocoins.

Follow your donation's action by watching the updates on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society website.

The Sea Shepherd Fundraiser Geocoin is now on Youtube!

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Steve's story.

Me with a Black racer at Lake Jocassee, SC.

My name is Steve O'Neil (aka "CrotalusRex" within the Geocaching community). I am passionate about wildlife and nature and I believe that if we do not educate people--especially children--about the natural world then they will not respect it and it will suffer. I have the good fortune to be able to work for a wonderful outdoor education facility where the management promotes and encourages wildlife conservation--a rare thing in this consumer driven society. In 2007 I set up the Turtle Tracks Eastern Box Turtle rescue, rehabilitation, conservation and education project which operates almost entirely on donations.

For a video overview of the program check out "For The Turtles 2008" a video compilation of the 2008 Turtle Tracks season--enjoy!

Me and "Softy" the Spiny softshell turtle that I released back into the wild during the late summer of 2007.

Not only do I work as naturalist and outdoor educator but I am also a wildlife rehabilitator. I help all wildlife in need if possible but I specialize in those that many people love to hate--reptiles. I am also a volunteer for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission's Non-game Endangered Wildlife program. I put in a great deal of time collecting data on reptiles and amphibians in order to help them survive the perils that they face due to living in a human dominated world. Why do I do it? Because it needs to be done or these animals will not survive. Although reptiles and amphibians are integral parts of a healthy ecosystem, they are widely misunderstood, irrationally feared and often killed on sight due to this fear and ignorance. In many areas of the world they are poached from the wild by the millions, shipped overseas and end up in markets where they are then sold and eaten--often alive! Some local beliefs say that eating the meat of these long-lived, sometimes venomous (poisonous) and unusual animals will help a person live longer or have some other positive health benefit--nothing could be further from the truth. Science has shown that it may actually be the opposite because many of these creatures like turtles for example, are reservoirs of heavy metals such as lead and mercury and other toxins. Eating animals such as turtles my actually shorten your life rather than extend it--chew on that for awhile. Many of these creatures are also being negatively affected by climate change that is directly a result of human actions. Since I am human then I am also part of the problem so I feel that I need to do all that I can to be part of the solution.

See if you can you find Mojo the box turtle in this photo?

Photo by the Shank family.

My way of helping these creatures is not only through my wildlife conservation themed geocoins but also through hours of grueling volunteer fieldwork that often takes place in harsh weather and terrain but also through public education--that can sometimes be even more grueling than the weather and terrain. I conduct guided "Critter hunt" nature hikes and turtle tracking expeditions at work, outreach programs at local schools and other organizations, and with my Wildlife Adventures With Steve video series on YouTube I bring nature and wildlife documentaries and issues to you, the people who need to know. I want to help people better understand these special creatures. Learn how beautiful, unique and important these creatures are to a healthy earth and healthy humans. If folks go on a nature hike with me and get to meet a wild turtle, snake, frog or salamander--they see that it is not scary, it is not trying to kill me or give me warts--they see that it is just trying to survive like we are. If folks see how beautiful and important these creatures truly are, then maybe they will develop an interest and possibly a passion for wildlife and nature. Once you understand something then you may grow to love it; once you love something you will naturally want to protect it. It is my goal and my hope to help folks form a connection with and a passion for nature, a passion that they will carry on throughout their life and pass on to their children. If I am able to play even just a small part in fostering that passion--then my job is done.

My nephew Cody helps me with a Timber Rattlesnake.

Check out the Ctenosaur I met on the porch of my bungalow while on a trip to Costa Rica a few years ago. We shared some Papaya and then parted ways.

My beautiful wife Marian and I camping in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area near Brevard, NC during the late summer of 2004--we are grinning big because I had just proposed a few hours earlier while we were picking wild Blueberries on the side of a 6000' mountain!

A frolicking Dolphin family in coastal South Carolina by Steve O'Neil

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My Hero.

Steve Irwin "The Crocodile Hunter" was my hero. He was my greatest inspiration to continue to follow my dream of working with wildlife conservation and environmental education. I truly believe that the world lost a mighty voice for wildlife and wild places when he left us. I will never really understand why this has happened but what I do know is that Steve made a great impact on this earth, he helped countless animals survive, he preserved vast tracts of wildlife habitat and land from development, he educated millions of people about the importance of wildlife and wild places and he had a great positive impact on millions of animal and nature loving children and adults everywhere and he will be so greatly missed.

Now more than ever, those of us who are left...those of us who have been gifted with the love, the understanding and the passion to bring Nature knowledge to the masses--we have a challenge, a goal and a true purpose to take action and not let Steve's death be the end of his message.

We must fight tooth and claw, hoof and horn, fin and fluke, feather and scale and brain and tool to make people hear and understand how wonderful, beautiful and important Nature, wildlife and wild places are to the healthy functioning of this Earth. If this most important message is lost--then we are lost.

Steve Irwin will always be my hero but now I have another hero. Captain Paul Watson and his volunteer crew of Sea Shepherds are true Wildlife Warriors in every way. They put their lives on the line and give freely of their time and energy to protect the wildlife and wild places of the world's oceans. They take all kinds of flack from people who do not believe that their actions are just and true. The Sea Shepherds have been called terrorists and vigilantes as well as law breakers. If taking direct action to stop a blatant and obvious wrongdoing against nature is wrong--then I question the morals and judgment of those who say it is wrong. What are their motives...more than likely it is money, power or politics...or just pure ignorance. I totally support Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds because without their heroic efforts to protect the wildlife of the oceans, those that destroy life for profit and power and those who hide behind words and governments would run rampant over the oceans and take everything until there is no more. Thank you Captain Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd for all that you do for life on planet earth.

Captain Watson and Terri Irwin

Watch Sea Shepherd in action defending whales from the Japanese whale poachers in Season 2 of Whale Wars airing now on Animal Planet!

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NOTES/UPDATES

7/18/2009. This note was in response to comments I have received from friends and individuals who have emailed me about my support of Sea Shepherd.

Thank you to everyone who has purchased a Sea Shepherd Fundraiser geocoin so far! Your kind donation by your purchase of this special coin will support the protection and conservation of countless whales, sharks, sea turtles, dolphins, seals and other marine life and their habitats.

Here is a bit more background on this coin that may help you understand what inspired to design it: when I first watched Whales Wars on Animal Planet last fall I was astounded at some of the things that the Sea Shepherds did in order to protect wildlife. At first I thought--that can't be legal, that seems just a bit crazy. Then I watched more and was captivated and finally inspired when I realized that their actions, although questionable to some, were insignificant when viewed next to the blatant illegal slaughter of intelligent and often endangered creatures for food and wealth. What the Sea shepherds were doing may be considered harassment and eco-terrorism by some but they have tried everything else to stop the poaching of whales in the southern ocean whale sanctuary and it did not work. The bad press did not matter to the Japanese whale poachers who just continued to ignore the mandate set by the International Commission on Whaling that banned all commercial whaling in the 1980's.

The whalers claim to be conducting scientific experiments on the whales. If this is so, then why do they have to kill so many? I am trained in biology and understand that you occasionally may have to take a few animals out of a population to better understand the species as a whole. I also conduct wildlife research but I do not kill the animals I am studying--if I did I would soon have to find another species of animal to study because the population would be extinct. Also, if the Japanese whalers were actually conducting research then why do they need a factory ship--it is to process the meat so that it can be frozen and later sold to consumers as food. Hundreds of whales die on beaches all over the world each year for unknown reasons and these animals could easily be studied by scientists from all over the world.

What it all boils down to is that there is no need to kill whales anymore for food (unless you are a subsistence culture who hunts a limited number of whales each year for food and have no other option such as farming.) Most species of whale have been studied and their biology has been well known and documented for decades. If you are going to eat meat then there are plenty of other easier things to eat such as chicken, pork and beef that do not require sailing halfway around the world to get it. No one can deny that whales are intelligent, beautiful creatures that are integral to the health of the oceans and today they DO NOT need to be harvested for food or any other reason.

The whale poachers of the world must be stopped.

Yes, other organizations are working to spread the word of the illegal whale poaching by the Japanese and other nations, but as they talk and send letters and petitions to those in power the simple fact is that whales are continuing to die by the thousands each year. While we all may not agree with some of the actions of the Sea Shepherds, it seems that if we want to see whales continue to exist in the worlds oceans that the Sea Shepherds are the only people actually doing anything about it.

Sometimes talking about a problem does nothing and the only course left is direct action. This is why I support the Sea Shepherds because they don't just talk--they DO! Using innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas the Sea Shepherds are reducing the numbers of whales killed each year by the Japanese whale poachers. Their goal is first to protect whales from the Japanese harpoons and then to 'sink' the Japanese whaling fleet by bankrupting them when they return home with catches far below their quota.

It is for these reasons that I support the actions of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and it is for these reasons that I contacted Sea Shepherd and worked with them to design the Sea Shepherd Fundraiser geocoin. I thought it would be a good way to raise some funds to help them in their quest to defend ocean wildlife and habitats worldwide and a way to raise awareness of their cause as the coins traveled all over the earth from geocacher to geocacher.

I truly want to help wildlife in any way that I am able.

Steve O'Neil (CrotalusRex)

NOTE: I am not racist in any way; it just happens that the Japanese whalers are the targets in this note so it seems that I am 'bashing' the Japanese quite a bit. On the contrary, Japan is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage that I would love to visit one day. A large percentage of the Japanese public is against whaling--it is the elite, powerful few that want whale on their plate, it is a status symbol and they will pay anything to have it. It is these whale killers and eaters that I am against, nothing more.

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If you have a question or comment please contact me by clicking the bottle below.


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