About Saving Ocean Wildlife

Our Vision:

A healthy marine ecosystem where all wildlife thrive as a result of an informed society

Our Mission: 

Creating ocean partnerships to protect wildlife

Marine animals know no international borders.

Saving Ocean Wildlife was formed to protect the ocean wildlife that reside or transit through the Pacific Ocean waters off of the West Coast of North America in collaboration with NOAA and our other partners. SOW’s scope currently spans from Alaska to Mexico with our headquarters located in Southern California. We create partnerships with the scientists, policy makers and people like you to save ocean wildlife. SOW is engaging the community to get eyes on the ocean to help report on these animals. Join us and report marine wildlife. You can help save a life.

Our Projects

We are focusing on three main projects in order to achieve our mission.

Ocean Awareness
We connect the community to critical issues facing marine wildlife.

Reporting Animals in California
We provide the community with tools for reporting valuable information on live, injured and dead marine animals.

We train volunteers to assist in land-based and on-the-water monitoring of wildlife.

Our Team

Ralph Butler

Technical Consultant

Ralph is the first Saving Ocean Wildlife volunteer and web designer / webmaster.

He is a Navy Veteran and loves sailing on the ocean and loves marine mammals.

He is a certified Naturalist trained by the American Cetacean Society – Los Angeles Chapter and the American Cetacean Society – Orange County Chapter.

He is frequently seen aboard commercial whale watching boats talking to passengers about the ocean wildlife along the Southern California Bight.

So after fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University, Ralph still continues to educate people about Ocean Wildlife.

Saiyana Baksh

Communications Coordinator

Saiyana holds a B.Sc. (Honor’s) in Marine, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and is currently in pursuit of a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy with a focus in Fisheries Management and Conservation.

Although her education and passion focus on the ocean and marine life, she also has experience developing and implementing research and conservation efforts in the terrestrial environment.

She has conducted work in CARICOM countries such as Grenada and Guyana researching how humans impact bird conservation and has also collected data for fisheries by communicating with fishermen and locals.

Her experience bridging conservation goals among industry, academia, and NGOs enables her to work effectively with various stakeholders. Her goal to enable and encourage people to appreciate the natural world, particularly oceans, has motivated her to use social media and design as a means to achieve this goal.

Laura Kasa


Laura has been a leader in the field of ocean protection for the past 14 years.

Recruited from New York, where she received her masters degree in environmental policy from Columbia University, she moved to Santa Cruz, CA in 2006 to take the position as Executive Director of Save Our Shores.

She led the organization in working with the community, local/state governments and businesses to raise awareness about the threats to our ocean and successfully advocated for policies to improve the health of our oceans.

When Laura left Save Our Shores in 2015 she started her own consulting firm and since then has assisted various other non-profits, for profit firms, and government agencies in environmental projects.

Karen Schneider

Communications Strategist

Karen is a 30 year Marketing and Communications strategist who has worked across multiple industries from International Consulting to Consumer Electronics and Financial Services.

She has worked as a consultant to several non-profits to help improve communications, raise awareness and encourage public engagement. Karen graduated from New York Institute of Technology and has headed up her own marketing consulting business for the past four years.

Karen’s passion is teaching yoga and meditation to help all beings find peace and a deeper awareness to improve the collective consciousness.

Michael Atkins

Science Advisor

Michael Atkins has been exploring the world’s oceans as a sailor, scuba and deep submersible diver, marine biologist, oceanographer, and conservationist since 1986.

He considers sustainable stewardship and protection of marine ecosystems to be his life-long calling and passion.

Dr. Atkins received his PhD in biological oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and his BA in chemistry and marine biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.