Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund (Johnson, VT)


  • Name:Ms. Lucy Erickson
  • Title:International vEcotourism Coordinator

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund
  • Address:480 Hogback Road
    Johnson, VT 05656
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:+1 802 644 8885

Organization Web

User Address

  • Address:Lucy Erickson c/o Tamara Etmanskii
    St Edmund Hall, Queen's Lane
    Oxford OX1 4AR
    United Kingdom

User Phone

  • Mobile phone:+44 7587187429

User Web and Email


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  • Mission:
  • The mission of the Chimp-n-Sea Conservation Fund (CnS) is to help protect wildlife - specifically primate and marine habitats - through applied conservation science, habitat protection, education, music and storytelling. Outreach and local capacity building leading to sustainable project implementation are also crucial parts of the CnS vision.

    The two co-founders of the organization, Sara Lourie and Mark Laxer, were driven by a joint passion to create an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the protection of the environment and ecosystems through creative and uplifting outreach backed by sound conservation science. In order to be most effective, the organization focuses on primates ("Chimp") and the marine environment ("Sea"); flagship issues which act as an umbrella for habitat protection, pollution, human-wildlife conflict and many other environmental and conservation challenges.

    In a world where environmental problems are often approached in a “doom & gloom” manner, CnS distinguishes itself from other conservation groups by striving to capture people's imaginations and to use humour, where appropriate, to put forward serious conservation messages in a way that is positive and effective. As population growth puts ever increasing pressure on natural resources and wildlife in developing nations, it is crucial to stem the advancing tide of environmental degradation. CnS is committed to looking beyond traditional “fences & fines” conservation to find creative yet practical solutions to issues that incorporate rather than exclude the cultures and values of struggling communities.

    The organization works primarily in Uganda, but is seeking to strengthen ties in Madagascar, Indonesia and elsewhere in East Africa. Although past and ongoing projects include the Kibale Fuel Wood Programme (described in detail in the next section), the Floating Marine Park, and the Travelers Circle, CnS is now primarily focused on the virtual ecotourism, or vEcotourism, initiative. Working in ecologically sensitive areas of conservation importance, CnS partners with local organizations in order to improve people-park relationships and stop environmental degradation. Outreach and capacity building in the developing world is a crucial part of the CnS mandate, and - as will be explained at length in the rest of the proposal - the vEcotourism project is our unique way of achieving these goals.

    CnS encourages local communities to create and perpetuate new mythologies that ensure enduring relationships between themselves and biodiversity. For example, after speaking with local stakeholders, we have found that our work in the Kibale National Park, Uganda, has begun to convince villagers that the park is an area of beauty to be protected, as opposed to a dangerous forest to be feared. This goal is supported by emphasis on outreach, education, and capacity building in local communities. Additionally, by empowering communities to eventually run their own sustainable projects, CnS hopes to provide long-term benefits to each conservation area it partners with and helps to protect. Lastly, the organization is committed to ensuring measurable results such as behavioral changes, shifts in attitudes, or the success of an ongoing conservation project. For example, ongoing research by the New Nature Foundation has shown that the Kibale Fuel Wood is continuing to have an impact on villager behavior: 69% of our constituents now grow trees at home and 50% use efficient stoves (up from 51.5% and 4.5%, respectively, in the baseline survey).

  • History:
  • The Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund (CnS) was incorporated in Washington, DC on June 11, 2003. Co-founder and director Mark Laxer is an author, storyteller, and chief technology officer at a software corporation. His recently published novel, The Monkey Bible: A Modern Allegory, encompasses religion, science and environmental crisis, and has been heralded as “an extraordinary achievement... filled with stimulating ideas for practical actions to save our planet” (Dr. Richard Wrangham, Harvard University). In keeping with the CnS mission to promote conservation through stories and song, the novel is accompanied by Eric Maring’s innovative companion album, “The Line”, which has also received high praise for its thought provoking lyrics and engaging melodies.

    Co-founder Dr. Sara Lourie (B.A. Oxon, Ph.D McGill Univeristy), is a world authority on seahorse taxonomy and marine biogeography. She has been in involved with Project Seahorse since 1996, and is responsible for identifying what is thought to be the world’s smallest seahorse. She has also worked with the Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund to develop a system of marine ecoregions, which represents a crucial step towards ocean conservation. Dr.Lourie is the author of numerous scientific articles and books, and an active member of the McGill University teaching and research community.

    The first CnS project was a cleanup of the St Lawrence River shoreline in Canada, held annually from 2002-2005 as part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup. The goals of the ICC project are to raise public awareness, engender support for our waterways and oceans, and remove garbage. Each year data was collected on the types and quantities of garbage found, and these results were collated locally, nationally and internationally to help raise awareness and encourage positive change at all levels.

    The most ambitious project to date, the Kibale Fuel Wood Project, was established in 2006 by Rebecca Goldstone and Michael Stern, former project directors for CnS. Working with Ugandans living around the boundary of Kibale National Park, the project aimed to empower people and facilitate home grown wood and fuel efficient cooking. This was incredibly important as the park, home to the densest population of primates in Africa, as well as elephants, leopards, buffalo, and countless other species, was being cut down for firewood. Through an extensive public education campaign that included the establishment of local natural history museums, traveling movie shows, educational contests and participatory workshops, the project has already convinced hundreds of families to start caring more about the park and act to protect it. Since 2009, the project has been run by the New Nature Foundation, an organization based in Uganda and staffed entirely by members of local communities.

    The Kibale Community Fuel Wood Project was enhanced by the support and collaboration of dozens of organizations, including McGill University, the American Society of Primatologists, the Arcus Foundation Great Apes Fund, the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, the Great Apes Film Initiative, the Great Ape Trust of Iowa, the Natural Encounters Conservation Fund, the American Association of Zoo Keepers, Wild4Ever, and the International Primatological Society, and innumerable individual supporters.

    Finally, CnS is also involved in two ongoing projects. The Traveler’s Circle is a free wildlife and travel storytelling gathering in Washington, DC, which attracts 35-55 people per month and has been running for over a decade. The organization is also working in partnership with Yayasan Jari, a cosnervation group in Lombok, Indonesia to create an International Floating Marine Park.

  • Year established:2003
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:5
  • Advisory board size:3
  • Staff size:6


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
  • Tax ID: