Who is Coastal Connections?


Protect coastal habitats for sea turtle survival by educating and connecting people to the environment.


Be a driving force for the recovery of sea turtles.


Integrity – Data-Driven – Inclusivity – Passionate – Teamwork

History and Accomplishments

After finishing up her graduate studies and moving to Vero Beach, FL, Kendra Cope noticed a need in the Indian River, Florida Community to provide interactive and educational programs that contribute to the protection of sea turtles and the habitats they need to survive. In 2017, Coastal Connections, Inc (CCinc) became a reality.  Starting out small by only offering a few programs with only eight volunteers, CCinc quickly became a reputable and well-known environmental nonprofit that drives eco-tourism and now engages over 100 community volunteers a year. 

Coastal Connections Inc Founder Kendra Cope
Coastal Connections Sea Turtle Walks

Sea turtles are our favorite animal and the reasons go way beyond the fact they are cute. Three species, Loggerheads, Greens and Leatherbacks, are responsible for laying hundreds of thousands of nests along Florida’s beaches each year providing essential nutrients to the beaches we enjoy. They provide a home on their shells to thousands of small plants and animals. And, they keep marine ecosystems balanced by playing unique roles within the food chain that support the health of our oceans, estuaries and reefs. However, our choices as individuals and a society are having a detrimental impact on these critical animals due to light pollution, fisheries interactions, marine debris and more. But, the good news is we as individuals, groups and businesses are all able to make a difference to protect our environment through decisions we make every day. 

CCinc programs continue to grow in size and the number of locations they function from, educating and impacting the lives of over 10,000 people each year. Coastal Connections, Inc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Vero Beach, Florida, but works without borders and will continue to expand program offerings across Florida and with partners in the Southeast US and Costa Rica to encourage sustainable habitats no matter where you may be located because every choice can help sea turtles recover from possible extinction

CCinc programs impact the lives of over 10,000 people each year.
Kendra Cope

Meet Our Leaders

Kendra (Cope) Bergman, M.S.

Founder and Executive Director

The Board

Megan Lynch


Melissa Medlock, CPA


Kim Sonderman, M.S.


Becky Freemal


Jennifer McGee, PhD


The Staff

Celeste McWilliams

Sea Turtle Programs Coordinator

Madeline Phelan

Sustainability Programs Coordinator

The Advisors

Alec Macaulay

Development Advisor

Quintin Bergman, M.S.

Scientific Advisor

Michelle Peters

Development Advisor

Todd Hopkins, Ph.D.

Scientific Advisor

Kate Maingot

Fundraising Advisor

Sue Flak

Sustainability Advisor

Lisa Rose

Philanthropy Advisor

Becky Vickman

Marketing Advisor