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Trent Kahn is Banking on Reef Restoration

"...A financial firm committed to people and the planet..."

Last year Aspiration launched a social media photo contest to select two winning non-profit organizations to each receive a $12,500 gift towards furthering their mission.

After some close competition, Coral Restoration Foundation™ pulled into the lead with plenty of help from our extraordinary followers, in the form of likes and shares, encouraged by our stellar social media team.

Earlier this month we learned that this beautiful photo taken by Zach Ransom had not only pulled us into the lead, but won us this incredible grant!

Take a moment to admire this grey angelfish exploring our Coral Tree™ Nursery, and dive into the background and ideals of Trent Kahn, a long time CRF™ supporter and one of Aspiration's top Social Media Gurus.

What is your earliest memory of the ocean?

A five-year-old me ran around the shallow waves of Ft. Lauderdale with acid jean overalls. I was staying at my great grandparents, who had given me a giant metal soup spoon as my one and only beach toy, which I enjoyed using on rocks, sand, and water. 

What is your favorite marine creature?

This is the short fin Mako shark. They can travel around 60 mph... and also are the cutest of all the sharks.

Shortfin Mako Shark

Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel?

I was overwhelmed the first time I saw a coral reef system in the Dominican Republic as a child. I heard there are efforts to restore that system now, and I hope that it happens somehow. 

Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel?

Swimming around here Los Angeles, CA I can only imagine what could have been right below me without the impact of pollution and physical human interference. The pollution problem is to the point that there's a notification system in place to rate the safety of the water for swimming. Just last week was a no-go for 3 days.  I'm personally not sure how this became considered acceptable. 

What concerns or scares you the most about climate change?

Our ability to adapt quickly and effectively to climate change is constantly being undermined by people trying to make a quick buck right now. That challenge is a daunting one to think about. Instead of moving as fast as our slowest parts, we have some parts moving in the opposite direction here. 

Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs?

To me, coral reefs are strong indicators of the world's overall health status. If we didn't have them any more, I'd imagine we'd be at an ecological point of no return. 

Why is protecting and restoring coral reefs relevant to your brand?

We're a financial firm committed to people and the planet, and our customers told us they just loved ya'll. We asked them for nominations and votes for the causes they wanted to get behind the most, and you won! Your impact and progress really resonated with us, and we are happy to be able to help move CRF™ forward. 

Why should the average person care about coral reefs? The average person may care about coral reefs, but still might not go out of their way to do anything about a problem they'd probably agree is serious. That needs to change with education and enabling people to make a difference. 

In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs?

Things that come to mind are the use of sustainable energy, more signage at beach / reef areas, stricter federal laws surrounding pollution and preservation, or generally, using the internet as a medium for education. 

What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction?

People need to take action by simply making a donation. 

Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why?

Absolutely. CRF™ winning this vote is a huge sign there is hope for our coral reefs. The numbers speak for themselves. 

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