Shark Attack Survivor: Mike Coots, 32, Kauai, Hawaii

Mike CootsIn one swift move, a tiger shark tore off Mike Coots' leg while he was surfing off the Hawaiian island of Kauai in 1997. Coots caught a wave to shore and friends rushed him to the hospital. As he labored through months of recovery, he discovered a new hobby that eventually turned into a successful career: photography. Today, Coots' clients include major hotels, surfing-related businesses and the Hawaii and Kauai visitor bureaus. And he surfs daily with a prosthetic leg.

Coots decided to become a shark advocate after he learned about the animals' plight from the Pew Environment Group. He has travelled to the United Nations and the U.S. Capitol to speak in favor of shark conservation. And he worked to help pass Hawaii's 2010 ban on possession and sale of shark fins – the first state to take such action.

Click to learn more about other shark attack survivors.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.