Blue Business Award Nominees:

The Blue Business of the Year Award recognizes a business that has made outstanding contributions toward promoting and encouraging conservation, restoration, or preservation of marine life and/or marine ecosystems through their business practices, products or technology.

4ocean Cleanup

4ocean - 1st Nomination

Periodically in history we witness an individual or organization rise up as a leader in conservation. Traditionally, these leaders have been independent researchers, like Dian Fossey, photographers, like Paul Nicklen, or nonprofit organizations, such as Oceana. Historically, it\'s been rare to see a for-profit company rise up as a leader in conservation, however 4ocean, a South Florida based company, has revolutionized the business model for ocean conservation. With an innovative business model for cleaning up the ocean, 4ocean has been able to transform the global conversation regarding ocean conservation in less than three years. With

a business model focused on selling bracelets, made from post-consumer recycled plastic and glass, to generate funds to remove trash from our oceans, the company has removed over six million pounds of trash in just two and a half years. By creating jobs, utilizing the latest technology and raising awareness about the impact of trash in the ocean and on marine life, 4ocean is building the first economy for ocean plastic while creating a cleaner, more sustainable future for the ocean.

Although a for-profit company, 4ocean has integrated company components similar to nonprofits. Breaking the mold of a traditional retail company, 4ocean focuses on educating global supporters through ocean conservation education, community cleanups, and investing in new technology to remove ocean trash and create a safer environment for all life. With a unique approach to retail and ocean conservation, 4ocean has successfully created an \"ocean-conscious lifestyle\" brand, in which supporters have globally bandwagoned.

As noted on 4ocean\'s social media pages \"the biggest threat to our planet is believing that someone else will save it\" (Robert Swan, 2012). In 2015, Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze internalized this quote during a surfing trip to Bali and made a promise to \"do something\" and \"create change.\" While the company originally formed with only two founders, who decided to act, the company has since expanded to a global company with over 300 employees, countless volunteers, over 15 partnering environmental organizations, and additional partnering retail organizations. From local employees and volunteers near their South Florida headquarters, to employees and volunteers in Bali, Haiti, and Indonesia, 4ocean has created action in every corner of the globe.

The founders commitment to the motto \"think locally, act globally\" has resonated and inspired their consumers, employees and volunteers to join the ocean conservation movement through adopting an ocean-conscious lifestyle. 4ocean\'s retail consumers may purchase the company\'s retail options, but they also participate in 4ocean\'s community cleanups, such as the Bahia Honda Key Beach Cleanup on March 16th, 2019. Often, conservation can seem daunting or overwhelming to the general public, however 4ocean has simplified ocean conservation to \"buy a bracelet, remove a pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines\" in order to propel the movement. Continuously, 4ocean encourages supporters to adopt a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle, even if it means one step at a time.

To further extend the company\'s reach, 4ocean has begun to organize community events, such as the 4ocean village in North Miami on Saturday, August 14th 2019. These events are designed to make ocean conservation education and practices more accessible, as well as facilitate a local community centered on ocean conservation. These family friendly events feature local organizations, eco-friendly vendors, and sustainable food trucks, thus inspiring a new generation of eco-advocates.

The company\'s passion for ocean education has generated the following of nearly six million total users across social media platforms. While critics may claim 4ocean is a retail fad, 4ocean has shown commitment to the ocean conservation community by partnering with nonprofit organizations across the country and globe to help raise awareness for more specific environmental causes, such as everglade and coral reef restoration, as well as generating funds for these nonprofits. The company\'s mission exceeds promoting ocean conservation and encompasses the promotion of global conservation, restoration, and preservation through education, sustainable consumption and production, and technology. In a sense, 4ocean\'s social media platforms have become an aggregator site to promote ocean conservation across the board, thus propelling ocean conservation to a new awareness level. To further counter the label of \"retail fad,\" 4ocean has recently announced their intent to continue to expand their retail operations. Currently, the company is in the process of building the infrastructure to create an assortment of high quality, sustainably-made products that will help people reduce their dependence on single-use plastic, reuse the materials the company collects from the ocean, and celebrate an environmentally conscious lifestyle.

In addition to expanding 4ocean\'s retail endeavors, the company has helped improve other organizations through the creation of environmentally-conscious partnerships aimed at reducing the amount of single-use plastics that enter our oceans. Within the last year, 4ocean partnered with Delivery Dudes to reduce single-use plastic in food delivery orders by offering the option to say \"no\" to single-use plastic utensils. Recognizing that \"convenience\" options contribute to the amount of plastic in our oceans, 4ocean launched a partnership with Air Canada in an initiative to eliminate single-use plastics. Partnering with an airline is the first step in transforming \"convenient travel\" to \"sustainable travel.\" From dine-in and take-out to staycations and vacations, 4ocean is creating a global ocean-conscious lifestyle brand and reducing the amount of single-use plastics that end up in the ocean and endanger marine life.

Since pulling their 6 millionth pound in 2019 and attracting nearly the same amount of social media followers across platforms, 4ocean has been invited to attend/ speak at the World Ocean Summit in 2020 in hopes of inspiring others to continue to propel the ocean conservation movement. Engaging in global conservation events aligns with and offers a platform for the company\'s mission of ocean sustainability, recycling awareness, creating global ocean economies, and earth preservation.

With global partners, collegiate affiliates, over 300 employees, and nearly six million followers across social media, 4ocean has inspired the public to consider their consumption habits, opt for more eco-friendly options, and create action. For the ocean, with one mission in mind - 4ocean has helped and continues to help end the plastic crisis one pound at a time.


4ocean - 2nd Nomination

Dear Go Blue Award Committee Members:

It is with great enthusiasm that I nominate 4ocean, LLC for the Blue Business of the Year Award. Alex Schultz and Andrew Cooper, two Floridians who turned their idea to improve ocean health by removing trash from the oceans into a blue business. These entrepreneurs formed a novel business the improve the health of the oceans, mangroves and beaches; create new jobs; educate individuals, corporations, and governments; and deploy new technologies to intercept and remove ocean trash. They fund their efforts through groundswell support from product sales - primarily bracelets that are made from post-consumer recycled plastic and glass. Once they brought Ryan Dick on board as the lead marketing manager, the business and their educational outreach (a novel component) has grown rapidly from a local effort to one with global presence in Bali, Indonesia, and Haiti.

There are at least six key aspects of 4ocean, LLC that I would like to emphasize.
(1) They develop and implement effective and innovative ways to collect marine debris and recycle it;

(2) Their local efforts are now being implemented internationally. This is critical because ocean trash rarely stays at home. International efforts are particularly important because more than 80% of the plastics picked up on beaches and in the nearshore waters does not originate locally.
(3) Cleaning up coastal waters, beaches, and mangroves engages and educates everyone who sees a blue 4ocean boat, truck, or staff member, or who participates in a 4ocean Community Cleanup event about the impacts of trash, particularly ubiquitous single-use packages (plastics) on the health of our oceans and marine life.
(4) They continue to work on creating innovative uses for recycled materials. In less than two years, they have removed over 6 million pounds of trash.
(5) They actively seek and partner with nonprofit conservation organizations so a part of the business\'s income supports marine conservation activities;
(6) 4ocean\'s media efforts deliver simple but clear messages to educate and change behavior so we know how to better protect and respect our oceans. They employ social media very effectively to educate and engage their partners, customers, and media followers in their core mission.

4ocean\'s missions and messages align with the Blue Friends and the GoBlue awards.
Their website summarizes their core mission as promoting and explaining:
OCEAN SUSTAINABILITY - Healthy oceans are critical for life on this planet. They provide the food we eat, the oxygen we breathe, and their continued health depends on us.
RECYCLING AWARENESS - Recycling is still an after-thought in many places around the world. So, part of their mission is to spread this awareness globally.
CREATING GLOBAL ECONOMIES - By giving ocean trash a value, they are changing the way people think about the problem and creating new economies in the process.
EARTH PRESERVATION - We only one planet. It is essential to life. It is the only place we can live. Preserving its beauty, function and form for the next generations is the ultimate end goal.

They developed brand recognition. Their blue 4ocean boats are well-recognized locally and their cleanups are well attended.

4ocean is quite innovative. They are using a small portion of their recovered plastic in the production of their bracelets. A new bracelet is released each month in partnership with a nonprofit marine conservation organization to raise awareness about an important marine animal or ecosystem.

Each bracelet purchase covers the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean & coastlines.
The profits pay for their cleanup efforts and 4ocean gives back, by supporting nonprofit activities that align with their core mission. They are expanding their product line slightly to include lifestyle products, which will continue raise awareness about the clean ocean movement, and sustainable products that will help consumers curb their consumption of single-use plastics.

I have been fortunate to work with them and see that they are \"the real deal.\" Full disclosure: they supported some of my lab\'s research and educational activities with unsolicited donations. Through that interaction I was able to see how they work, meet their staff, and now support their efforts -beyond sea turtles - by purchasing their bracelets and sharing their social media. All of the 4ocean staff that I have met \"live the mission.\"

My own students now take pride in their participations, their recycling, and getting their
friends involved. 4ocean has created a groundswell of interest and engagement in the health and future of our oceans.

In summary, Alex Schultz, Andrew Cooper, and Ryan Dick are faces of a novel blue business and represent a staff with core ideals that align with the Blue Friends and the GoBlue mission. They take great pride in doing, educating, sharing their expertise, creating a new global economy to clean up the oceans, and developing resources to help others. Further, 4ocean is educating their customers worldwide, cleaning up our waterways, and changing the consumptive and recycling behavior of multiple generations.

It is for these reasons that I enthusiastically nominate 4ocean, LLC for the Blue Business of the Year Award.

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Eco Beach Tent

It was a fine beautiful morning in Belitung and our dedicated Eco Beach Tent crew were up and about taking visitors to explore the Belitung sea on one of our traditional wooden boats.
Soon after, a sea turtle was spotted not far from our boat. We were excited but soon realised that the sea turtle was struggling to swim. It was trapped on a fishing net.
The Eco Beach Tent crew were quick and jumped straight towards the sea turtle to free it. At last, it can swim freely into the ocean.

Our Beach Tent Crew are mostly locals who know the Belitung sea and land at the back of their hands and are passionate in taking parts in nature preservation. It is indeed hard not to appreciate nature when you are surrounded by the glory of it every minute of your life.

You would wake up to singing birds celebrating the sunny mornings. Where wild monkeys could be seen enjoying their morning sunbath on top of granite boulders on the beach near to our seven-units eco resort.
You find yourself reconnecting with nature by exploring this untouched tropical forest. A very well preserved hidden gem where all beings can coexist and where humans engage with nature through their senses.

Our eco philosophy are instilled in every heart of our Eco Beach Tent team. We aspire to build an environment where floras and faunas are respected and protected.
We have also adopted the farm-to-table concept where guests are actively involved in the preparation of their food.
Guided by our trusted Eco Beach Tent crew, we provide varied opportunities for our guests to experience and interact with their surrounding nature. Children are taught farming, handicraft making and on certain days, guests can witness and help release baby turtles from our privately funded sea turtle conservation.

Our sea turtle conservation program began in 2016 and since then we have helped released hundreds of baby turtles into the ocean. Run by our Eco Beach Tent crew, our conservation program have assisted in reducing the turtle egg trading by local fishermen while encouraging local community to develop similar conservation program to support sea turtles.

We hope that our strong commitment provide encouragement for other business owners to be more involved in nature preservation where we create minimum impact to the environment and maximum impact to the local community and together we create a sustainable tourism.
Our Eco Beach Tent crew would like to share our passion and results (attached in our Green Report) to the world in order to aspire younger and older generations

fish rules

Fish Rules, LLC

Fish Rules, LLC created Fish Rules App - a free smartphone application that helps anglers understand and abide by recreational saltwater fishing regulations from Maine to Texas plus California and the Bahamas. Fish Rules App also includes important information instructing anglers how to safely release marine turtles should they hook one. Also, Fish Rules App can be used to promote citizen science because citizens can use the log feature in the app to document marine turtle observations.

Force Blue Photo_Go Blue

Force Blue

I would like to enthusiastically nominate FORCE BLUE for the Blue Business of the Year Award ( FORCE BLUE\'s mission is to unite the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine conservation for the betterment of both. This nonprofit was founded by retired combat divers from all branches of the armed forces in an effort to connect with marine biologists to conserve the marine environment. Through their scientific contributions, FORCE BLUE not only serves to protect the Earth\'s natural resources, but also to provide proactive \"mission therapy\" for former combat divers, all of which suffer

from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Since their establishment in 2016, FORCE BLUE has taken off in assisting with numerous research projects in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Coral Restoration Foundation, Frost Science Museum, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources, the US Virgin islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, The Ocean Conservancy, Florida Atlantic University-Harbor Branch, Inwater Research Group, The Turtle Hospital, and Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

One notable mission took place after Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys, where FORCE BLUE divers were dispatched to the Tavernier Florida Coral Nursery to search for coral that had been displaced due to this storm. On this eight day mission, the divers worked to overturn displaced coral back into place, stabilize fragments of endangered corals, and collect corals for cementation back onto reefs. During this \"mission,\" as they call it, the members of FORCE BLUE were able to cement 500 new fragments of endangered corals into the nursery area, which will then be taken back to the reef tract for restoration. Members of the team also \"painted\" antibiotics onto diseased corals in the area; through these efforts, a number of the corals have recovered.

Stemming from the mission to restore reef tract damage from Hurricane Irma, FORCE BLUE was then asked by NOAA to deploy to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. The mission here was similar and served as an emergency coral reef recovery and restoration project that provided critical triage, assessment, and emergency restoration of hurricane-damaged reefs in the area. This mission went on for 50 days, covering eight different reef sites, where over 4,200 corals were reattached to their reefs.

Most recently, the team traveled to the Florida Keys with a team of sea turtle biologists and researchers from Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Inwater Research Group, FAU-Harbor Branch, and The Turtle Hospital to study the health and disease of juvenile green sea turtles residing in the Florida Keys. The goal was to find where these turtles live and feed in the Keys, determine an estimated fibropapillomatosis (FP) prevalence rate, and better understand the general health of these animals. During the ten-day study period in June 2019, the team captured and collected samples from 26 green turtles in the lower Florida Keys, which included data on body condition, epibiota identification (i.e., organisms that live on the skin and shell of the turtles), and documentation of the presence of external FP tumors. Surprisingly, only 7 of the captured turtles had external FP tumors; however, FORCE BLUE and its collaborators plan to continue sampling in this area in subsequent years to increase the sample size and get a better estimate of the true FP prevalence rate for this region. This mission was different from what the FORCE BLUE team was typically used to, as most of this work took place above the surface of the water. However, they were enthusiastic, engaged, and hard-working. This mission was described by some of the members of FORCE BLUE as the \"coolest yet.\"

It can be seen very easily that in just a short amount of time, they have hit the ground running through numerous and very impactful ocean conservation efforts. In speaking with members of FORCE BLUE, they describe their work with ocean conservation as \"proactive\" and \"positive,\" which helps with their healing process as military operations can often be \"destructive.\" They hope that their program will serve to unite ocean conservation with the armed forces through retraining, retooling, and deploying them on missions of preservation to improve and conserve not only our planet, but also their own lives and the lives of their families.

haiti project

Haiti Ocean Project

Haiti Ocean Project has been educating Haiti's youth and fishermen and protecting their marine life since 2007. It was founded by former high school Journalism/English teacher Jamie Aquino, a native Floridian who currently lives in Royal Palm Beach. In one of the most impoverished countries in the world, with so many challenges such as natural disasters, poverty, poor infrastructure, unstable government and health epidemics, the ocean just isn't a priority in Haiti. However, Haiti Ocean Project has made the ocean and its marine inhabitants their number one priority, especially the sea turtles. They have conducted educational

workshops for youth and fishermen in key fishing villages where sea turtles are being killed. This has been instrumental in helping change mindsets and developing understanding about why this important marine species should be saved and protected. To date, Haiti Ocean Project has rescued and released almost 50 green and Hawksbill sea turtles in the past two years. In addition, Haiti Ocean Project is developing Haiti's first sea turtle hospital and rehabilitation facility behind their marine conservation center in Petite Riviere de Nippes. By emphasizing the need to protect these species, and showing empathy for the sea turtles, those involved with Haiti Ocean Project have established the same philosophies. Through their initiatives, Haiti Ocean Project encourages all involved to volunteer their time to do their part to help Haiti's vulnerable and threatened marine ecosystem. While the sea turtles are a priority, Haiti Ocean Project also focuses on other top-level species including sharks, stingrays and marine mammals. Last month, Jamie Aquino joined prominent shark scientists and conservationists aboard the M/V Alucia oceanx research vessel, to learn more about Haiti's endangered juvenile oceanic white tip shark population. This expedition was successful in that satellite tags were placed on three sharks, the first ever sharks tagged in Haiti waters. The first population studies on Haiti's marine mammals will begin this fall, facilitated by Haiti Ocean Project and a leading marine mammal scientist from the University of Florida.

key dives

Key Dives

It is my pleasure to nominate Michael Goldberg (Key Dives) for this Blue Business of the Year award. Keys Dives has been a leader in the movement toward responsible diving and citizen science in reef restoration. They regularly conduct reef clean-up dives, reef fish surveys, coral transplanting dives, and are always willing to partner with marine scientists to assist with their research. Our own research team from Clemson University had directly benefited from the strong support of Michael Goldberg and Key Dives. Soon their new non-profit organization for citizen science coral restoration will play a significant role in the new Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary restoration plan. With businesses like Key Dives and their outstanding commitment to marine conservation, we might just save our Florida Keys reef tract.


National Geographic - Planet or Plastic

From an iconic magazine published in June of 2018, to museum expeditions, and viral social media campaigns National Geographic\'s \"Planet or Plastics\" campaign has revolutionized awareness, advocacy, and corporate engagement for ocean conservation.
National Geographic\'s Planet or Plastic\'s initiative is a multiyear initiative designed to tackle the global plastics waste crisis.

\"Plastic pollution is one of the most important global environmental challenges of our generation,\" says Kathryn Keane, vice president of public programming. \"But, it is an issue that we can all do something about. This exhibition informs us about how we got here, the scope of the problem, and how we can each be a part of the solution. National Geographic has made a commitment to reducing our reliance on single-use plastics and our hope is that after seeing this exhibition visitors worldwide will join us in that commitment.\"

One of the more \"active\" elements of the Planet or Plastic business unit is the request for individuals and businesses to take a Planet or Plastic pledge to choose the planet over plastic and to share how they will make efforts to reduce their use of single-use plastic. To date,

people have pledged to help prevent more than 200 million single-use plastic items from reaching the ocean. The exhibition also provides actionable steps visitors can take in their lives to responsibly reduce, reuse, recycle, and refuse products with single-use plastic.

Beyond this impactful traveling exhibition, National Geographic is leading with science on this issue through three key components: scientific expeditions, grant opportunities, and global learning experiences. Starting with an initial expedition to study the type and flow of plastic in the Ganges River, National Geographic will provide science-based, actionable information to help local and national governments, NGOs, businesses, and the public more effectively invest in and implement innovative solutions. Through solutions-focused grants, National Geographic is funding scientists and innovators who develop or pilot solutions to the plastic waste crisis. National Geographic is also engaging students around the world on the Planet or Plastic initiative through unique classroom experiences, educational resources, and challenges to create real-world solutions. Learn more at

The Planet or Plastic initiative at National Geographic is truly unique in the way it informs, educates, and engages. This transformational business is very worthy of a Go Blue Award in the business category.


Sand Cloud

Sand Cloud is a San Diego based retail company with sustainably-produced and packaged products that donate 10% of their annual profits to marine conservation organizations around the world (Loggerhead Marinelife Center [LMC] is one of their partner organizations that receives donations). This company was started in 2014 by three young individuals with the dream to reinvent the beach towel and create a company that could give back to marine conservation. During the early stages of their company\'s foundation, Sand Cloud raised $15,000 on KickStarter and then appeared on the television show, Shark Tank where a deal for a $200,000 investment was secured in 2017. Since the appearance on Shark Tank, the company has continued to grow and now has an extensive social media following, with over 800,000 Instagram followers, 450,000 Facebook followers, and over 250,000 brand ambassadors.

They have used their social media influence to create a very profitable business, which donates back to marine conservation organizations including LMC, Marine Conservation Institute, Whale Shark & Oceanic Research Center, Surfrider Foundation, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, San Diego Coastkeeper, Hawaii Wildlife Fund, and Ocean Connectors. The brand ambassador program includes people of all ages, one of whom is a young environmentalist named Ryan Hickman that started an organization called Ryan\'s Recycling ( This organization has recycled over 99,000 pounds of trash and donates back to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. Sand Cloud recently partnered with this young eco-activist to design and market a tee shirt made from 100% recycled materials.

The LMC Research Department has partnered with Sand Cloud since February 2018, when our Field Operations Manager began working with one of the founders, Bruno Aschidamini, through Instagram. Sand Cloud has committed to donate a minimum of $5,000 annually to LMC\'s Research Department through social media collaboration. To date, Sand Cloud has donated $6,200 to our research department and thousands of dollars in merchandise to our staff and gift store (most recently, they donated an entire box of metal straws with the last gift store order). Last year, Sand Cloud designed a limited edition sea turtle towel which is co-branded with the LMC logo. Sand Cloud donated the first 100 of these towels to LMC, and we have continued to carry them in our gift store as a top seller. In addition to their monetary support, Sand Cloud often highlights the work of LMC on their social media platforms and is a clear supporter of our organization and mission. Bruno visited LMC in 2018 for a tour of the facility and plans to return in 2020 to visit with our research team during sea turtle nesting season.

Since their foundation, they have made a significant impact on marine conservation; with how quickly they\'ve grown in just a few years, one can only imagine the breadth of their future conservation efforts. I would greatly appreciate the consideration of Sand Cloud for Go Blue\'s Blue Business Award category.


Stoked on Salt, SOS Ocean Cleanup

Lisa has been in Fort Lauderdale here and since being enthralled by the beauty of the shore line and ocean during her teen years, she has worked with passion and conviction to protect, clean and conserve them. She is an amazing artist in her own right and uses "shoreline debris" as her only painting tools. She has a clothing line dedicated to bring awareness to the debris and conservation issues. Her SOS Ocean Clean Up group has held hundreds of successful Shore line Cleanups in Broward. She has worked in Lauderdale By the Sea businesses on a "Ban the Bag" program to stop the use of plastic bags. She has worked for hours on the beach at night behind a couple of Galt Mile hotels during spring break cleaning up the huge mess left over from the college parties to prevent the trash from being dragged into the ocean during high tide. She has painted amazing murals at the Windjammer and on buildings in Fort Lauderdale dedicated to bring awareness of endangered sea life, again using only "debris" as her tools. She has held events in Oakland Park and worked at Tortuga for the same reasons. News papers have written about her work in ocean conservancy. When I saw that you were taking nominations for a business that practices Ocean Conservation, Lisa and her businesses are shining examples. I hope you visit her facebook pages and web sites to get a true understanding that Ocean Conservancy is who she is. Oh and she is an avid diver who does reef clean ups too! See more at

*Lisa also nominated in the Blue Ambassador Category


Tropical Shipping

Tropical Shipping's first ship sailed from the Port of Palm Beach to Freeport, Bahamas in 1963 and we have been sailing every since to 30+ destinations throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean. We have always been good stewards of the ocean and environment. We follow all environmental guidelines for our ships and have 0 tolerance for anyone who would willfully violate them. We encourage our employees to participate in the community and many of our

employees volunteer for beach cleanup events.

We have just finished building our 6th new ship within the last 3 years that improve further our commitment to operating environmentally friendly in the Oceans. The 6 new ships are Tier III compliant as they are fitted with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) units to convert nitrogen oxides within our engine exhaust systems into less harmful elements such as: nitrogen, water and CO2.

The new ships have water lubricated shafts which eliminates an \"oil to water interface\". This in turn helps to further protect the environment against any failed seal which keeps oil out of the water

The 6 new ships are fitted with LED lights to reduce electrical consumption (less bunkers needed and reduced air emissions)

4 of the Hope Class vessels are each fitted with a Twisted Trailing Edge Rudder to reduce drag through the water which reduces bunker consumption. All of these are intended to have a positive effect on our environment.

PHILIPSBURG--Tropical Shipping has teamed up with REEF-IT St. Maarten and the St. Maarten Nature Foundation as the initial sponsor of a coral reef regeneration initiative in Philipsburg. At REEF-IT Snorkel Park, located at Dock Maarten in Great Bay, St. Maarten, about fifty pieces of coral have been transplanted onto special reef balls.

\"Thanks to Tropical Shipping\'s sponsorship, REEF-IT is able to fast-track the acquisition and installation of reef balls. These special concrete structures will support the growth and abundance of juvenile fish while providing an anchoring system to transplant and grow coral reefs\" stated REEF-IT\'s Steve Hammond.
\"Tropical Shipping is helping to lead the way and setting an example in corporate responsibility in St. Maarten and in other regions where they operate. REEF-IT has already been contacted by various other companies interested in sponsoring the coral reef regeneration initiative underway with the support of the Nature Foundation.\"

REEF-IT\'s Snorkel Park had a soft opening in March and since then has been setting up reef balls and starting to work with St. Maarten Nature Foundation to transplant coral fragments to start the regeneration process.
Tadzio Bervoets of Nature Foundation stated, \"We\'ve already been able to transplant approximately 50 coral fragments to the reef balls at the snorkel park from an area where the coral was threatened by poor water quality and sedimentation.

\"This is such a great public/private initiative where we not only give the island\'s coral reefs, some of which have declined by 80 per cent since Hurricane Irma, a fighting chance to regenerate, but at the same time develop a sustainable eco-tourism product which is unique in the Caribbean.

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