Volunteers pitch in to pull out invasive seaweed at a coastal cleanup for the Outrigger Resorts’ Ozone kickoff. (Photo: Hawaii: IRL/Flickr)
Consider this a friendly reminder that the oceans are for more than swimming, sailing, and taking Instagrams. Here are five places where you can help conserve the planet and protect its waters.
Outrigger recently announced its first global conservation program, named Ozone. In hopes of raising awareness about the world’s waters, the global company is offering resources like informational videos in hotel rooms or on-site lectures. Visitors in some waterfront properties can even plant coral. Outrigger and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association are partnering with local organizations near various beachfront locations. Take the Waikiki Aquarium in Hawaii. During the Ozone kickoff last month, over 100 volunteers helped pull 220 pounds of seaweed from a Hawaiian coral reef. (Seaweed can sometimes bleach or transfer toxic chemicals to coral.)
Palawan is better known for housing some of the most natural beaches in the Philippines, but El Nido puts a more caring spin on a visit here. The four-branch resort works with the local community and government to prevent illegal fishing, and has helped install artificial “eco-reefs” in a local dive site that was destroyed by typhoons. It’s actually the second in the world to receive ceramic coral modules used for the restoration. Guests can partake in activities such as wildlife study and observation, bi-monthly coastal clean ups, or the Turtle Tracking Tour, which lets visitors track turtles in their natural habitats and as they hatch.
This waterfront resort on the coast of central California has the great advantage of calling the Monterey Bay Aquarium its neighbor. Both the resort and the aquarium take part in SeaFood Watch, one of many area programs that promotes sustainable fishing. Guests can also take advantage of the Plaza’s special packages — for adults and families — which include two consecutive day tickets to the aquarium. Let the kids learn about aquatic life and even see it face-to-face in specialized scuba activities.
You can save the turtles by staying and volunteering at resorts like El Nido or Four Seasons Nevis. (Photo: Derek Keats/Flickr)
This West Indies resort is worth more than its luxurious beachfront location. The resort has a partnership with the International Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Nevis Turtle Group for a special seasonal program that lasts throughout turtle nesting season, from June to October. Vacationers can join nighttime tours to turtle nesting grounds to watch eggs hatch or mark nests for safekeeping and observation. Children can participate in turtle-themed arts and crafts activities on the beach, too.
Holland America Line
Here’s how to save the waters while you’re on the water. In conjunction with the Marine Conservation Institute, this 15-ship cruise line runs a program called “Our Marvelous Oceans” to raise awareness about ocean conservancy. Whether you’re sailing to the Caribbean, Hong Kong, or Antarctica, there are many ways to participate: snorkel in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; take a nighttime kayak adventure into a bio-luminescent bay in Puerto Rico; go on a nature cruise to observe Hector’s dolphins in New Zealand. The ships also offer a sustainable seafood menu, and a segment of the program, “Saving The Ocean’s Gems,” promotes the marine-protected areas that the ship sails past. Holland America’s partnership with the institute runs through 2016.
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