Blue Community Program Strategies For the Caribbean Region
and Gulf Coast States
The Waves of Change Blue Community program is an opportunity for coastal communities to declare their own work to protect the oceans and promote ocean sustainability.
The oceans are under increasing threats from pollution, overfishing, impacts of climate change including coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and increased storm intensity. The Waves of Change campaign is responding to these issues with ocean clean up programs, improving ocean literacy, supporting ocean champions, ecosystems restoration, and programs to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Unless policies for protection of the oceans and promotion of ocean sustainability are increased, coastal communities are likely to experience adverse impacts.
The good news is that every community has the opportunity to do its part to reverse current trends. Every community has its own unique challenges and opportunities to become a Blue Community.
The process is simple and straightforward. The Blue Community program in collaboration with Sustainable Travel International has a process for certification of lodges, tour operators, attractions, and resorts in a community for sustainability certification.
In addition the Blue Communtiy program is presently working to support the Global Sustainable Tourism Critiera for communities and destinations seeking to become sustainable, reduce disaster risks, and improve their economy through eco-friendly tourism.
Who Is Interested in The Blue Community Model?
Resorts and related tourism industry
College and Universities
Sustainability, Disaster Reduction, and Economic Development will be the three major themes of the Blue Community Program.
The Blue Community program provides sustainability strategies for energy, water, food, transportation, health, and much more. Walt Disney World™ in strategically addressing these concerns.
Walt Disney Company corporate goals are good bench marks for others working to be a Blue Community.
Disaster Reduction & Vulnerability Management
The United Nations International Strategies for Disaster Reduction program has identified sustainability as the best way to prevent, mitigate, and recover from potential disasters. The Blue Community program provide a number of best practices for disaster reduction and vulnerability management.
Economic Development & Eco-Friendly Tourism
For a travel and leisure company to utilize Blue Community strategies they must be economical. Walt Disney World™ provides a model for the economic benefits of a sustainability program. The Blue Community program provides strategies to enhance eco-friendly tourism and reduce costs in areas such as: energy, fertilizer, water, transportation, and other strategies to both attract tourism, and reduce costs of resort operations.
The "Sleeping Bear" of SustainabilityLast Updated on 2014-10-13 16:50:46On a recent visit to the Great Lakes of Northern Michigan, I had the chance to experience something I had never even thought was possible. Despite living in a coastal city for most of my life, for the first time I got a chance to run down a beach which sits at a 45 degree incline and hugs a lake. This was of course no ordinary beach. This was Sleeping Bear National Park. Every year, tourists travel in droves to Traverse City,Michigan and from there, it is just a short leap to Sleeping Bear. I must say that it was one of the most beautiful and unique national parks i have ever had the opportunity to visit. Nevertheless, I can imagine this not being the case if it were not for the principals of sustainability which are being implemented to protect and preserve this natural resource.
Tourism is everything here. Starting from the moment you drive... More »
Envrionmental ThreatsLast Updated on 2014-10-09 17:56:30Due to irreversible effects from humanity’s activities, the state of the environment is in a state of despair. It is difficult, or nearly impossible, to identify an ecosystem which has not been affected by global climate change. Threats not only to the integrity of fragile ecosystems, but also to humanity (culture, health and basic necessity) are mounting. The domino effect absolutely encompasses reality in the case of environmental threats. From the industrial revolution onward, civilization has released enough CO2, along with a string of other toxins, into a vulnerable atmosphere to cause entire ecosystems to collapse. A brief list of threats borne from the rise in CO2 levels follows: ocean acidification, widespread coral mortality, sea level rise, changes in migration behavior, desertification, increased severity of natural storm systems, drought/decreased water availability,... More »
Major Threat to TourismLast Updated on 2014-10-09 14:42:53I feel one of the major threats to tourism is water pollution. There are many government regulations in place to keep manufacturers from emptying toxic chemicals into our waters. The government imposes fines but many times it is cheaper to pay the fines than to truck out chemical waste or treat it. One way to combat manufacturers from emptying toxic chemicals into our waters would be to making the public aware what the manufacturers are doing. Expose them through media such as news and ads.
Pesticides run also affect the water. When it rains the run off of the pesticides runs into our lakes and streams killing the fish and polluting the water. Making organic/natural pesticides easier for farmers to afford and to make sure they work on their crops.
This Dutch Wunderkind Now Has the Funds to Build His Ocean Cleanup MachineLast Updated on 2014-09-25 18:23:33Dutch wunderkind Boyan Slat turned 20 this year. He also closed on $2 million in crowdfunding to build cleanup contraptions designed to intercept and remove plastic refuse from the ocean.
The world’s oceans contain millions of tons of garbage, much of it plastic debris that collects in gyres that span hundreds of miles. Slat, an aeronautical engineer and founder of the Ocean Cleanup, has been contemplating how best to attack this problem since the age of 16.
The solution he came up with, as I wrote in an earlier post, is to deploy several V-shaped floating barriers that will be moored to the seabed and strategically placed in the path of major ocean currents. The 30-mile-long arms of the Vs, he says, will catch buoyant garbage and trash floating 3 meters below the surface while allowing sea life to pass underneath.
In June, Slat, together with a team of about 70... More »
From Despair to Repair: Dramatic Decline of Caribbean Corals Can Be ReversedLast Updated on 2014-09-15 18:27:49Gland, Switzerland, 02 July 2014 – With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish.
The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the... More »
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