Rate This Topic

Average: 0/5

9. Protect Coastal Habitat & Cultural Heritage

Protecting coastal habitat & cultural heritage is a key strategy to coastal habitat and ocean protection.

Sea life depends on the beaches, estuaries, marshes, sea grass, and wetlands for their survival.  Tourism depends on clean and healthy beaches for its economy.

The Waves of Change partner Tampa Bay Watch has been a model for preserving coastal habitat through a variety of programs including:



Walt Disney Vero Beach Resort offers a model for tourist industry involvement through such programs as:

  • Eliminating towels left on the beach by requiring a refundable deposit for towels
  • Closing drapes at dusk to protect turtles from lights
  • Using special LED lighting that has been installed to both meet codes and protect turtles
  • Providing extensive guest communication for turtle friendly activities during turtle season
  • Having Disney Cast members partiicpate in the Ocean Conservancy beach clean-ups
  • Participating in turtle tracking programs for State and Federal Fish & Wildlife

Disney Vero Beach Resort


              Disney Turtle Tracking Program               Disney Cast members participting in Beach Clean-Up


Protecting cultural heritage includes any form of artistic or symbolic material signs which are handed on from generation to generation to each culture. Cultural heritage can be tangible or intangible.

Intangible cultural heritage is defined by UNESCO as practices, expressions, knowledge, skills that communities, groups and in some cases individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage” . Tangible cultural heritage is often also referred to as cultural property. Cultural property is movable or immovable property with importance to the cultural heritage of every people, for instance buildings and books.

Protecting cultural heritage involves a number of strategies including but not limited to:


  • Developing policies that promote protection of cultural heritage.
  • Improving training and education of both tourism businesses and guests they serve.
  • Support for UNESCO World Heritage programs.
  • Legal protections.
  • Developing political support for cultural heritage protection.
  • Developing an ethic with military operations to protect cultural heritage sites
  • Environmental protection such as keeping air pollution from damaging heritage sites.

Sensitivity to cultural heritage can begin in the early development of tourist facilities.
A case in point is the Disney Alunai Resort in Hawaii.  Some of the strategies developed by Disney to preserve cultural heritage for this resort include but are not limited to:


  • Disney Imagineers working with locals in initial design to celebrate Hawaiian culture and history.
  • Resort architecture honors fundamental concern between nature and humanity that Hawaiian culture has cherished.
  • Art work is chosen to honor the traditional images of the culture.  Disney worked with the local artists to keep the integrity of the culture in tact with the art work in the resort.


Disney Aulani Resort Celebrates and Preserves Cultural Hertiage

Recently Updated
Tackling the Plastic Trash in Our Oceans Last Updated on 2015-02-18 11:55:41 Article: Experts Say World Dumps 8.8 Tons of Plastic in Oceans Article Link: http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=101005NXZF3A A new study has determined that about 8.8 million ton of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans, an amount much higher than estimated in the past. By 2025, the total plastic trash in the world’s oceans will reach 170 million tons if people do not reduce their waste generation and improve the collection. This estimate is based on population trends and current waste management processes.  Currently, developing Asian countries are some of the top polluters based on how they dispose of their trash. Five countries are responsible for half of the plastic waste that goes into the oceans; they are China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. Out of the total trash in the ocean, China contributes 2.4 million tons of plastic,... More »
Rising Ocean Temperatures May Mean Sea Turtles Stop Basking On Land Last Updated on 2015-01-27 10:06:09                              Warmer oceans will put the chill on sea turtle behavior, causing the endangered animals to stop basking on beaches within the next century. That's the surprising take-away from a new analysis of turtle surveys and satellite data published Jan. 14, 2015 in the journal Biology Letters. The big green turtles--adults weigh 240 to 420 pounds and have carapaces spanning three to four feet--gather on sunny beaches around the world to raise their body temperatures. The cooler the ocean, the more they bask. But the analysis--a close look at six years of turtle surveys and 24 years of satellite data--suggests the behavior will end globally by 2102 if global warming trends continue. In Hawaii, the primary focus of the new research, it could end as soon as 2039. "By comparing... More »
Sea Level Rise in South Beach Last Updated on 2015-01-26 14:20:14 For anyone that has been to South Beach, they know that basically wherever they turn, the ocean is surrounding them. Whether it’s seen from high story balconies or a few blocks inland, the water surrounds the popular tourist area. The proximity of the ocean is definitely a perk for tourists and businesses in the area, however it is an issue with the threat of sea level rise in the area. City officials plan to raise West Avenue, a popular street in the South Beach area, between one and half to two feet in the upcoming years in order to better prepare for the expected sea level rise. In order to raise the road, there will have to be improvements in storm water drainage and sewage that will install more pumps to prevent flooding from rain and high tides. The Public Works director is emphasizing that it is better to focus on raising the underground infrastructure instead of redoing... More »
One Caribbean Country’s approach to Geotourism: “Pure Grenada” Last Updated on 2014-12-01 15:14:27 The tri-island state of Grenada is the smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere. When people hear a reference to Grenada, it may conjure up different images for different people. I think about Grenada as the place that my brother considered attending medical school. Some people may reflect on the 1983 U.S. invasion of the country, when the Reagan administration sent in forces to prevent a spread of Communism in the Caribbean. And some may instantly think about the island’s natural beauty, with its volcanic crater lakes, bubbling hot springs, waterfalls, and a dense rainforest that houses an abundance of plant and animal life. Grenada’s tourism officials put their money on people soon thinking about the island as “Pure Grenada.” Led by the global advertising giant, Inglefield/Ogilvy & Mather, a “Pure Grenada” campaign,... More »
Machu Picchu: The Prime Example of Geotourism Last Updated on 2014-12-01 14:51:05 Machu Picchu is a historic site designed by the Inca Empire, currently located in the modern day Cusco Region in Peru. The site dates back to the 15th century and is known as the “Lost City”[1] due its recent discovery in 1911, centuries after the Spanish Explorers took over the Empire and its region. The site is over 7,000 feet above sea level where it is believed that roughly 1,200 people could have lived at one point, although many believe it was used more as a retreat for the Incan rulers. Machu Picchu is separated into three areas: agricultural, urban, and religious. The various structures all fit under these areas, located specifically to accommodate living, agriculture, water collection, and religious ceremonies[2]. Preserving Machu Picchu falls under geotourism, tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place focusing on its environment,... More »