Enjoying our oceans is what cruising is all about. We love to snorkel in them, swim in them, float on them, and watch a sunset over an uninterrupted horizon. In order for that to continue for future generations, it's important that we take care of them.
We have already discussed on the blog NSW's proposed new regulations regarding fuel emissions (these did pass, by the way), and UNESCO's concerns regarding the Great Barrier Reef. With so many concerns around the state of the earth's waters, it's good to see the world's largest cruise company lending a hand with the conservation effort.
Carnival donates to The Nature Conservancy
With a gift of $2.5 million over a 5-year period starting in 2014, Carnival Corporation's Carnival Foundation has lent its support to the Nature Conservancy, a leading nonprofit conservation organisation which works around the world to protect lands and waters.
Already the first year of support has allowed the Conservancy to further some of its critical ocean-based preservation programs, including:
- New coral nurseries being built in the Caribbean
- Transplanting coral formations throughout the Bahamas and the U.S. Virgin Islands
- Installation of pilot reef enhancement structures as a habitat for marine wildlife and a potential area for growing coral in Grenville Bay, Grenada.
Maria Damanaki, the Global Director for the Nature Conservancy's Ocean Program, expressed the organisation's gratitude. "The Nature Conservancy truly appreciates Carnival Foundation's support for our global and Caribbean-specific oceans conservation work. Carnival Foundation's five-year commitment to preserving the world's vital marine resources - and the many benefits they provide - has a major impact on our efforts."
She added, "As we look ahead to the next four years, by supporting our Caribbean Challenge Initiative, Carnival Foundation's support will help nearly triple the protection of the region's iconic waters and coasts by helping conserve 21 million acres of these important areas."
The world's leading cruise region, the Caribbean is a wonderland under the water as well as above. It has 10% of the world's coral reefs, 1,400 species of fish and marine life and some very rich biodiversity. It's certainly an ocean worth preserving, and the Nature Conservancy is doing its best. Their Defend Paradise campaign and Caribbean Challenge Initiative are aimed at making a brighter future for the Caribbean.
Why does this paradise need defending? Like the Great Barrier Reef on the other side of the globe, the statistics are not great. There has been a 60% decline in live coral over the past 30 years, and 70% of the region's beaches are eroding at a significant rate. Other issues include overfishing, climate change and pollution.
Activities and efforts on the agenda for the organisation include the creation and management of marine parks by Caribbean countries, the restoration of coral reefs, sustainable fishing and tourism, and reduction of marine pollution. The programs have already experienced success, with hundreds of thousands of trees planted across the region, 10 caribbean governments supporting the Caribbean Challenge Initiative, 16,000 corals growing in nurseries, a 20-million acre shark sanctuary declared in the British Virgin Islands and more than 150,000 mangroves planted in Haiti, the Bahamas and Grenada.
We applaud the Nature Conservancy and Carnival Foundation for their good work so far. Have you been on a Caribbean cruise? Here's hoping it will be just as beautiful for many years to come! Go on Cruise Sale Finder to book your next cruise, may it be a short break, an adventure cruise or a luxury cruise.