At Inner Fire, we’ve been able to save thousands of plastic bottles from landfills and oceans by utilizing these materials in our leggings and creating value for our consumers with a durable, comfortable and fashionable product. A profit based business model means our company can grow, sustain our employees and as demand grows for our products so does our environmental impact.
It’s hard for anyone to deny that our ocean’s are on the brink of crisis. When it comes to finding solutions, communities, businesses and governments have to come together and take action. Unfortunately there is a preconceived notion that sustainable business practices are not cost effective. Non-profit and for-profit organizations are often pitted against one another leaving the environment at a stalemate. But what if instead we could take the best minds from business and conservation to create solutions that are mutually beneficial to all parties? The result would be that environmental initiatives would be pushed through alot faster.
Sea to Sky Ventures is a Vancouver company on the forefront of this movement. They are a for profit attractions company, creating experiences that educate visitors on the local culture and environment while supporting conservation initiatives.
In Vancouver they launched the Queen Elizabeth Park Zipline a project that ran for 2 months with the support of the Vancouver Parks Board. Over this period 25,000 riders were able to visit the park and experience unique perspectives of the city and underlying gardens. At the end of the season the park was left without any negative environmental impact, $13,600 had been donated to local charities and $45,000 was generated for Vancouver Parks and their ongoing conservation initiatives.
Their most recent project, Pelican Peak, a series of experience based attractions in St. Maarten has Sea to Sky Ventures partnering with Sea Legacy, a global oceans conservation organization, and other world renowned marine biologists, scientists and conservationists to launch the Plant a Million Coral Campaign. This initiative was founded by Dr. David Vaughan, and will see one million corals planted throughout the Caribbean Basin by 2025.
“Shortly after we first broke ground on the Pelican Peak zipline hurricane Irma hit. The island was devastated by the highest winds ever recorded in history. Almost every part of the island was affected by the storm, even the local corals. The island’s economy that relies heavily on tourism was brought to a stand still.”
This restoration project is important not only to the ecosystem but also for St. Maarten’s economic future, many of the water sport attractions and fishing have reliance on the coral reefs.
Photo of a popular St. Maarten hotspot before and after Irma hit in September 2017.
The IntelliReefs being installed on three sites around the island are marine biodiversity habitats that assemble like architectural ‘LEGO’ units. Each unit can grow medicines or minerals, create restorative micro climates, or attract reef predators away from healthy reefs.
These units have been proven to grow coral species in just 2 years that typically take a 100 years to grow on their own in the oceans.
Pictured above Dr. David Vaughan, President and Founder of the Plant A Million Corals initiative and a marine scientist responsible for developing the micro-fragmentation technology and implementation of the coral refusion techniques utilized in coral re-growth technology.
“Conservation does not happen by working in isolation. Creating healthy and abundant oceans, protecting what is vital and ensuring that life is sustainable for all takes collaboration and a willingness to step out of a paradigm that says "This is the way it's always been done." We must realize that building a better future is only possible through collaboration and creativity.
St. Maarten lost 80% of its coral in Hurricanes Maria and Irma last year, and while this could be a story of doom, some of the sharpest minds in science, business and communication have come together to change how the story ends.
When work to rebuild and preserve ecosystems is embraced by business, government and a global conservation community, we can create the change our oceans so desperately need.” -Sea Legacy
You can learn more about Sea to Sky Ventures at: www.SeatoSkyVentures.com
Photo Credit Ian Kellet