Sandals Resorts International (SRI), parent company of the Caribbean’s leading luxury all-inclusive resort brands Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts, is bridging the gap between healthy oceans and its Caribbean communities through a series of ongoing environmental initiatives. In honor of World Oceans Day, for every booking made on June 8th, a donation of $100 will be made on guests’ behalf to the Sandals Foundation, the not-for-profit organization established in 2009 to make positive change throughout the Caribbean.
“In the Caribbean, a ‘home’ is not merely a house or a room. Home is in the sands, in the breeze, and of course, in the ocean,” says Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International. “As we continue to expand, bringing more travelers into the Caribbean each year, our top priority is to maintain the natural beauty of the communities and habitats around us. Each year, we celebrate World Oceans Day, and this year, we’d love for our valued guests to join us in that. Together we can preserve the shores and sands of the Caribbean Sea for generations to come.”
Each booking-inspired donation will be given in full to the Sandals Foundation, with 100% of the collections going directly towards funding meaningful initiatives within the key areas of education, community and environment.
Beyond this, SRI, in partnership with the Sandals Foundation, has implemented expansive year-round programming that helps protect, preserve and give back to the ocean’s ecosystems and in turn, the Caribbean community that depends on them, including:
The Sandals Foundation actively engages students and fishers to reduce numbers of lionfish in marine spaces. In 2022, over 200 lionfish were culled from Sandals’ Fish Sanctuaries, with presentations made to students, fishers and community members throughout the year to encourage consumption. On resort, guests can join a special lionfish hunting dive where they will see firsthand what it takes to save our oceans from the invasive species. Divers, both beginners or pros, can earn a PADI certification in lionfish removal through an Invasive Species Tracker specialty certification course. Guests will follow up their dives with specially prepared (guilt-free) lionfish cuisine, the preparation of which is demonstrated by a local chef.
Through SRI’s newest partner Ocean Spirits, guests at Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts in Grenada and Jamaica can support turtle conservation for Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Green Sea turtles. In the 2022 turtle nesting season, a record 25,000 hatchlings were released. At resorts in the Ocho Rios region, guests can join in the efforts and participate in turtle tours, monitoring thousands of fresh hatchlings as they journey into the sea.
Since its inception in April 2009, the Sandals Foundation has made a priority of establishing coral nurseries throughout Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Grenada. In the past 14 years, Sandals has seen more than 20,000 coral fragments outplanted. The Foundation also funds ongoing coral nursery maintenance activities at the marine sanctuaries in an effort to reduce algal bloom and remove predators. Guests have the opportunity to help in the replanting of thousands of coral pieces to help restore local reefs, fish populations and shorelines in St. Lucia. While visiting Sandals properties in St. Lucia, guests can enjoy an introduction to coral nurseries and a coral outplanting PADI certified course designed to familiarize divers with the basic skills, knowledge and procedures of propagating corals in underwater nurseries and outplanting them on suitable reefs.
Future Goals is a landmark partnership program between SRI and AFC Ajax that turns fishing nets sourced from the ocean and recycled plastic waste into soccer goals for children. Founded to expand opportunity to Caribbean children through the power of youth sports, the program began in Curaçao with the debut of Sandals Royal Curaçao one year ago. Working with innovative local Curaçaon plastic recycling company Limpi, Future Goals has created 40 football goals since its launch last year; each made from recycled plastic bottles and caps, of which more than 600,000 have been collected through recycling efforts of residents as well as clean-up drives at beaches and in communities. Not only does Future Goals remove harmful plastic waste from beaches and oceans, it provides goals for valuable play, trains new coaches and makes a difference in the lives of local children.
Sharks 4 Kids
In collaboration with marine education organization Sharks4Kids, the Sandals Foundation has engaged more than 2,000 children in interactive learning sessions about the ocean’s most curious creatures. Participating students learn about shark conservation, shark tagging, and the important role sharks play in the Caribbean waters.
With the help of various partners across the Caribbean, the Sandals Foundation has developed educational videos and books to expand awareness about the importance of mangrove ecosystems, many of which face threats such as infrastructural development and contamination of toxic chemicals. Partnerships with Environmental Awareness Group in Antigua and The Adventures of Xuma in the Bahamas, plus many more, have helped develop resources for primary-level students to learn about mangroves with funding for these productions provided by the Sandals Foundation and its donors.
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In addition to its funding of local sanctuaries across the Caribbean, the Sandals Foundation independently manages two fully operational marine sanctuaries in Jamaica. The Sandals Foundation hires and trains local fishers to monitor the sanctuaries and interact with the local fishing communities. These community-sourced personnel are employed and trained in multiple disciplines, including coral outplanting, public education and patrolling.
Blue Business Certification
Through a partnership with Oceanic Global, the Sandals Foundation has engaged local businesses in Grenada and Jamaica to increase its capacity in marine conservation. Through a blue assessment and funded training, business leaders are taught the importance of streamlining their business practices due to close proximity to a marine environment. Recycling, the need to utilize biodegradable materials in their business processes, and other key elements are taught during the project.
To learn about Sandals and Beaches Resorts commitment to safeguarding the ocean, read our ‘World Oceans Day 2023’ blog post here.
About the Sandals Foundation
The Sandals Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the Caribbean’s leading family-owned resort company. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was created to continue and expand upon the charitable work that Sandals Resorts International has undertaken since its founding in 1981 to play a meaningful role in the lives of the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. The Sandals Foundation funds projects in three core areas: education, community and the environment. One hundred per cent of the monies contributed to the Sandals Foundation go directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean community. To learn more about the Sandals Foundation, visit online at www.sandalsfoundation.org or on social media @sandalsfdn.
About Sandals Resorts International
Founded in 1981 by the late Jamaican entrepreneur Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) is the parent company of some of travel’s most recognizable vacation brands. The company operates 24 properties throughout the Caribbean under four separate brands including: Sandals® Resorts, the Luxury Included® brand for adult couples with locations in Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia and Curaçao. Beaches® Resorts, the Luxury Included® concept designed for everyone but especially families, with properties in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica; private island Fowl Cay Resort; and the private homes of Your Jamaican Villas. Family-owned and operated, Sandals Resorts International is the largest private employer in the region. For more information, visit Sandals Resorts International
MEDIA CONTACT: 1-888-SANDALS, [email protected]