As with every organization, we feel the need to share our message and gain a broader audience to explore this precious cause. We here at Project.Bleu aim to not only educate you on the importance of marine conservation, but to also make you aware of the dangers and effects that we as a community have on these valuable and irreplaceable ecosystems.
When Project.Bleu was first founded, not really knowing which objective needed the most focus; we started asking the community questions...
From every viewpoint, you will have people who are passionate and supportive of this cause and you will also find people who care absolutely less about what swims, eats and breathes in and around the ocean. After months of research and countless volunteer hours logged at other local organizations, it became clear that there were two sides to every cause.
First, let us focus on the fighters. The people who volunteer their valuable time to combat what the other side fails to see. The fighters are on the front lines, or coastline if you will; cleaning up debris and garbage, protecting Sea Turtle nest populations, riding the waves by boat in search of marine violations, documenting fish populations, rescuing endangered and entangled species, rehabilitating the injured species, ensuring conservation of water quality and ecosystem structures. While the list could go on for paragraphs, at the end of the day what really matters is that while one side destroys, the other side must pick up the pieces.
Next you have the more laxed crowd, the ones who love the beach, sun and sand with drink in hand and lavish in the luxury of a clean beach and pristine blue waters. Those are the ones who carelessly throw their plastic straws on the shoreline, plastic bottle caps, cigarette butts, and whatever misc. garbage they need to "rid of". Dig holes in the sand to take fun family photos, build sandcastles with beaming pride and after a sun filled day they never think to fill in those holes, or knock down that castle. You have the fisherman who set sail daily in search of that one specific trophy fish to mount on their blank canvas at home and who are unstoppable until dawn when they return to shore with a boat full of prized fish. You have to weekend boaters, who spend their time at the local sandbar partying with their friends and leaving remnants of beer cans floating away to sea. Clearly, not everyone who choose to enjoy the ocean are as described, but unfortunately most are.
The latter group are just small examples of certain types of people that the conservationists and environmentalists are dealing with. The ones who carelessly wreck havoc on our shorelines leaving behind the physical memory of garbage, sand holes and reminders of why we need to educate. While they effortlessly enjoyed their day at the beach; the Sea Turtle who falls into that sand hole will not, the bird who nibbles on a cigarette butt and furthermore has trouble eating certainly won't, the plastic residue that ends up into the waters and is swallowed up by marine mammals and fish alike will not care that you had an amazing beach day.
The beach life is alive and well in the Southwest region of Florida but a major question became clear... What are we doing to help conserve and preserve the species that we trophy fish, endanger and profit from?
Project.Bleu aims to focus on ocean education and awareness. If people are not aware of the issues that the oceans face, they will not make educated decisions before throwing garbage onto land or into the sea. Our main goal is to help educate the community about the dangers of over fishing, the dangers of polluting and the dangers that marine species face on a daily basis. There has to be a happy medium and we seek to find that within the community. There should be no two sides, we should be working collectively towards one main goal... to SAVE our SEAS!