At Paddle with a Purpose we believe that you can save the planet while having fun! By cleaning our waterways, beaches, and shores, people would help the environment while building community, growing pride, and find new places to explore and enjoy! Cleanups improve the appearance of the landscape, which can encourage tourism.
Not only is Paddle with a Purpose’s mission to clean up Florida’s waterways, but also the WORLD’s waterways while ensuring the involvement of travelers in the effort! Beyond the amount of trash collected, cleanups teach humans about the value of natural resources and to cherish the finite resources. A great case in example is Florida, which is known to be visited by many tourists that can have a negative impact on the environment.
Florida does have concerns about how tourism has and will impact its environment, thus, wants to be “as healthy as they might appear to the untrained eye” (Silk). The first audit of Florida’s beaches, in 1989, indicated massive erosion of beaches. In turn, that affects species in the state, most particularly in the famous Everglades. To raise awareness on the impact of tourism on the environment is to include tourists in cleanup efforts by including it in safari packages where they can teach entire families about the preservation of the environment, having a lasting impact for generations to come.
Another approach to protecting the environment is to enact restrictions on recreational activities. Florida has limited the amount of people going on fishing trips, encouraged catch-and-release programs, and closed fishing zones. These enforcements could negatively impact Florida’s tourism revenue, yet these efforts could be utilized to encourage the rebounding of certain species’ numbers; hence, encouraging more eco-tourism. Paddle with a Purpose will work to enact guidelines to enable these goals to come to fruition.
The coral reefs, in particular, are highly susceptible to damage from human activities. Agencies in Florida would like to “promote outdoor voluntourism and to educate people about how to tread lightly on the reefs” (Silk). The ‘twist’ on tourism could lead to more revenue pouring into the State, yet at the same time, improving the environment through the education and efforts of tourists that want to preserve the cherished environmental areas such as the mangroves, Everglades, countless beaches, and wildlife of Florida.
My dear reader, do you like travel, tours, and helping the environment while having fun? Contact Paddle with a Purpose to arrange “voluntourism” as part of your trip to Florida! You can reach us by calling, texting us at 954-998-7618. Please follow us on Instagram / Facebook! Our e-mail is [email protected].
Silk, Robert. “In Florida, Fears Grow That Environmental Damage Will Hurt Tourism.” Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly, 20 Sept. 2015, www.travelweekly.com/North-America-Travel/In-Florida-fears-grow-that-environmental-damage-will-hurt-tourism.
Written by Laura Tollin, Volunteer Writer for Paddle with a Purpose