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SANDALS RESORTS INTERNATIONAL CONTINUES TO FOSTER A COMMUNITY OF OCEAN AMBASSADORS

SANDALS RESORTS INTERNATIONAL CONTINUES TO FOSTER A COMMUNITY OF OCEAN AMBASSADORS 2 / 4 Renowned aquanaut Fabien Cousteau and Sandals’ Corporate Director of Watersports, Michael Clarke, at Sandals Royal Curaçao following an exploratory dive to collect data for the advancement of PROTEUS™ – a multi-purpose underwater habitat to be developed a few nautical miles from the resort’s location on Curaçao.

A launching pad for underwater exploration, conservation and now research, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) honors the ecosystems that surround and sustain the nine islands it calls home, welcoming World Oceans Day with ocean preservation updates in the Caribbean.

An initiative of the United Nations celebrated each year on June 8th, World Oceans Day 2024 is a call to ‘awaken new depths’ — spreading momentum for the ocean via exploration, collaboration, commitment and more — in alignment with the Caribbean all-inclusive resort company’s approach to caring for the sea.

Welcoming Aquanaut Fabien Cousteau and PROTEUS™ Scientists to Sandals Royal Curaçao
The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is one of the region’s most coveted destinations for diving with its healthy fringing reef system and abundant marine life. Soon it will become home to the “International Space Station of the Ocean” – PROTEUS™ – led by world-renowned aquanaut Fabien Cousteau and a team of experts who make up Proteus Ocean Group. As the world’s most advanced, multi-purpose underwater habitat, PROTEUS™ is designed to drive innovation in the blue economy, amplify ocean storytelling and enable research to address pressing global issues. The modular, state-of-the-art global station will be accessible to public, corporate, academic, and non profit sectors as well as to private individuals.

Located just a few nautical miles from the potential site, Sandals Royal Curaçao recently hosted Cousteau and PROTEUS™ team of scientists who visited one of their considered locations to collect data crucial to the advancement of the project. The excursion was supported by Sandals’ PADI-certified scuba diving program and watersports experts, including Corporate Director of Watersports Michael Clarke, who hosted the group aboard one of its custom designed and state of the art Newton dive boats.

“Virtually everything you love and cherish about the beach, including the feel-good aspects of walking by the shoreline, is because of the ocean. Healthy oceans mean a healthy future, and we’re grateful for partners like Sandals who share our passion for taking action to improve them,” said Cousteau.

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During the exploratory dive, PROTEUS’ team of scientists installed a suite of sensors to capture variables ranging from temperature to water quality to the acoustic environment as they build toward an extensive network that will inform and benefit Curaçao’s coral reefs. This work was done in conjunction with the launch of a PROTEUS™ pilot community science program, where a group of experienced recreational divers dove alongside the PROTEUS™ science team to assist with their underwater research. This opens doors for future opportunities to engage non-experts in the research and science that will happen on PROTEUS™ to advance solutions to some of Earth’s most pressing issues.

“Understanding our ocean is critical to achieving a healthy ocean,” Cousteau adds.

Future Goals: Kids on a Quest to Save the Sea
Since its launch in 2022 just ahead of the opening of Sandals Royal Curaçao, the Future Goals program has provided local primary schools with nearly four dozen colorful soccer goals made of recycled plastic bottles and fishing nets pulled from the sea; the program is the brainchild of Sandals Resorts, the Sandals Foundation and AFC Ajax, the professional soccer team of the Netherlands, designed to inspire kids to be sustainability minded through a sport they love – soccer – and complemented by an academic program based on life skills taught in schools. Since the program’s inception, 3,858 pounds of plastic and 2,045 square feet of fishing nets have been pulled from the ocean and repurposed into 46 soccer goals and counting.

To mark the end of another successful academic year, 180 students across 14 schools in Curaçao were invited to participate in the Future Goals: Art Challenge, where students are engaged to produce unique art utilizing PolyEthylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles, caps, and packing materials. The students gathered in front of an esteemed panel of judges to pitch their creations, with a photo of the winners and their art debuting on billboards across the island beginning on World Oceans Day – empowering local communities to join the movement.

A Decade of Women’s Dive Day: Celebrations Under the Jamaican Sun and Sea
Together with its official dive partner PADI, Sandals Resorts is celebrating 10 years of Women’s Dive Day, announcing a special multi-day program at Sandals Ochi in Jamaica, July 18-22. The event will include specialty dives, curated programming, and on-resort activations, welcoming female divers of all levels to enjoy Sandals’ award-winning all-inclusive dive program. The itinerary also includes an all-women panel on Women’s Dive Day, July 20, along with a beach clean up and other ways to celebrate the sea. For more more information, visit Sandals.com/womens-dive-weekend/.

The Caribbean’s Top All-Inclusive Diving Program: A Commitment As Deep As The Sea
Year round, Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts guests are key to the brands’ mission to keep the ocean healthy and beautiful for sea life to thrive and local communities to prosper. Through projects organized by the not-for-profit Sandals Foundation in partnership with local Caribbean groups, guests have a positive impact on their vacation destination through the all-inclusive dive program; best of all, guests can enjoy unlimited scuba diving during their vacation, including the use of state-of-the-art equipment with PADI-certified instructors and dive masters at the helm.

“From the privilege of immersing travelers in the unique wonders of Caribbean life under the sea to preserving these fragile ecosystems for generations to come, we take a truly holistic approach to this amazing sport to create experiences that are not only memorable but impactful,” said Michael Clarke, Corporate Director of Watersports at Sandals Resorts International.

Coral restoration dives, lionfish hunting certifications and educational courses are offered at select resorts, giving scuba divers the opportunity to protect and care for an environment they cannot wait to dive into. This year, the Sandals Foundation celebrates 15 years, bringing together more than 82,000 volunteers to participate in environmental and ocean awareness education since its inception in 2009.