Apr 23, 2018 | BY Chris Couve
Summer 2017 saw the launch of Protect Blue – a sustainability conference with a difference. Supported by Starboard and Generation Blue with a focus on ocean conservation, it saw a diverse group of activists, athletes & sustainability experts travel to Noli, a small coastal town in Northern Italy.
The ethos of the event is to have conversations about sustainability whilst playing outdoors. Deepening our connection to nature and reminding us why we’re working so hard to protect it.
What followed was three days of paddling, hiking, swimming & exploring how we connect a community of ocean advocates and in doing so, have a greater impact in our work. The results were nothing short of awesome, with new collaborations, partnerships & projects being launched and a global community of passionate change makers who are committed to protecting our oceans.
Which brings us to 2018, and Protect Blue 2.0. We’re partnering with Plastic Tides (attendees of our inaugural event) and heading to Bermuda for this year’s event. Plastic Tides combines adventure and science to address plastic pollution via Stand Up Paddleboard expeditions, Education and Outreach. The 501c3 nonprofit was
founded in 2014 by three Cornell University students— Christian, Gordon & Céline — on a mission to combine their love of water-sports with environmental action.
Plastic Tides host the annual Devil’s Isle Challenge – A multi-day paddling event in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, a 40-mile circumnavigation of Bermuda – Part adventure race, part family friendly event & part fundraiser.
Protect Blue will take place in the 3 days preceding the race, starting on Wednesday 30th May through till Friday 1st June.
So what does a Protect Blue event look like?
The format of a Protect Blue event is pretty strict, and for folk who are used to going to sustainability conferences, a little out of the ordinary. Why? Because everything happens outside immersed in nature. There are no regular presentations, no powerpoints and definitely no rows of chairs in hotel conference rooms.
We believe in experiential education — which means you’ll play and learn at the same time. Hosted by our partners who will share their expertise with you whilst taking you on an awesome adventure. Think early morning hikes, SUP missions, jungle walks, snorkels & starlit dinners.
“I could talk for hours about Protect Blue. A group of people connecting for the first time. Making plans to make our oceans a better place. A new beginning. And for the event – the coolest conference event I have ever been to with amazing people.”
~ Wim Pyl, Mangata Adventure
Here’s what we learnt last year
Our Protect Blue community are smart cookies. They’re already immersed in the work and have a good understanding of the problems our oceans are facing. So this year, rather than our presenters teaching our participants about stuff they already know, and raising awareness of issues that they’re already informed about, they’ll be sharing their stories, best practice & the practical tools that you need to have a greater impact in the work you are doing.
“I didn’t know what to expect from Protect Blue but it ended up being one of the most important experiences of my life. I think that part of the reason why it was so successful was because of the people who that took – Really amazing, honestly kind, passionate, good, humble people. This transformed a great experience in something unique.”
~ Stefano Bellomo, Founder Greenrope
I wanna come! How do I apply?
We have very limited spaces available, so head to www.protect.blue/bermuda to register for a spot.
Here are some more pics from last year’s Protect Blue that took place in Noli, Italy
(Picture credits Georgia Schofield & David Altabev)