Atlantis Marina at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort
and Casino in The Bahamas recently received the prestigious Blue Flag
marina certification by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE),
an independent international organization. This certification signifies
that stringent water-quality, safety, and environmental management and
education programs have been established by the resort.
The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label awarded to more than 3,100
beaches and marinas in 36 countries across Europe, Africa and
the Caribbean each year. The Atlantis Marina was the only marina in
The Bahamas to meet the 22 criteria necessary to receive the Blue
Flag honor in 2006. Marinas and beaches participating in this voluntary
program work with FEE to ensure the sustainable development of beaches
and marinas around the globe.
“We have long been aware of the threats facing our oceans, and for
many years we have been dedicated to promoting ocean awareness, conservation
and education to our many guests and employees through development of innovative
marine life habitats and programs,” said Sol Kerzner, executive chairman,
Kerzner International Holdings Limited (KIHL).
KIHL is a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts,
casinos and luxury hotels. KIHL’s flagship brand is Atlantis, which includes
the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Casino, a 2,317-room, ocean-themed destination
resort located on Paradise Island.
“The company is committed to extending these standards to our properties
around the world,” Kerzner continued. “We have succeeded in
building the world’s largest open-air marine habitat at Atlantis Paradise
Island, which has helped more than five million visitors to better understand
our oceans’ ecosystems by putting them in contact with over 250 species
of marine life.
“I am so proud that we have reached another milestone in protecting our
most valuable natural resource,” he said.
The unique property at Atlantis Paradise Island features three interconnected
hotel towers built around a 97-acre waterscape, and more than 20 million
gallons of fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools and habitats. The resort’s
new dolphin interaction and education center, Dolphin Cay, was created with the
goal of enlightening visitors about the wonders of these remarkable ocean inhabitants.
In order to earn and retain Blue Flag status and standards, Atlantis has made
several additions to its 63-slip luxury port. Signage displayed prominently
at the marina office outlines the Atlantis Marina code of conduct, which includes
proper disposal of recyclable goods in separate bins for oil, batteries and aluminum
cans. Additionally, the resort has partnered with The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
to publish a handbook that provides boaters with facts about the Islands of The
Bahamas and the country’s precious marine resources, along with fish-catching
laws, lists of indigenous endangered marine species and environmentally protected
areas that are prohibited by watercraft.
“I am truly delighted that Atlantis Marina has become only the third marina
in the region to be awarded the prestigious Blue Flag certification,” said
Earlston McPhee, general manager of planning investment and sustainable tourism
within The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. “All of us who invest, work
and depend on the valuable resources which drive this important tourism industry
must be cognizant of the fact that future economic and social opportunities are
directly tied to our current management of these resources.”
The Blue Flag certification follows Kerzner International’s announcement
a year ago to invest more than $5 million over five years to support Kerzner
Marine Foundation (KMF), a non-profit foundation that seeks to foster the preservation
and enhancement of global marine ecosystems through scientific research, education
and community outreach.
The Foundation’s mission is to protect the integrity of tropical marine
ecosystems around the world, with priority projects focused in the Caribbean,
Asia and the Middle East. Other missions include the development and management
of marine protected areas (ocean sites that enjoy a level of protection similar
to U.S. national parks), coral reef and cetacean conservation, and local and
Editor’s note: In coming issues of green@work magazine, we will focus our
attention in the areas of sustainable tourism policy and program development,
partnership development, environmental impact assessment, environmental management,
stakeholder consultation and facilitation. We will feature the best sustainable
tourism practices, strategies and partnerships in various international destinations.