We continue our series of blogs from the Aquanauts Grenada team, this time focusing on recent Grenada Dive and Conservation Festival.
Diving is one of those activities that takes you into a world in which few will ever get to experience. An alien-like world right here on Planet Earth, but one that is dependent on all of its surrounding ecosystems.
When we celebrate diving, why not celebrate the role of surrounding ecosystems? It is well known that what happens on land, impacts the underwater world and, consequently, what happens in the underwater world, impacts the land. “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle.
As diving has evolved, so has our understanding of the marine ecosystem and its dependencies on the surrounding environment. This past May in Grenada, the annual dive festival was held with a very genuine twist. The Grenada Dive & Conservation Festival aims at creating a festival which highlights Grenada’s conservation efforts, above and below the surface.
Tiffany Geer from Aquanauts Grenada has continually highlighted the importance of collaboration within the path of sustainability. Tiffany stated, “We chose to live in Grenada because of the incredible diversity above and below the surface. We saw how many groups were taking action towards sustainability and we knew this would be a place where we could collaborate with other organizations and make a lasting impact towards a sustainable future.”
The country of Grenada is embracing the importance of marine conservation by creating marine protected areas for endangered species, coral gardening and restoration, regulating plastic waste, and promoting sustainable fishing practices. The Dive & Conservation Festival provides a platform to raise awareness of these efforts and bring together global marine conservation leaders to discuss further ways to protect our oceans.
After co-orchestrating the first Dive & Conservation Festival (DCF) in 2022, Tiffany wanted to create a festival that produced a template which could be easily replicated by others and thus expand the positive impact for the benefit of our planet. The festival went off this past May with great success! The 2023 festival allowed attendees to learn about various land and sea conservation efforts happening throughout the country of Grenada while also enjoying interactive in-person activities and educational Conservation Conversations with our community experts. The idea was to combine the elements of education, fun, voluntourism, and community action throughout each activity.
We kick-started the festival with a special screening of Chasing Coral at True Blue Bay Resort to inspire participants to take action throughout the week. We then transition into our plentiful activities, on land and underwater, including Wreck Diving, Reef Diving and Restoration with Grenada Coral Reef Foundation, Lionfish Hunting, Beach Cleanup, Sea Turtle Conservation Voluntourism, Farm-to-Table Culinary experience, Sustainable Sailing, Bird Watching, and a closing ceremony at The Tower Estate with a yoga and sound healing session followed by sustainable perfume conversation and planting tree saplings.
The Honorable Lennox Andrews, Minister for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism, ICT, Creative Economy, Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives, spoke at the opening ceremony. He spoke with great pride, passion and support of Grenada’s newest initiative to help protect and promote its blue economy.
The Honorable Roland Bhola, Minister of Agriculture, spoke at the closing ceremony in gratitude to the positive impacts of the events and hopeful of the continued highlights of our local community initiatives.
Through this programme and many other community-based initiatives, Grenada continues its mission of preserving the beautiful waters that have sustained it for centuries.