It’s one thing to talk about marine conservation; it’s yet another to do something about it. I’ve always encouraged anglers — or anyone who enjoys the water for that matter — to follow their passion and become an active participant in preserving our waterways. It’s why the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has awarded more than 100 scholarships in excess of $800,000 in recent years to students who are pursuing careers in marine science. It’s why we’ve funded the vital work of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at NOVA Southeastern University in excess of $7 million. And, of course, it’s why a portion of every dollar spent on Guy Harvey products and services goes toward marine conservation.
Now, I’m very proud to announce that, after several years of diligent work, we’ve made great strides in another area I’m extremely committed to: education. As you may know, I began my career as a college professor, utilizing my Ph.D. to teach Marine Biology. So educating our youth has always been a core passion of mine, along with creating art (and fishing and scuba diving).
We all know the critical nature of educating students on the importance of protecting our oceans so they can be leaders in a sustainable future. It’s this philosophy that has driven my educational instinct over the years and has now led to a new, collaborative project: the Guy Harvey Education Initiative.
In pursuing this project, we have been working with several major visionaries in the education space, such as Discovery Education (of Discovery Channel fame), Florida Virtual School, Ocean First Education, Mission Resolve Foundation, the Florida Department of Education, CPALMS and others key organizations to create the best marine science and conservation curriculum on the planet. Sadly, courses on these core subjects have been lacking. As a result, fewer teachers are teaching marine science, and therefore fewer students are learning about our oceans. They’re not receiving the tools and incentives they need to protect and preserve our waters.
We’re working hard to change that. For the past four years, the fall edition of Guy Harvey Magazine has been our dedicated “Education Issue.” In the following pages of this magazine, you can read all about our education initiative. You can also see more than 30 educational videos online at GuyHarvey.com, under the title of Jessica Harvey’s Expedition Notebook (yes, that’s my daughter). We’ve produced these 1-to-3 minute videos and are in the process of filming more covering topics that range from plastics in the ocean to coral reef restoration. All of them are free to watch on our website, on YouTube and on Discovery Education. Much of the content is written to meet state curriculum standards. Stay tuned as this initiative expands.
I’m also very pleased that we’ve made another major advancement, this time in our line of apparel. After an extensive search seeking raw materials for Guy Harvey shirts and other sportswear that is gentle on the planet, we found an extraordinary manufacturer in El Salvador that uses solar energy to help power their facility. They also use an advanced filtration system that recycles wastewater so that it’s clear and clean before being released into the environment. We were so impressed by their commitment to sustainable practices that we created a partnership. Now our clothing line is not only functional and attractive, but it’s also environmentally responsible from fiber to finished product.
Fishermen began buying my T-shirts more than 30 years ago because of the artwork on the back. They kept buying them because of our commitment to marine conservation. Now, when you purchase our apparel, you’ll know it was produced using the most earth-friendly methods available. I’m obviously quite excited about this program and being able to deliver high-quality products that reflect our beliefs and ultimately funds our research and education. You can read more about this fascinating company on page 48 of this issue. We’re proud of the partnership and the positive impact we will have in the years to come.
Even with the pandemic affecting all of our lives, we’re still able to take pride in at least two major accomplishments — teaming up with our new apparel manufacturer and launching an ambitious educational platform. Plus, there’s so much more going on in the Guy Harvey universe such as another lottery game in Florida coming out in May 2021. Proceeds from that will help to fund our research and educational initiatives. We were able to get permission from the Grand Cayman government to complete another stingray survey at the world-famous Stingray City. We recorded the highest number of rays since 2005, perhaps because of decreased human interaction due to the virus.
As always, thank you for supporting our organization. We are mindful of our obligation to protect and preserve our fisheries and waterways. If we all do our part, I’m confident in a sustainable future.
Fair winds and tight lines,