Pepsi Stronger Together, Force Blue And Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission Announce Marine Preservation & Restoration Initiative On World Oceans Day
Entitled Coastal Conservation Ops, the Program Includes Marine Debris Removal, Coral Disease Monitoring, Sea Turtle Survey and Rescue, Beach Clean-Ups, and More in Four Coastal Florida Cities This Summer
ORLANDO, Fla., June 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Just in time for World Oceans Day, Pepsi Stronger Together - Brand Pepsi's series of tailored grassroots initiatives to empower communities and ecosystems around the country - is teaming up with Force Blue and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for Force Blue x Pepsi Stronger Together Coastal Conservation Ops, a summer-long series of four marine conservation initiatives in coastal communities around Florida.
The extensive program - which includes marine debris removal, coral disease monitoring, sea turtle survey and rescue, beach clean-ups, and more - comes at a crucial time for the rich and delicate ecosystems that inhabit Florida's coastline. Targeting specific areas of need in the seaside communities of Destin & Santa Rosa Island, Jupiter Island, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa, the initiative will be augmented with public outreach and chances for members of the community to participate in meaningful ways.
"As we close in on a year of Pepsi Stronger Together, I am proud to have witnessed it blossom into the program it is today - contributing to lasting, meaningful change in communities around the country," said Derek Lewis, President, PepsiCo Beverages North America (South Division). "That is thanks to the amazing partners we have engaged along the way. By working with Force Blue and the FWC, we are helping to ensure the future of the incredible Florida coastline."
To kick-off the initiative, today Pepsi Stronger Together is hosting a private screening of 100 Yards of Hope - a documentary showcasing a year-long coral reef restoration project by Force Blue, along with a team of Special Operations veterans and scientists - at the Phillip andPatricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami.
"We are thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Pepsi Stronger Together to complement our efforts in restoring and preserving the incredible Florida coastline," said Jim Ritterhoff, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Force Blue. "We look forward to this summer's series of Coastal Conservation Ops to further our mission while highlighting the importance of protection and restoration of marine life - one of the biggest problems our environment faces today."
Following the screening in Miami, Force Blue x Pepsi Stronger Together Coastal Conservation Ops will begin on Florida's scenic panhandle on June 17, with a marine debris removal operation around Destin Jetty East, followed by a beach clean-up along nearby Santa Rosa Island. In celebration of the teams' hard work, Pepsi Stronger Together will then host a beach concert at Angler's Beachside Bar & Grill, featuring live performances from top country DJ Dee Jay Silver and country music duo LOCASH. One lucky concertgoer will have the chance to win a custom Pepsi Stronger Together Bumpboxx.
Over the course of the summer, the Coastal Conservation Ops program will visit the following locations to implement a comprehensive series of initiatives as follows:
Jupiter Island, July 26: Shallow water green sea turtle survey and rescue.
Fort Lauderdale, August 23: Coral reef monitoring mission to record any signs of Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease - a condition affecting over half of Florida's coral species — and to treat those colonies that may be threatened.
Tampa (Anna Maria Island City Pier), September 9: Marine debris removal operation in celebration of the NFL season kick-off.
"We know what a treasure our marine ecosystems are and that it is so important to conserve them for future generations to enjoy," said Rodney Barreto, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Chairman. "We believe partnerships like this can and will make a difference."
Members of the local communities in which the Coastal Conservation Ops are taking place can explore volunteer opportunities at www.forceblueteam.org/coastal-conservation-ops. To see previous examples of Force Blue and Pepsi Stronger Together's coastal conservation work, you can view b-roll at this link.
ABOUT PEPSI STRONGER TOGETHER Pepsi Stronger Together is a national initiative to empower and engage communities around the country by providing tailored programming and resources that bring people together. It was conceived with the idea that now, more than ever, we must foster a sense of connection and belonging, starting by investing locally. Launched in May of 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - engaging its network of partners in the South to shine a spotlight on essential front-line workers in a variety of industries - Pepsi Stronger Together was expanded in October of 2020 by partnering with NBA teams and charitable organizations to foster, among other things, community and police relations.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. Under this vision, Pepsi Stronger Together is continually evolving the program to respond to the cultural moment and meet the needs of communities across the United States. Stay up to date at pepsistrongertogether.com, where visitors can engage in conversation and learn about the latest community initiatives and how to give back. Follow the conversation on social media at @pepsistrongertogether.
ABOUT FORCE BLUE Established in 2016 as a means of addressing two seemingly unrelated problems— the rapidly declining health of our oceans and the difficulty far too many servicemen and women have adjusting to civilian life once their service ends — FORCE BLUE is the only 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization in the world that retrains and redeploys former Special Operations veterans and military-trained combat divers to work alongside scientists and environmentalists on marine conservation missions.
ABOUT FLORIDA FISH & WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) works to manage fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people. Biologists, law enforcement officers and other staff work together to protect and manage the state's more than 575 species of wildlife, 200 species of freshwater fish and 500 species of saltwater fish. The FWC uses scientific data to drive management decisions, balancing the needs of these fish and wildlife species, and the habitats that support them, with the needs of Florida's growing population.