Panama Leads the Way with Eco Diving - Ocean First Institute

Panama Leads the Way with Eco Diving - Ocean First Institute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 29, 2016 Panama Leads the Way with Eco Diving Scuba 6 Eco Diving Awarded the Blue Certified Eco-Label BOCAS DEL TORO, ...

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Panama Leads the Way with Eco Diving Scuba 6 Eco Diving Awarded the Blue Certified Eco-Label BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA (February 29, 2016) -Today, Scuba 6 Eco Diving announced it has been awarded the Blue Certified eco-label. Scuba 6 joined the Blue Certified program in July 2015 because it wanted a proven step-by-step system to achieve more efficient business practices, increase cost savings, and attract more clients who care about the ocean.

Blue Certified aims to protect the sea creatures we cherish

Developed by Ocean First Institute (OFI), in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, Blue Certified provides scuba dive operations with the tools to perform better for themselves, the environment, their local community, and their customers. The Blue Certified program team walked Scuba 6 through the 3 P's of business sustainability that include economic (profit), environmental (planet) and socio-cultural (people) best practices. The Blue Certification Award gives Scuba 6 Eco Diving bona fide recognition for its work as a sustainability leader in the dive industry.

Ginette Bariteau and the proud team of Scuba 6 Eco Diving

Ocean First Institute

3015 Bluff Street

And pairing green travelers with green dive shops is great for business. “Customers choose us specifically for our Eco Diving and for what we represent” says Ginette Bariteau, Owner of Scuba 6 Eco Diving. As part of the eco-certification, Scuba 6 Eco Diving completed the baseline level of the initial criteria and submitted evidence which was officially verified by OFI. Bariteau adds, “By focusing on sustainable business practices, we are growing and attracting even more quality clients that are very happy, come back, and give referrals. We did better over the last 6 months than we have done for 5 years.”

Boulder, Colorado 80301

With tourism and coastal development on the rise, potential negative impacts on communities and coral reefs are realities. But tourism can be a force for good by creating positive impacts as well. Blue Certified guides dive centers towards operating at an optimal level in all day-today operations and in relation to their biggest stakeholder, the ocean. “Dive operators are true stewards and guardians of the ocean,” shared Dr. Mikki McCombKobza, Executive Director of OFI. “They are deeply connected to it -- and want to protect it. Through their livelihoods, their customers and their day-to-day practices, these tourism businesses have an opportunity to protect what they love, while strengthening their market reach.” Added OFI sustainability consultant, Deby Stabler, “Imagine a vacation that improves the destination you are visiting. Tourist dollars can boost community economic development by hiring local staff and purchasing items within the area’s supply chain.” About Blue Certified Blue Certified enables dive shops to plan for sustainability by using globally recognized criteria specifically designed for dive operators. With partnerships throughout the dive industry, the Blue Certified program is preserving the livelihood of the dive industry and the health of marine environments. For more information, visit About Scuba 6 Eco Diving Scuba 6 Eco Diving continually strives to surpass customer expectations and to forge a path to a more sustainable dive industry that others can follow. Scuba 6 Eco Diving is the only dive shop in Bocas del Toro to have been awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 4 years in a row. Scuba 6 Eco Diving’s goal is to offer extended bottom time and share a love and knowledge of the marine environment so that visitors get the most from the time spent underwater. For more information, visit ### For inquiries: Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza Executive Director of Ocean First Institute 303-956-7885 [email protected]

Ocean First Institute

3015 Bluff Street

Boulder, Colorado 80301