The Volvo Penta Conservation Stage at the Miami International Boat Show will offer free daily seminars and panel discussions to educate visitors about the positive role they can play in keeping the planet and our oceans clean. It’s among the new features at this year’s show, which begins its five-day run today.
In addition to Volvo Penta “joining the effort,” said Larry Berryman, NMMA vice president of southern shows and Miami show director, “this is the second year we’ve teamed up with Costa Sunglasses to encourage attendees to join the movement to #KICKPLASTIC.
“More specifically,” he added, “as boaters and anglers, we are the original conservationists. We want to ensure our waters are healthy for future generations, which is why this year we’ve expand the Costa Conservation Village with more partners and offerings for attendees to learn how they can be stewards to preserving the world’s greatest resources.”
The Costa Conservation Village will feature several of the industry’s conservation organizations and leaders, who will be on hand to discuss environmental issues, such as efforts to restore and protect marine ecosystems, responsible and ethical angling, gamefish conservation, and management of fish and wildlife resources.
Participants this year include the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida, International Game Fish Association, Ocean Habitats, the RECOVER Consortium, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Ocean Conservancy, Captains for Clean Water, Bonefish Tarpon Trust, NOAA Office of Marine Sanctuaries, the Billfish Foundation, Oris Watch Co., and 5 Gyres.
Sustainability will be the overriding theme at the Volvo Penta Conservation Stage, with a variety of seminars and panel discussions ranging from Everglades Restoration and ocean plastic pollution to cooking sustainable seafood, with live demos from James Beard Award-winning chef Allen Susser.
This year’s Miami show is also picking up where it left off in 2019: to reduce waste on-site by expanding its partnership with the Costa’s Kick Plastic initiative, which is helping to reduce single-use plastics at the show. Attendees from the 2019 event embraced the program, with thousands of single-use plastic water bottles saved from waste. In 2020, more water bottle filling stations will be offered at key points around the show, and Costa reusable aluminum water containers will be for sale to further reduce the amount of plastic used at the show.
As an incentive to purchase the reusable water bottles, show attendees who purchase a Costa Kick Plastic bottle will receive a complimentary visor (while supplies last), and the those posting on their social media with the #KickPlasticMIBS hashtag have a chance to win a pair of Costa Sunglasses.
Costa will display its Untangled Collection, a line of sunglass frames made from recycled fish nets. The collection boasts mineral glass polarized lenses, recycled aluminum Costa logos and PLUSfoam recyclable temple and nose pads.
Additional show initiatives to encourage conservation include:
- The show has eliminated plastic straws.
- Concessions include grab-and-go items that are recyclable and compostable.
- There will be zero Styrofoam on the premises (fourth year in a row).
- Renewable and plant-based coffee cups, sleeves and recyclable lids are integrated throughout the show site.
- No hard-plastic utensils on the docks or in the VIP Lounge.
The show is introducing Pepsi’s new 12-ounce aluminum cans for Aquafina and Gatorade, which launched earlier this month at the Super Bowl. The show is second in line to debut these eco-friendly cans to reduce single-use plastic at large-scale events.
Finally, as the gates opened this morning, Berryman noted that the transportation system to move thousands of people to and from Virginia Key was improved even more for this year.
“For the past five years,” Berryman said, “we have invested heavily in the creation of an all-encompassing transportation plan to help alleviate traffic and make it easy for exhibitors and attendees get to and from the show. Our transportation options are free and drop visitors off right inside the show from downtown Miami.”
Highlights include a new water taxi app, a new water taxi route between the MIBS and the Miami Yacht Show, increased shuttle buses, discounts on Brightline, valet parking at the show and a special area for those biking to the show.
The show runs through Monday.