Metal Shark, which manufactures aluminum and steel boats, has joined forces with the Bahamas National Trust to help preserve the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
Created in 1959, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park spans 176 square miles and is home to the second-largest coral barrier reef in the western hemisphere. The area is also home to a chain of more than 365 islands known as cays. The park is managed by the Bahamas National Trust.
“The waters and islands of the Exumas are near and dear to all of us fortunate enough to have spent time there with our families and friends,” said Chris Allard, CEO of Metal Shark, in a statement. “When the opportunity arose to work with Bahamas National Trust, we felt it was important to do more than simply sell them boats. Accordingly, we have forged a unique partnership with the goal of supporting the BNT’s efforts today and into the future.”
Metal Shark will support the park’s full-time staff and volunteers by providing boats, technical assistance and funding to support research, conduct wildlife inventories and patrol the park’s waters to guard against poaching and to prevent damage to the ecosystem.
BNT is working with Dean Jones, Metal Shark’s vice president of sales for law enforcement, fire rescue and specialty projects, to optimize the designs of several Metal Shark models for long-term service in the Bahamas environment.
“Vessels of interest to the BNT range from patrol boats for fisheries enforcement to customized landing craft for habitat restoration, mooring maintenance and other projects,” said Jones in the statement. “In each case we’re working closely with BNT and Exuma Cays officials to assure optimal mission compatibility over the long haul. Any one of these vessels would represent a significant and beneficial upgrade over the secondhand vessels currently being used by the park.”
Metal Shark has launched a crowd-sourcing campaign to help support the the park. Corporate-level sponsors and individuals are invited to participate. To make an online donation, or to find out more, visit: http://www.metalsharkboats.com/exumacays/