Beautiful Oceans offers first dive vacations and eco-courses that address global warming - a new standard for sustainable eco-tourism



    MONTREAL, April 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Beautiful Oceans, a progressive
eco-dive tour operator and premier coral reef education organization, today
announced that it will address the impact of global warming from all its
eco-dive vacations by carbon offsetting of customer flights and dives. This
groundbreaking step, which represents a first in the dive travel industry, is
made possible by the "carbon calculator" - an initiative of Sustainable Travel
International (STI), adapted for the diving industry by Ocean Frontiers in
Grand Cayman. The dive carbon calculator determines the carbon emission costs
incurred from air travel and diving activities while on vacation. Beautiful
Oceans then compensates for these emissions on behalf of each guest by funding
carbon offset projects shown to verifiably reduce greenhouse gas emissions
according to the international Kyoto Protocol. The result is a much more
climate-friendly - and therefore ocean-friendly - diving vacation.
    "Carbon emissions generated through the burning of fossil fuels are
largely responsible for the increase of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere,"
says Stephan Becker, CEO and founder of Beautiful Oceans. "The resulting
worldwide temperature increase represents a major threat to all ecosystems in
the world, including coral reefs. For an eco-dive tour operator and coral reef
education organization like Beautiful Oceans it is imperative that we ensure
that the carbon emissions generated during our dive trips will not contribute
to the further loss of coral reefs."
    "The idea of offsetting carbon emissions generated during a diving
vacation represents a first important step towards the realization of
sustainable eco-tourism," says Ian Popple, Vice President of Science and
co-founder of Beautiful Oceans. "Guests on our eco-dive trips will now know
that while they learn about marine biology and conservation with our marine
biology instructors they are also helping to curb the effect of global warming
and preserve the coral reef ecosystem they have come to explore."
    Industry specific offset programs and custom carbon calculators were
originally developed in the United States by STI
(www.sustainabletravelinternational.org) as the North American distributor of
European-based foundation MyClimate(TM) (www.myclimate.org). The program
estimates carbon emissions generated from various activities, such as travel
by aircraft and car, household electricity use, and now dive trips. STI,
through MyClimate(TM), arranges compensation for carbon emissions through
worldwide carbon offset projects such as the installation of wind energy,
solar energy and hydroelectricity operations in Africa, India, Asia and the
Americas.
    "Although the reduction of emissions directly through measures like
increased energy efficiency are most desirable to address travel related
climate impacts, the beauty of offsetting lies in its educational component -
it has really brought education and conversation about how to address global
warming to the forefront of public consciousness," says STI co-founder Peter
D. Krahenbuhl. "In addition, if done properly and "additionally", meaning that
these investments into renewable energy wouldn't otherwise have occurred, then
it quite literally is helping to shift us away from a fossil fuel grid to a
renewable energy grid, stimulating energy efficiency and new technology
markets, supporting sustainable community development and technology transfer
in developing countries."
    "At Ocean Frontiers (www.oceanfrontiers.com) we saw the need to adapt the
carbon calculator to include emissions generated within the diving industry,"
says Steve Broadbelt, co-founder of Ocean Frontiers. "The new calculator
allows us to determine the affect that a dive vacation will have on the
environment, and compensate for this accordingly." For example, the amount of
carbon emitted by a couple on a round-trip flight from London (UK), to Grand
Cayman is 5.76 tons of CO(2), while 14 dives during a one-week-trip generate
an additional 0.26 tons of CO(2). To compensate for the total amount of CO(2)
generated by this couple during their diving vacation, Beautiful Oceans must
donate $91.80US to carbon offset projects. In comparison, a couple flying in
from San Francisco (USA), completing the same number of dives, requires a
donation of $56.73US. Ocean Frontiers' Carbon Calculator can be found at:
http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.org/offset/index.php?c=18
    Beautiful Oceans' week-long eco-dive trips, which are organized in
collaboration with Aqua Dreams Travel (www.aquadreams.com) - one of the most
trusted names in the dive travel industry - allow guests to unlock the secrets
of the coral reef ecosystem under the supervision of a Beautiful Oceans marine
biology instructor. Guests take up to two Beautiful Oceans marine biology
courses during their stay, which introduce them to the basic processes,
organisms and unique behaviours that can be observed on a coral reef,
enhancing their in-water experience. Upcoming Beautiful Oceans eco-dive trips
include: Utila (August 18-25), Grand Cayman (September 1-8), Grenada (October
13-20), Bonaire (December 1-8), and Curaçao (January 13-20). To learn more
about Beautiful Oceans' eco-dive trips visit www.beautifuloceans.com

    About Beautiful Oceans:

    Beautiful Oceans offers the finest coral reef biology courses and
eco-dive travel for recreational SCUBA divers and snorkelers. Courses take
place online, in-class, and in-water and provide divers and snorkelers with a
unique and comprehensive understanding of the coral reef ecosystem. Each
course is specially adapted to embrace the regional biology of a chosen travel
destination, and creates unique diving and snorkeling experiences. Beautiful
Oceans is a member of 1% FOR THE PLANET-a group of businesses donating 1% of
their sales to the natural environment. Beautiful Oceans donates 1% of annual
income, or 10% of annual pre-tax profit (whichever is the greater), to
not-for-profit organizations active in coral reef conservation. For more
information on sustainable eco-dive trips and coral reef education programs,
please contact Stephan Becker at sbecker@beautifuloceans.com or Toll Free
US-CANADA: 1-800-930-4078 or US-CANADA: +514-907-1935; or UK: +44-020-30028444
or IRELAND: +353-0-1 657-1791 or visit www.beautifuloceans.com

    About Ocean Frontiers:

    Ocean Frontiers, a Beautiful Oceans Science Dive & Snorkel Center and
PADI National Geographic Dive Center is specializing in scuba diving,
snorkeling, and vacation packages in Grand Cayman. Ocean Frontiers is a
pro-environmentally oriented dive center that integrates best diving and best
dive operator practices in its daily operations. In partnership with
Sustainable Travel International, Ocean Frontiers developed the "Carbon
Calculator for Dive Operations" and collected the scientific data necessary
for the design of this unique tool. Beautiful Oceans is the first eco-diving
tour operator using this calculator to offset carbon emissions for all of its
coral reef biology and eco-dive trips. For more information on the "Carbon
Calculator for Dive Operations", please contact Steve Broadbelt at
steve@oceanfrontiers.com or +345-947-7500 or visit www.oceanfrontiers.com

    About Sustainable Travel International (STI):

    STI is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote
sustainable development and eco-friendly travel by providing programs that
help travelers and travel-related companies protect the environmental,
socio-cultural and economic needs of the places they visit, and the planet at
large (www.sustainabletravelinternational.org). For more information on carbon
offsetting in the travel and tourism industry and custom carbon calculators,
please contact Peter D. Krahenbuhl at peterk@sustainabletravel.com or
+303-448-0967 or visit www.carbonoffsets.org




For further information:

For further information: on sustainable eco-dive trips and coral reef
education programs: Stephan Becker, Toll Free US-CANADA: 1-800-930-4078,
US-CANADA: (514) 907-1935, UK: +44-020-30028444, IRELAND: +353-0-1 657-1791,
sbecker@beautifuloceans.com

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