Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Announces Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Reef, An Ocean To Everglades Project In Partnership With Force Blue
Jun 10, 2019
Coral reef restoration projects have become a growing part of Miami’s environmental conservation efforts. The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee (MSBHC) today announced its coral reef restoration project, unheard of at any Super Bowl in the last 54 years, Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Reef. This exceptional event is being done in alliance with FORCE BLUE and NFL Green alongside collaborating partners as part of the Committee’s recently launched Ocean to Everglades initiative.
The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Reef restoration project will feature 100 staghorn corals out-planted at Rainbow Reef offshore of Key Biscayne on the Middle Reef on Thursday, June 13 in honor of the NFL’s 100th season.
“Major events such as the Super Bowl gather tremendous support and attention around which top influencers, nonprofit organizations, corporations and community members can unite to take action to aid in the conservation of our oceans and swamplands,” said Rodney Barreto, chairman, MSBHC.
The Ocean to Everglades (O2E) Initiative is the Super Bowl LIV environmental campaign in partnership with NFL Green, Ocean Conservancy, The Everglades Foundation and Lonely Whale. Under the leadership of committee chair Eric Eikenberg, the CEO of The Everglades Foundation, O2E will focus on solutions to the critical issues facing the health of the ocean and the Everglades.
“The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Reef project is one of the many events that will leverage the Super Bowl platform to engage the community in the environmental efforts that will leave a lasting sustainable legacy beyond Super Bowl LIV,” said Mike Zimmer, president, MSBHC.
With the support of NFL Sponsor, Verizon, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the project is slated to take place over two days with a team of five FORCE BLUE divers and scientists from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Rescue a Reef program. To start off the event, The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science will be hosting FORCE BLUE divers as well as media for a briefing of Thursday’s activities along with a chance to see and learn about the proper way to out-plant corals without harming the existing reef structure.
“FORCE BLUE is proud to be playing part in the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Reef Restoration Project” said FORCE BLUE Executive Director Jim Ritterhoff. “It is precisely the sort of mission we need to bring attention, not only to the plight of the entire Florida Coral Reef Tract, but to the struggles so many of our returning combat veterans face when their service ends.”
FORCE BLUE and the UDT/SEAL Association will spearhead the diving component for the out-planting of the corals. FORCE BLUE is a group made up of special operations veterans from all branches of service who are experienced in combat diving and want to do good for our oceans with support from marine scientists, conservationists and media.
The corals will be sourced from the Rosenstiel School’s coral nursery located offshore of Key Biscayne, Florida. Once the corals have grown and are ready for out-planting, small colonies are collected from the nursery while leaving others to continue growing for future out-planting. Colonies are then carefully transported to the restoration site via boat.
Scientists from the Rosenstiel School’s Rescue a Reef program with FDEP oversight, choose restoration sites like Rainbow Reef based on specific characteristics such as water quality, absence of predators, and the current or historical presence of existing staghorn colonies. The site of the Super Bowl Reef out-planting project will be monitored upon intervals and maintained over the next eight months to later be unveiled to the public during Super Bowl Week in Miami from January 27 to February 2, 2020.
Coral reefs protect Miami’s coasts by reducing the strength of the waves coming toward our shores from storms and hurricanes. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, it is estimated that annually over 5,600 people, $560 million worth of building infrastructure, and $320 million worth of economic activity in Florida are protected from storm related flooding by reefs. Reefs serve as a source of food and shelter and provide critical habitat for numerous species.
The Rosenstiel School will provide a small research vessel to transport media to the site. Underwater footage will be available for media post-restoration.
For more information on Ocean to Everglades environmental efforts, visit https://www.miasbliv.com/initiatives/.
About the Super Bowl Environmental Program
The Super Bowl Environmental Program is part of the NFL’s sustainability platform. Carried out in partnership with the local Super Bowl Host Committee and Verizon, the program aims to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl events and leave a positive, “green” legacy in host communities. These efforts include food recovery and distribution, recycling and solid waste management, recovery and donation of event and building materials, urban forestry projects and the use of “green energy” to power events, a public E-Waste Recycling Rally and Super Kids-Super Sharing, a Super Bowl community initiative that works to put books, sports equipment and school supplies into the hands of local children.
The NFL has incorporated environmental projects into the management of Super Bowl for more than 25 years. These environmental projects are part of a larger program of community events and initiatives implemented each year by the NFL and Super Bowl Host Committee to leave a positive benefit in each Super Bowl host community.
About the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.
About Verizon Sustainability
Verizon’s corporate sustainability team has been a key environmental partner with the NFL for seven years. Verizon has supported tree-planting projects across the country with a goal of planting 2M trees by the year 2030.
In partnership with the NFL, Verizon has helped support tree planting, habitat restoration, pollinator garden and community garden projects in Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and NFL Draft host communities. Verizon has also created large scale e-waste recycling events in Super Bowl communities to keep e-waste out of landfills and assure that it is recycled responsibly.
About FORCE BLUE
Established in 2016, FORCE BLUE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that addresses two seemingly unrelated problems — the rapidly declining health of our planet’s marine resources and the difficulty returning combat veterans have in adjusting to civilian life.
FORCE BLUE is the only nonprofit organization in the world that provides long-term, mission-based therapy for former combat divers — individuals in whom governments around the world have invested millions to create the best possible underwater and maritime operators — by retraining, retooling and redeploying them on missions of conservation, preservation and restoration.
By uniting the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine science and conservation in one, mission-focused program, FORCE BLUE has created a model of caring, cooperation and positive change with the power to restore lives and restore the planet.
About the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
The University of Miami's mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to our community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of our University family, we strive to develop future leaders of our nation and the world. Founded in the 1940's, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world's premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit www.rsmas.miami.edu.
About the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science
Located in Downtown Miami’s Maurice A. Ferré Park, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a leading-edge science museum dedicated to sharing the power of science, sparking wonder and investigation, and fueling innovation for the future. Sitting on four acres, the 250,000-square-foot museum divides into four distinct buildings: The Frost Planetarium, Aquarium, and the North and West Wings. At Frost Science, visitors can explore the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in an experiential setting with interactive exhibitions and unique shows. Frost Science is supported by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County. This project is supported by the Building Better Communities Bond Program and the City of Miami. Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and a member of the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Learn more at frostscience.org.
About Miami Super Bowl Host Committee
The Miami Super Bowl Host Committee brings together our community’s top local business leaders, community representatives, tourism officials and football personnel around a common cause – making Super Bowl LIV a historic experience both for visitors and for locals across South Florida. On February 2, 2020, South Florida will host its record-breaking 11th game at the newly renovated Hard Rock Stadium. Additionally, Super Bowl LIV will mark the culmination of the 100th season anniversary of the NFL and will feature special events and activities throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties as part of the festivities. For more information, visit www.MIASBLIV.com.
About Ocean Conservancy
Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. To learn more, please visit www.oceanconservancy.org
About Everglades Foundation
The Everglades Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to leading efforts to restore and protect the greater Everglades ecosystem. Funds raised by the Foundation are used for scientific research, advancing understanding of the Greater Everglades ecosystem and to provide grants to our conservation partners. In addition to grants, the Foundation supports necessary legal actions to help protect the Everglades. Through environmental leadership, scientific expertise and policy experience, The Everglades Foundation works to protect and restore America’s Everglades. To learn more, please visit https://evergladesfoundation.org
About Lonely Whale
Lonely Whale is an award-winning incubator for courageous ideas that drive impactful market-based change on behalf of our ocean. Founded in December 2015 by Adrian Grenier and Lucy Sumner, Lonely Whale is inspired by the power of community to create the change needed to ensure a healthy planet. Lonely Whale is working towards a new era of radical collaboration, together facilitating the creation of innovative ideas that push the boundary on current trends in technology, media and advocacy that positively impact the health of our ocean. Lonely Whale’s work has been recognized by Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas, the Shorty Awards, and the ADDY Awards. Lonely Whale is a proud supporter of the UN Environment’s #CleanSeas campaign. To learn more and support, visit www.lonelywhale.org or follow @LonelyWhale.Go Back to Newsroom