The Building Conservation Trust, the national marine habitat program of the Coastal Conservation Association, is proud to announce country superstar Kenny Chesney will serve as an honorary board member. Founded in 2010 to enable people who love and enjoy the oceans, the Trust supports projects that revitalize critical habitat and establish a vibrant foundation for the marine ecosystem.
“Very few people have captured the essence of what draws us to the oceans as well as Kenny Chesney has over his incredible career,” said Patrick Murray, president of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). “The most passionate stewards of our marine environment are the ones drawn to the water for sport, relaxation and reflection. Through his music and life, Kenny has inspired an entire generation to engage in ocean conservation and stewardship, and we are very proud to have him on the board of the Trust.”
“We have come to a place where everyone needs to get involved if the oceans, the beaches, the sea life is important to us as human beings,” Chesney said of his involvement. “No one person can save the world – or the water. But in creating alliances, bringing people who care together and creating projects that can have an impact we start to slowly protect and build up this important natural resource.”
Since its founding, the Trust has applied millions of dollars to marine habitat projects in cooperation with various partners in both the private and public sectors. In one such effort last year, Chesney and the Trust teamed for an “urban reef” project to place two artificial reefs in the St John’s River in downtown Jacksonville to enhance recreational angling opportunities and heighten awareness of the importance of marine habitat.
“When you can have a hand in stewarding the health of the ocean,” Chesney said at the time, “you’re insuring the survival of something very necessary for all of us, whether you’re a beach person or someone that won’t go near the water. The ecological balance is very delicate, especially in Florida, so I am honored to help them achieve this goal.”
Another Trust effort, the Louisiana “floating islands” project, used new technology to restore marsh in Louisiana with participation from local residents, members of an indigenous Native American tribe and students from a nearby elementary school. For its support of the project, Shell Oil Company won the 2013 Gulf Guardian Award bestowed by the Gulf of Mexico Program, an initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to facilitate collaborative actions to protect, maintain, and restore the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico.
“The Trust is creating a model for the successful collaboration of business, non-profit organizations and government agencies to revitalize the marine ecosystem, all driven by passionate people in coastal communities,” said Murray. “There is no lack of work for the Trust to do, and with the involvement of Kenny Chesney, the future has never been brighter.”