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World Oceans Week 2024: The Bahamas leads in Ocean Philanthropy and Blue Economy Innovation

Updated: Jun 25

World Oceans Week hosted two panel discussions at The Explorers Club in New York City under the joint title: The Bahamas – Ocean Philanthropy and Impact Investment. The event reinforced our mission, emphasizing the unique strengths of The Bahamas. Attendees learnt that with 245,000 square miles of ocean, unique coastal and marine ecosystems, an economy fueled by ocean businesses, and a talented pool of ocean experts and professionals, The Bahamas is uniquely positioned to lead the transition to a sustainable, innovative and profitable blue economy.

Blue Action at World Oceans Week New York 2024

Bahamas panel experts at World Ocean Week 2024 in New York City: Craig Dalgren (PIMS), Rashema Ingraham (Bonefish & Tarpon Trust). Chris Maxey (The Island School), Lakeshia Rolle-Anderson (BNT), Megan Davis (Queen Conch project, FAU), Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, (BAMSI), Tarran Simms (Moore Charitable Foundation), Rupert Hayward (Blue Action Lab and the Grand Bahama Port Authority), Austin Gallagher (Beneath The Waves)

The sessions showcased how Bahamian leaders, institutions, businesses and entrepreneurs are securing the responsible stewardship of the country's ocean and coastal resources, creating opportunities for economic development, and confronting pressing environmental and societal challenges.

The first session, focusing on philanthropy, highlighted several transformative initiatives currently underway that focus on preserving basic ecosystems, developing business innovation, and promoting a sustainable blue economy workforce. Speakers included Rashema Ingraham of Bonefish and Tarpon Trust; Dr. Craig Dahlgren of Perry Institute for Marine Science; Dr. Megan Davis of Florida Atlantic University; Dr. Raveenia Roberts-Hanna of Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI); and Lakeshia Anderson-Rolle, executive director of the Bahamas National Trust. This session was moderated by Rupert Hayward, founder and president of Grand Bahama-based Blue Action Lab and director of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).

The second session focused on impact investment and celebrating blue business innovation. Speakers included: Sam Teicher from groundbreaking coral restoration project Coral Vita; Gudfinnur Sveinsson from ocean-based carbon removal initiative Brineworks; and Neil Tinmouth from Acua Ocean, which designs zero carbon emission sea vessels. This session was moderated by Dale Galvin of Global Fund For Coral Reefs. 

Blue Action, Coral Vita and Brineworks at Oceans Week

Neil Tinmouth (Acua Ocean), Gudfinnur Sveinsson (Brineworks), Sam Teicher (Co-Founder, Coral Vita)

The event was hosted by Builders Bridge, Lukas Walton’s philanthropic and impact investing platform, which has backed Grand Bahama-based Blue Action Lab and its projects in The Bahamas, as well as many other Bahamian NGOs and climate initiatives in The Bahamas

Our Blue Action Lab founder and president Rupert Hayward, who moderated the first session, said: “The Bahamas delegation is extremely grateful to Builders Bridge and the Explorers Club for showcasing the amazing potential for blue economy initiatives in The Bahamas. Blue Action aims to make our country a global hub for developing cutting-edge sustainable technologies and companies that focus on climate solutions, both to the benefit of investors and the Bahamian workforce. We are proud that of the organizations represented on these timely and important panels, Coral Vita, Brineworks, and Acua Ocean are all Blue Action portfolio companies and partners. I would to thank them, and all the other panelists for their informative, enlightening contributions.” 

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