Today we’d like to introduce you to Water Sports Association. Them and their team share their story with us below:
We started as a group of small business owners, trying to find legal ways to operate in Biscayne Bay. We went through lots of obstacles from city officials and governmental environmental departs as well. Mostly because of the negative view many of them have of our business. Most of us have a water sports rental business where we rent jetski boats and other fun water activities for locals and tourists to enjoy while here on vacation. After years of going through numerous shutdowns, we started to notice that the only way our voice would be heard would be if we United together as a group and speak. That’s where our nonprofit started; we realized soon after that there were many things affecting our work home at Biscayne Bay. After we were able to find a more permitted place to operate thanks to our county major and local county marinas, we started to look at how we can help the bay’s longevity. We partner with other nonprofits with the same goal as us by hosting monthly clean up and various islands in the bay and also planting trees and flowers that would benefit our beautiful bay. Thanks to these obstacles, we have been able to give back to our work home in so many ways not just money and also advocate for clean water and plastic-free solutions for companies that work directly on the water.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
We received many backlash from many people who have the wrong view of jetski and boats. We have been shut down unable to work for weeks because there was never a place for operations like ours to legally operated. Once these were resolved we faced the pollution problem in the bay many of the nutrients that run down from lawns fertilizer and other chemicals end up in the bay causing massive fish kills and dirty water which are not good for swimming. Also, plastic pollution on the island is a big challenge we face. People come to the water to have fun and enjoy but leave them full of trash and especially single-use plastic, which end up in the water and affect marina life such as turtles manatee and fishes. We also end up with cans and bottles in the shoreline of many of our beaches and island.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We are a nonprofit organization whose goal is to maintain water access for small businesses to operate legally and also help the bay by advocating to eliminate plastic and debris from our waters. We host monthly clean-ups and floating classrooms with other nonprofits on our 40-passenger boat “River Queen”.
We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
Many times we have to speak up against policies ray can affect our bay. And that means going up against city and governmental officials. Sometimes calling them out about the things that are doing which make no sense to may. We use our social media platforms and our voices to speak against things like this which can sometimes cause risk to our own personal businesses.
- Instagram: Watersports_association