Plettenberg Bay has been selected as one of five of South Africa’s first International Hope Spots and can aspire to be the best Hope Spot in the world. Hope Spots are a global network of identified marine areas, promoted and driven by the global initiative, Mission Blue. Mission Blue was established through the Sylvia Earle Alliance (SEA), an initiative aimed at exploring and caring for the oceans. Dr. Sylvia Earle, who will launch the Hope Spot here in Plett in December, is a world famous diver, oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer in Residence.
The Sustainable Seas Trust (SST), the South African partner of Mission Blue, together with several Non-Profit and Non-Government Organisations in the Bitou region have started the process of establishing the greater Plettenberg Bay area as an international Hope Spot.
The launch event in December will take place over the evening of the 8th and the morning of the 9th December 2014 on Central Beach. Dr Sylvia Earle and a team from Mission Blue International, along with Dr Tony Ribbink (CEO of SST) and a team from the Sustainable Seas Trust will be hosted by the Plett Hope Spot organising committee. Various public events, including a launch dinner, a plaque unveiling and a series of beach events are planned.
About the Event
This is a once-off event that will launch Plett into the international limelight, promoting the incredible beaches and marine life of the Bitou area. Two plaques will be unveiled, one underwater and one on land so that everyone is able to see them. The event will be a launchpad from which all stakeholders in the Greater Plettenberg Bay area will become aware of the value (economically and environmentally) of our Bay. From businesses to school children, this will be an educational event that we can all be proud of and it will encourage the sustainable use and conservation of our marine resources.
The public will be able to engage with members of the Mission Blue and SST teams. Clubs such as the Nippers, lifesavers, field band, lunchbox theatre will all be present at the event to entertain and display their skills. All water craft users will also be encouraged to ‘escort’ Dr Earle during her dive on the reef.
This event will also host the launch of the SST book which showcases 100’s of photographs of the South African coastline, with many photographs taken by Plett residents.