“Coastal Keepers” to focus on water quality, ocean conservation
Coastal Keepers, a business reorganization of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide, has rebranded to focus on water quality and ocean conservation, as well as red tide.
"This is the START you know, but really improved and really focused on our islands," President Dr. Bruce Neill said. "We are forming a local partnership that makes sense for everyone. We are trying to be more sufficient, so donated support goes more to the cause and less to the machine behind the cause. It's a tried and proven local organization that has a new name."
He said START is a not-for-profit organization based in Sarasota that has subchapters, which included a Sanibel-Captiva chapter for at least 10 years.
"The state organization of START seems to be contracting and really the Sanibel Captiva chapter of START was really driving the whole state," he said. "We debated this for a long time and decided why don't we go off on our own and make our own thing on Sanibel. As a conservation organization, we very much believe that we ought to have this lean business aspect as possible, so that we can spend more of our money on conservation. We realized our very best way to trim down the business is to partner with the Sanibel Sea School."
Over the years, Neill said it has become hard to dedicate an organization to red tide because when there is a bloom everyone wants to know the solution, compared to the years when it is not present the money and interest disappears.