JetBlue to Support Nature Conservancy in Protecting and Restoring Coral Reefs in Caribbean to Stem Decline

By Anna Breuer on 15 January 2019
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JetBlue's terminal at JFK

JetBlue’s terminal at JFK

JetBlue Airways announced its support for the Nature Conservancy, a global conservation organization, and the two simultaneously released a report looking at the impact of natural resources on tourism.

The report, the second of its type funded by JetBlue, was also underwritten by Microsoft and the World Travel and Tourism Council. Entitled Estimating Reef-Adjacent Tourism Value in the Caribbean, the report was prepared using artificial intelligence and machine learning and seeks to quantify the value that reefs contribute to the Caribbean economy. It does this by looking at reef-adjacent activities such as diving, sailing, and snorkeling, and the direct connection these have on tourism.

The report concludes that the value of reef-associated tourism is more than $7.9 billion per year, a figure that comes from over 11 million visitors. The issue at hand is that living corals in the Caribbean have declined over 60% in just the last three decades and the Nature Conservancy is trying to protect and restore coral reefs there.

The report was undertaken because one-third of the airline’s flying is to the Caribbean and Latin America, the airline said.

“The health and long-term growth of this region is directly tied to our bottom line,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, who heads the airline’s governance and sustainability activities.

In addition to supporting this research, JetBlue is donating 50 flights to the region to the Nature Conservancy for use by its scientists.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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