MARCO ISLAND — On Sunday, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig was officially declared dead. The April 20 explosion sent an estimated 172 million gallons of oil flooding into the gulf. Environmental and economic damage is still being assessed.
Part of that damage was done to Southwest Florida’s own reputation for beautiful beaches. On Tuesday, members of the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce and local media outlets want to ’See You in the Sand’ and help tell the nation, and the world, that Southwest Florida is still a great place to take a vacation.
As global and national media covered the ’disaster in the Gulf’ through the summer, Jack Wert and other leaders in the local tourism industry found themselves fighting the perception that our area was also contaminated by the spill and thus, a spot to be avoided by vacationers.
Now, Vip Grover, Marco Chamber president, would like to see Islanders come together to send out positive messages about our beaches and help make the upcoming season a successful one.
He has organized a breakfast at the Marco Island Marriott at 8 a.m., Tuesday, to present an easy to use, grassroots campaign that individuals and businesses can use to send out positive messages about our beaches.
“The important thing that we want people to know is that everything is free: Self-parking across the street is free, the breakfast is free, all the tools that we are giving people to use are free”
Grover explained that the purpose of the breakfast is two fold. The Chamber would like to empower Islanders from all backgrounds to believe they can make a difference, and show participants just how easy it will be to be part of a grassroots campaign.
“We want to show people that they can be capable of being significant players in changing people’s perception of beaches. We want to show everyone how easy it’s gong to be to take information from website and put it into their own emails, websites and other electronic communication tools that they already use.”
During the breakfast, Mei-Mei Chan, publisher and president of the News-Press group in Ft. Myers and Vip Grover of the Marco Island Chamber will explain the campaign concept and demonstrate tools participants can use.
Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City Convention and Visitors Bureau praised the effort, saying, “we applaud the Marco Chamber in their effort to spread the good word through the “See you in the Sand” grass roots campaign. Hopefully this effort will get some regional traction and grow on the Internet.
To find out more information about the See You in the Sand Campaign or to RSVP for the Tuesday breakfast at the Marco Marriott, call the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce at 394-7549 or visit seeyouinthesand.com.
If you go
What: See You In The Sand breakfast – A Marco Island Chamber event slated to ensure a successful tourist season following the Gulf oil spill.
When: 8 a.m., Tuesday
Where: Marco Island Marriott
Details: For more information or to RSVP, call the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce at 394-7549 or visit seeyouinthesand.com.