Bonefish Grill's NOTES FROM THE ROAD is highlighting Ocean Trust Projects which Bonefish Grill is supporting with funds raised from the sale its newly introduced Ocean Trust Martini in its restaurants. Each project brings together a partnership between local conservation and seafood industry participants to enhance coastal resourses throughout the US and Mexico. Initial projects include:
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Restoration - Bonefish Grill joined Ocean Trust's long-term efforts with the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Restoration in Tepehuajes , Mexico to help restore the population of one of the most endangered sea turtles in the world. Ocean Trust and supporters from the seafood industry constructed and continues to maintain the only privately owned facility that has become the second-largest sea turtle camp in the Gulf of Mexico region, where daily patrols monitor nesting activity, relocate turtle eggs within protected corals for incubation and release over hatchlings back into the wild.
Florida FISH Mangrove Reserve Restoration - On the west coast of Florida, near the commercial fishing Village of Cortez Ocean Trust and Bonefish Grill joined the local fishing community to begin the restoration of one of the last remaining stands of mangrove habitat important as a breeding area and juvenile nursery for coastal fisheries. The project area site was purchased by fishing community and set aside as a protected area now known as the FISH Reserve, and is becoming a thriving habitat for plants and aquatic life alike, and a source of survival for one of the last coastal fishing villages in the state.
Southern New England Winter Flounder Restoration - Bonefish Grill also joined Ocean Trust in a unique project to help the local East Hampton fishing community restore the stock of winter flounder off its coast. By hatching, tagging, releasing and monitoring 10,000 juvenile flounder into a sheltered shallow water estuary near East Hampton, Ocean Trust and the East Hampton Township are testing a restocking program to reestablish a thriving population that will lead to greater success for the local flounder fishermen after their original fishery collapsed.
Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Restoration - The Chesapeake Bay is home to a wide variety of shellfish including the blue crab which has become a culinary favorite all through the East Coast. Facing a decline in the blue crab stock and fishery reductions to protect spawning populations, local fishermen have joined together with educators and scientists to promote and protect a sustainable fishery in the bay. With initial support from Bonefish Grill, Ocean Trust has started working cooperatively with the Maryland Watermen's Association Crab Restoration Around the Bay program to raise awareness and funds needed to restore the Chesapeake Bay blue crab population through hatchery and restocking programs.
Bahia Grande Restoration - In Texas , Bahia Grande was once a flourishing and major wetland estuary supporting a rich population of fish, wildlife and migratory waterfowl, but for the past 70 years it has been a dry barren landscape cut off from the Gulf of Mexico . Working with federal, state and local organizations, Ocean Trust has built a national public and private partnership in what is now one of the largest estuary restoration projects in the United States . The Bahia Grande partnership and Ocean Trust have generated seven national awards for its conservation work re-constructing channels to reconnect Bahia Grande to the Gulf of Mexico and re-planting native vegetation to restore over 10,000 acres of habitat as an important coastal estuary. Support from Bonefish Grill is helping continue the efforts at this critical site.