This year, on June 1st people around the globe, will come together to celebrate World Reef Day. It is a day to reflect on the impact that humans have had on the delicate ecosystem of our ocean’s reefs. These reefs are dying at an alarming rate, most notably in Hawaii, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Florida Keys. In addition to the chemicals found in traditional sunscreens, massive amounts of plastic waste in our oceans are causing irreparable damage to our ocean. Ahead of World Reef Day, we asked founder and CEO, Kelly Lyden to tell us more about the ways that KellyBoat is doing it’s part to support cleaner oceans around the world.

When my brothers and I came up with the idea for KellyBoat, the state of plastic in the oceans was fresh on my mind. Before my father passed away, he and I had been working together to try and bring cleaner, and more affordable energy to Jamaica. The cost of electricity in Jamaica can be .42C/KWH versus the U.S. national average of .11/KWH which makes it very difficult for the average Jamaican household to afford enough power for their homes and businesses. It was through this research into solar and wind projects that led us to learn more about the alarming amount of garbage in the ocean that was impacting Jamaica and the world. It was surprising to learn how much garbage, and particularly plastic, was in the ocean after being tossed into riverbeds, which run into the sea. As an island, Jamaica is heavily impacted by the condition of the water surrounding it.

Since a clean, safe ocean is a key to our business model, I wanted to make sure that KellyBoat would give back, and help support a cleaner ocean for all. Together we researched different organizations that are working to reduce plastic in the ocean and came across Plastic Oceans. Their mission to Inform, Inspire and Incite On The Issue of Plastic Pollution struck a chord with us.  We felt that their focus on not only reducing ocean pollution but also to educate people on the impacts of plastic waste was important. Education and awareness are key to changing our consumption habits to reduce plastic pollution. 

Along with a portion of our net revenue going to Plastic Oceans, we have made it easy for boat owners and KellyBoat guests to easily donate through our platform. Guests can add a direct donation easily during checkout, and owners can sign up to set aside a set portion of their KellyBoat revenue to go right to Plastic Oceans. We have also made sure that all on-boat catering provided by our partners at On Island Chefs, arrives packaged and ready to serve in non-plastic containers. Along with the rest of Nantucket, we also no longer offer single-use plastic straws on any of our KellyBoat trips, you can read more about Nantucket’s ‘Stop The Straw’ movement here.  If we each do our part, we can make a difference together.