The Winds Of Change | How A Modern Boating Movement Is Influencing An Island
Perfectly positioned in the Balearic Islands and surrounded by the Mediterranean sea, the archipelago of Spain has been considered an idyllic location for centuries. Offering a mix of seaside escapism in a relaxed social setting entwined with a heightened spirit of adventure and complemented by 300 days of sunshine annually, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it as a heavenly oasis.
Drawing a stream of global seasonal travellers can obviously impact nature and the sensitive eco balance of an island paradise. Ibiza has fast become a popular haven for people seeking to experience European culture and local character, in a refuge from the busy urban world. Thankfully, the world heritage site has recently begun a rapid ascent from the historic hedonism for which it is widely known, into a manicured model of sustainability, led by the first and only zero-emission boating experience on the island, La Bella Verde.
La Belle Verde is regarded as one of the island’s most established alternate, entrepreneurial businesses, brandishing the flag of eco change since 2014. The picture postcard island of Ibiza has been home to some of Europe’s greatest biodiversity over recent years, with turtles, sea horses, sea lions, dolphins, sharks, coral reefs and more. Since the onslaught of tourism the island has experienced a dramatic decline in the numbers of all species. Thankfully, a number of private organisations and conscientious companies are forging ahead with a driving agenda to rebalance, restore and rejuvenate, and now the numbers are naturally returning. To continue to protect and revitalise this natural wonderland, it is important to understand what makes Ibiza so unique and home to such a varied selection of biodiversity
Posidonia and Sea Life
Ibiza is one of the few locations where Posidonia oceanica (commonly known as Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed) exists. This is a rare seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It forms large underwater meadows that play an important role in the local ecosystem and encouraging habitat. It’s known to be one of the oldest and longest clonal colonies on Earth, dating as far back as 100,000 years. This is an instantly recognisable reason why the land between Ses Salinas and Formentera was declared a World Heritage sites by UNESCO in 1999.
Posidonia oceanica is a higher plant species that differs greatly from algae, with leaves, stalks and roots as well as flowers and fruit. Its flowers indicate that this plant was once a land plant that has adapted to life underwater, where the flowers do not need to attract insects for pollination or pollen transportation. They are particularly known for maintaining the balance of sediments by forming barrier reefs, maintaining the coastline and protecting beaches from erosion.
The Green Experience – Clean, Green & Silent
La Bella Verde, Ibiza’s first and only solar powered catamaran experience, last year announced the addition of two new green boats to its eco-friendly fleet, enabling more visitors to minimise their carbon footprint while exploring some of the most beautiful and secluded coves in the Balearic coastline.
Ocean Conservation lies at the very heart of what La Bella Verde do and with their Charity Foundation, 1% of every eco charter is donated to protect the biodiversity at Salinas Natural Park, including protecting the Posidonia and supporting beach cleans through activism, education and action.
La Bella Verde is entirely powered by wind and solar energy, providing the ultimate eco experience in Ibiza. Starting out by converting fuel based boats to solar powered and electric engines they are considered a local asset and ambassador to the island’s protected natural park, which is the home to a diverse ecosystem that stretches from south east Ibiza to Formentera.
Group Eco Trips with La Bella VerdeA Green Boating Movement
Founded with a vision to transform the boating industry and create a movement to help protect aquatic life whilst supporting marine preservation, La Bella Verde plans to evolve their identity internationally, inspiring others to adopt a significant sustainable approach. The launch of an innovative boat building service this year will enable companies and individuals from around the world to purchase a custom built, carbon-neutral catamaran. The La Bella Verde Foundation will establish itself at each new location, continuing to preserve and protect our oceans on an international level.
About La Bella Verde
Starting with one catamaran in 2014, the pioneering eco-charter company was founded by a collective of close friends, Charlie Priestley, Alastair Glover-Main and Maarten Bernhart with a dream of offering an eco-boating experience and option in the Balearics.
Since the company’s first inception, the team has now transformed traditional boats into eco-friendly modes of transportation, with the use of electric engines and advanced solar panels. This autumn, the team will launch a completely new customisable solar catamaran building service in collaboration with the industry’s most reputed international boat builders.
The name La Bella Verde (The Beautiful Green) is an icon of what the founders have sought to create since the start – an intimate, low-impact experience which aims to promote positive change in the wider boating industry internationally.
The Everyday Agency
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