Home News & Features TradeWinds Announces Earth Day Event & Eco Enhancements

TradeWinds Announces Earth Day Event & Eco Enhancements


PETE BEACH, FLA.—TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach, Fla., is partnering with Tampa Bay area nonprofit groups to host an Earth Day event and enhance their ecotourism offerings, which include wildlife encounters and turtle displays. Hosted by TradeWinds Island Resorts and Tampa Bay Watch, the family-friendly Earth Day event will take place Sunday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, on the beach at TradeWinds Island Grand (5500 Gulf Boulevard). The event is free and open to the public and will feature a Vertical Oyster Garden (VOG) building seminar and Beach Clean Up. Complimentary parking will be provided for attendees.

During the Earth Day event, attendees can learn how to make Vertical Oyster Gardens out of recycled oyster shells from local restaurants, including TradeWinds’ own RumFish Grill. The finished “VOGs” are suspended from local docks to create a hard substrate to which juvenile oysters can attach and develop. Participants are invited to build their own VOG to take home or donate to Tampa Bay Watch. All donated VOGs will be distributed to local dock owners in the community to help naturally filter the Tampa Bay waters, as well as provide food and habitat to marine life. The event will also feature a Beach Clean Up lead by the Florida Aquarium and Keep Pinellas Beautiful. All clean up equipment such as buckets and pickers will be provided.

“Ecotourism has always been a priority for us at TradeWinds, as seen in our long-running programs such as the Swim with the Fishes tank experience, the Touch Tank program, and extensive educational signage throughout the property,” said Avi Yesawich, Managing Director of TradeWinds Island Resorts. “We’re celebrating this ongoing commitment with our Earth Day event and by introducing these exciting new interactive offerings for the community and our guests.”

New Ecotourism Partnerships, Initiatives

The TradeWinds, recently named 2023 Environment Friendly Business of the Year by the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber and the 2023 Adoption Group of the Year by Keep Pinellas Beautiful, has also added these new ecotourism partnerships and initiatives:

  • Balloon Release Bill—In support of local Representative Linda Chaney’s bill prohibiting planned balloon releases, TradeWinds no longer allows intentional balloon releases from the property. To educate guests on the new policy, displays using real balloons will be set up at both properties, listing the reasons for the bill and conservation effort. Resort security staff will also inform guests of the new rule, which will be outlined in group and event contracts as well.
  • Tampa Bay Watch—In partnership with TradeWinds’ RumFish Grill, Tampa Bay Watch will conduct the “Shells for Shorelines” program. The restaurant will collect oyster shells to help create Vertical Oyster Gardens or shell bags for Tampa Bay Watch to donate to the community.
  • Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center—RumFish Beach Resort is introducing a new animal interaction program with the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center. Taking place two days a week, this new program will allow guests to interact and learn about exotic animals such as alligators and Komodo dragons.
  • Sea Turtle Trackers—TradeWinds recently partnered with Sea Turtle Trackers to add a mock sea turtle nest and display on the beach behind the Island Grand. The nest was designed as an educational display to make viewers aware of the importance of keeping the beach clean in an effort to conserve the sea turtle population. The area includes a donation box and helpful information for guests to educate them on the plight of sea turtles. This spring, Sea Turtle Trackers will host weekly “Sea Turtle Talks” and activity sessions for TradeWinds guests. TradeWinds properties are equipped with turtle-friendly lighting and now feature in-room signage during turtle season asking guests to close their blinds in the evenings to reduce lighting on the beach.

The TradeWinds Island Resorts—the Island Grand and the RumFish Beach Resort—are located directly on 40 acres of sugary white sands of the Gulf of Mexico on St. Pete Beach in Florida. For additional information on the TradeWinds Island Resorts, visit Just Let Go.