Disneynature announced today that its “See ‘OCEANS,’ Save Oceans” campaign will protect more than 35,000 acres of coral reef in The Bahamas on behalf of the moviegoers who came out to see Disneynature’s motion picture “Oceans” during its opening week. Through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Disneynature will help establish new marine protected areas through the The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program. At 55 square miles, this protected area of coral reefs will be almost two-and-a-half times the size of Manhattan or the equivalent of more than 412 Disneylands, supporting the expansion of the Westside National Park of Andros.
The Bahamas represent an important ecosystem, straddling the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The 700 islands that comprise The Bahamas contain miles of vital coral reefs, which are the foundation of a healthy ocean environment, providing shelter, nurseries and feeding grounds for hundreds of marine species, including dolphins, sea turtles and a wide range of fish. Scientists estimate that the coral reefs of the Caribbean could be gone in 50 years without a network of well-managed marine protected areas.
“We’re excited to once again collaborate with The Nature Conservancy on an initiative that takes the impact of Disneynature’s storytelling to an entirely new level,” said Alan Bergman, president of The Walt Disney Studios. “The health of our oceans is absolutely vital to the well-being of our planet and thanks to the supporters of Disneynature’s motion picture ‘Oceans,’ this investment in marine conservation will help ensure critical aquatic environments will thrive for future generations.”
“Disneynature has captured the beauty, wonder and fragility of our world’s marine habitats and species in ‘Oceans,’ said Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “We appreciate Disney’s commitment to help protect marine areas in The Bahamas, which is home to 30 percent of all coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. With Disneynature’s support, The Nature Conservancy and its partners are making significant progress toward our ambitious goal of doubling the total amount of marine protected area in The Bahamas.”
Disney Cruise Line will roll out the blue carpet to premiere Disneynature’s newest film, “Oceans,” aboard the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder today. In honor of Earth Day, Disney Cruise Line will make a $3,000 donation on behalf of all guests, cast and crew members to The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt a Coral Reef program, protecting coral reefs in The Bahamas.
“Oceans” follows last year’s record-breaking film “Earth,” and features spectacular, never-before-seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies. Disney Cruise Line crew members will also raise additional funds through a “Walk for Oceans,” a late-night fundraiser that has become an annual tradition onboard the ships.
“The Bahamas have been home to Disney ships, and our private island, Castaway Cay, for more than a decade,” said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line and New Vacation Operations. “We have built significant long-standing relationships throughout the islands and care deeply about maintaining and preserving these precious ecosystems for all of us to enjoy today and in the future. We are proud to be involved with The Nature Conservancy’s program to give back in such a meaningful way.”
Through a partnership with the Nature Conservancy, Disney will donate $.20 for each ticket sold during the first week of the theatrical release of Disneynature’s OCEANS (with a minimum donation of $100,000).
The donation will go towards a new Adopt-a-Coral-Reef program focusing on The Bahamas which aims to save 500,000 acres of threatened coral reef, accounting for 30% of the reef in the Atlantic Ocean.
As a result of attendance during the first week of Disneynature’s first US film, EARTH, Disney helped plant 2.7 million trees in the rainforests of Brazil.
For more information on the program, visit the The Nature Conservancy.
OCEANS will open nationwide on Earth Day, April 22, 2010.