Saltwater Restaurants Inc. is proud of its ongoing partnership with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. In a heartfelt collaboration, the organizations celebrated the release of a rehabilitated Blue Heron named "Bob" in honor of Robert "Bob" Bonezzi, founder of Saltwater Restaurants, Inc. The release event took place on Monday, August 21st, at the scenic Al's Beach Club and Burger Bar at The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island.
This partnership signifies Saltwater Restaurants Inc.'s commitment to the local environment, evident through their S.E.A. Initiative (Safety, Environment, Activities). To support the commendable efforts of the refuge, Saltwater Restaurants provided $10,000. This dedicated initiative aims to protect, preserve, and enhance the pristine beaches of the Emerald Coast.
“The S.E.A. Initiative is at the heart of what we believe in,” said Nick Sarra, CEO of Saltwater Restaurants Inc. “We are not just about serving great food but also about safeguarding our environment and fostering community activities that families can cherish.”
Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge has been a stalwart defender of the region's wildlife, ensuring that animals like "Bob" receive the care and rehabilitation they need. The successful release of the Blue Heron stands as a testament to the dedication of the refuge staff and the collaborative efforts of community partners like Saltwater Restaurants.
“The continued support we receive from the Saltwater Restaurants S.E.A. Initiative will help fund medications, habitat maintenance and professional veterinary care needed specifically for our local shore birds and marine mammals. Bob, the blue heron released today, named in memory of Bob Bonezzi, was originally brought to ECWR by a local resident because of visible entanglement. Upon arrival, we were able to xray the heron and noticed more entanglement internally as well as two fishing hooks. We normally intake around 2,000 Florida's native wildlife per year and this heron was patient 1,021. Herons are very important to our area because they are indicators of ecological health. Blue herons are currently threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation in Florida especially in coastal areas. Without partnerships like S.E.A, ECWR would not be able to afford to provide the care our shorebirds and marine mammals require."
- Pascal Robin, Executive Director, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge
As a continuation to the partnership with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, restaurant patrons can help support by purchasing the exclusive Blue Heron Cocktail available at participating Saltwater Restaurants. Infused with a tropical medley of flavors, this drink has been crafted with a higher purpose in mind. With each purchase of the Blue Heron Cocktail, a portion of the proceeds will be contributed directly to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, supporting their commendable efforts in wildlife conservation