Last weekend, I had the honor and pleasure of attending the 4th Annual Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) Gala.  The past few months have been challenging for divers and water enthusiasts in South Florida with the winds blowing non-stop.  But last weekend, the tides and stars aligned delivering an absolutely majestic evening.  Dress code was definitely Keys style – there were little black dresses, Hawaiian shirts, tuxedos and flip flops, and even a lovely gentleman wearing flip flops with his tuxedo.  Come as you are – just my style!

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The list of attendees at the Gala included many heroes and rockstars in ocean conservation.  While mingling in the cool night air, I was humbled by the number of people rallying together in support of this organization.  Born of Ken Nedimyer’s desire to help improve the local reefs, as Coral Restoration Foundation’s President and Founder he worked passionately to refine propagation techniques for Staghorn coral.  From humble beginnings, CRF’s staff and Board of Directors are now filled with some of the most passionate and influential water conservationists in the world.

I had the pleasure of seeing old friends and making new acquaintances including some very influential people like the artist Wyland, Steven Frink, publisher of Alert Diver  (one of the best diver magazines around) who recently profiled the dangers of sunscreen pollution within our reefs, Frazier Nivens (underwater videographer who won two Grammies this year and put together a majestic presentation tonight), Michael Echevarria (friend, social entrepreneur and Chairman of the CRF Board of Directors) and many more.

John Nussbaum, Autumn Blum, Mike Echevarria, Frazier Nivens

John Nussbaum, Autumn Blum, Mike Echevarria, Frazier Nivens

It was inspiring to hear about CRF’s incredible accomplishments in 2015 and to learn about their plans for 2016.  Equally as inspirational were all of the companies and organizations rallying behind CRF’s efforts to effect change.  Wyland donated two paintings to the live auction, painted and signed on location, which raised over $30,000.  Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo announced a 5-year partnership to completely restore Carysfort Reef.  Many other companies, including Stream2Sea, donated product and services to the silent auction to raise funds. I was lucky enough to be the winning bidder for this beautiful diamond-laced Conch pendant donated by Florida Keys Jewelry to the silent auction.  I am also proud that all attendees were given a small sample gift of our EcoConscious Sunscreen, proven safe for coral larvae and several fish species, as a parting gift.

conch

I won, I won, I won!

Coral Restoration Foundation is the definition of an inspirational grass-roots organization. If you are not familiar with their organization, please take a moment to visit their website, www.coralrestoration.org. While you are there, consider donating money or volunteering your time to help with their restoration efforts   They are doing brilliant work in the Florida Keys and throughout the Caribbean to help restore coral reefs and increase awareness about the problems that our oceans and reefs currently face.  We are proud supporters of their work!

I thank you for continuing to join us on this journey…because we DO have a choice and we WILL choose to do better.  We encourage and appreciate your comments, questions or concerns while we share information that is important to you along the way.

Autumn Blum
Formulator & CEO
Stream2Sea – home of the EcoConscious Mineral Sunscreen

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Stream2Sea has set a new standard for EcoConscious sunscreen and skincare. Along with standard human safety and SPF tests, Stream2Sea products are proven to be biodegradable in both salt water and fresh water,  have passed a comprehensive series of aquatic toxicity tests and was formulated without ingredients known to harm the environment.  Formulated with powerful antioxidant blends to protect skin from sun damage, the Stream2Sea line includes sunscreens, conditioning shampoo and body wash, leave-in conditioner, nourishing body lotion and lip balms. Stream2Sea products are currently available online at www.Stream2Sea.com or ask for them at your favorite health food store, dive center or outdoor retailer. Friend us on Facebook or call (866) 960-9513.