TAMPA, Fla. (KOIN) — It’s Super Bowl Week in Tampa and the festivities are well underway, but with the massive influx of people, the NFL is prioritizing giving back to the community hosting the Big Game.
This year, a large emphasis is being placed on ensuring they leave beautiful Tampa better than they found it.
With Tampa’s sandy beaches and beautiful water, Force Blue has made it their mission to protect Tampa’s natural resources this week.
“We’re on our mission to preserve and restore,” Angelo Fioro, Force Blue’s director of dive operations, said.
Force Blue is the only non-profit in the world to re-train and re-deploy former special operations veterans to help with marine conservation efforts.
“It means everything because this is a perfect example of what Force Blue is about — coordinating and bringing together like-minded individuals from many different walks of life together for a mission,” Rudy Reyes, a former Marine, said. “That means the most to all of us for now and for the future – it’s to save these oceans”
Nearly 640,000 tons of fishing gear is lost in our oceans each year, and 92% of animal encounters with debris can be lethal.
With the Super Bowl being hosted in Florida two years in a row, the league has partnered with Force Blue on a year-long project to restore a football field length of one of Florida’s beautiful coral reefs.