By Marybel Rodriguez, CBS 4 Miami
So what better day than Earth Day to launch the Miami Super Bowl Environmental Initiative, Ocean to Everglades.
In partnership with NFL Green, Ocean Conservancy and the Everglades Foundation, their mission is to reduce the environmental impact around Super Bowl events.
Close to a dozen environmental superstars including Governor Ron DeSantis, Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Chairman Rodney Barreto and Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez gathered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center in Crandon Park on Earth Day to make the official announcement.
“Eight million metric tons of plastic waste that ends up in the ocean every year and just for perspective that’s enough to fill Hard Rock Stadium every other day you’re around,” said Ocean Conservancy Vice President Emily Woglom.
Every year, the NFL develops environmental initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental impact of Super Bowl events and promote a sustainable legacy that lives on after the big game.
The Ocean to Everglades Initiative will come to life in a series of activations across South Florida leading up to Super Bowl LIV.
Four pillars will guide the O2E activities: plastics, coastal protection, habitat and education.
From beach clean ups and coral reef planting, community projects to Everglades excursions and student fishing trips, the O2E initiative aims to create long lasting and sustainable impact by bringing together expert organizations and inviting them to be a part of Super Bowl LIV and its legacy.
“Florida is prime for marquee sporting events and we are honored to host the Super Bowl in Miami next year,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “However, hosting such an event is a tremendous undertaking with a great responsibility. Preserving our environment is important to many Floridians, especially in South Florida, so I am thankful to the host committee and the partners involved in this initiative for putting a plan in place to ensure that our environment will be safeguarded from our oceans to the Everglades.”
Florida’s Super Bowl activities will continue the following year as well.
“We are really lucky in Florida that we are going to have the Super Bowl next year in Miami and the following year in Tampa so that’s a great one two punch for the state,” added DeSantis.
That is why they are using the Super Bowl’s massive platform to raise awareness and protect our most precious resources.
“We have to take that message, wrap it around an NFL football, and throw a Hail Mary into the end zone,” said Jack Groth with NFL Green.
The NFL has incorporated environmental projects into the management of the Super Bowl for more than 25 years. The program aims to reduce the environmental impact of Super Bowl events and leave a positive, “green” legacy in host communities. These efforts include food recovery and distribution, recycling and solid waste management, recovery and donation of event and building materials, urban forestry projects and the use of “green energy” to power events.