Thirst for Giving™
KOR's mission is to protect, celebrate and treasure water. We believe water is the fundamental source of all life and connects us inseparably. Through KOR's "Thirst for Giving" program, four critical water causes in the areas of ocean protection, global water crisis, watershed protection and container recycling have been supported through financial donations and helping to raise awareness. This year, in 2012, KOR is leveraging its resources to focus squarely on the protection of our oceans. KOR is excited to partner with The Nature Conservancy, in conjunction with Summit Series, to support the Conservancy's efforts to establish a protected area — the South Berry Islands Marine Reserve in the Bahamas. One percent of all KOR sales in 2012 will be donated toward this effort.
Read the statement below, kindly submitted by our friends at The Nature Conservancy, to learn more about our new focus and why you should care:
Protecting the Ocean — Announcing KOR's Partnership with The Nature Conservancy
The most amazing and wonderful creatures inhabit our vast oceans — including over 350 species of sharks. Often misunderstood and typically feared, sharks lived unmolested for nearly 400 million years, but today face unprecedented threats.
Each year, more than 100 million sharks are slaughtered, tens of millions of those for their fins alone. And now shark populations are dangerously depleted with many species facing extinction as they are killed faster than their populations can be replenished.
Scientists and conservationists are seriously alarmed. Sharks are a top ocean predator with a critical role for maintaining healthy marine ecosystems.
Though everyone can recognize a shark, to save them, scientists still have a lot to learn about them. Where are different species of sharks found? Where are shark “hot spots” – migratory routes, feeding locations and breeding and birthing sites? Where are they most vulnerable to destructive fishing?
The Bahamas offers nature’s perfect in-water shark research laboratory where scientists are beginning to answer those questions. Already world-renowned for its rich diversity and large numbers of sharks, the island nation boldly banned all commercial shark fishing in 2011.
Scientists from the University of Miami work in Bahamian waters to tag sharks and track them by satellite after capturing, assessing and carefully releasing them back to sea. Last spring, while observing the scientists carrying out their research in the Berry Islands during a Summit Series’ Summit at Sea field excursion, KOR Water co-founder Eric Barnes became a champion for sharks. KOR Water was inspired to join the Summit Series (a unique company that engages the world’s most dynamic dreamers and doers through events and initiatives to make the world a better place) in supporting The Nature Conservancy’s effort to transform an important shark habitat, the Bahamas’ South Berry Islands Marine Reserve, from a “paper park” to an effectively managed protected area.
Through a philanthropic alliance with the Conservancy’s Bahamas program, KOR Water has pledged 1% of all sales to support the Conservancy’s marine conservation efforts in The Bahamas, with a special focus on the South Berry Islands Marine Reserve. The marine reserve was officially decreed in 2000, but due to limited government financial and technical resources, the 70-square mile no-take zone remains unprotected, unmanaged and vulnerable today. That will soon change. Working with the government and private partners, the Conservancy is completing a management plan that will be a conservation blueprint for the reserve. Soon, the reserve will have the trained rangers, boats, buoys and community outreach it needs to protect sharks – and all the other incredible marine creatures – within its boundaries.
KOR's Other Thirst for Giving Partners
Although KOR will focus on a single cause this year, we will continue to support our original Thirst for Giving Partners and advocate for these selected water causes: