his strong belief in preservation and sustainability is in his blood.
Jake’s granduncle once said “for tourism the environment is the attraction. If the environment is damaged, the business is damaged. Vacation destinations have a tremendous stake in the protection of the environment. We pride ourselves on protecting PUNTACANA Resort & Club.” Jake carries on this legacy and ensures that environmentalism is at the forefront of the goals and objectives of the Puntacana Ecological Foundation. Jake was responsible for the “Zero Waste” project he begun in 2007 and has also participated in many of the programs that have been highlighted on this blog.
Jake also recently had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the third annual Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism, which was held from July 9-11 at St. George’s University in Grenada. During his keynote speech, Jake took the audience through 45 years of history at the resort, including many of the formative decisions to preserve the natural beauty and local resources of the island. Despite not having a phrase for it back then, the founders were practicing “sustainable development,” something that is obviously still a priority for the resort. You can read more about Jake’s keynote speech and see some of the images he shared at this link.
And, lest we forget, Jake was behind many of the environmental initiatives we have written about before, including those to rehabilitate the staghorn coral population and the conservation project with
the Ridgway’s hawks. If Jake’s resume seems tireless and almost superhuman, that’s because it is. In fact, Jake said it best back in 2009: “as an environmentalist, you have to be a tragic optimist; committed to the idea that people are going to come around on this stuff and things are going to get better.” Lucky for all of us, Jake was right. People are starting to come around, and things are certainly getting better.