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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us 


~DEP takes Bahamian representatives on tour of multiple facilites enrolled in Florida Green Lodging program~

SOUTH FLORIDA – Florida’s Green Lodging Program is proving to be so successful other countries are taking notice. Throughout Monday and well into today, Florida Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Engineering Specialist Hugh Smith toured numerous South Florida facilities with two Bahamian visitors. The representatives are traveling the U.S. conducting interviews for a documentary titled “Alternative Energy and Eco-Tourism Innovations” that will be aired in the Bahamas upon their return.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Sustainable Initiatives was approached with this idea by the U.S. Department of State’s Television Co-Operatives Program. The primary objective of the Co-Op is to increase awareness and foster constructive dialogue between residents, business interests and local governments about the economic stability alternative energy and eco-tourism can provide. The goal of the Co-Op Program is to encourage Bahamians to lobby their government and convince the tourism sector to adopt policies that support alternative energy technologies in private homes and businesses.

“The visitors were so impressed by the facilities that the cameras hardly stopped rolling,” said DEP’s Hugh Smith. “On the second day, the Bahamians were awake and filming before we were ready to continue. They will be staying at one of our facilities in the Keys before their final journey home.”

The visiting Bahamians not only focused the subject matter of their documentary on green lodging, but also insisted on staying at facilities designated by the program while traveling throughout the state. In addition to Florida, they plan to visit Colorado, Washington, D.C. and possibly St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands to see alternative energy technologies and applications in other areas of the country.

The U.S. Department of State’s Television Co-Op Program has produced television cooperatives with foreign broadcasters for over 40 years. They communicate U.S. policies through the eyes of foreign journalists and their cameras. The documentaries feature reports, produced by these co-operatives, are broadcast multiple times and reach a large number of viewers.  

The Florida Green Lodging Program was launched in 2004 and is a voluntary program that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. With nearly 700 individual facilities registered, ranging from small bed and breakfast to massive tourist resorts, the program includes slightly more than 40 percent of all individual hotel and motel rooms in the state.