Raleigh, NC, June 18, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Miles M. (Bud) Smart, Ph.D., president of Audubon Environmental, a sustainability consulting firm that works with landowners, developers and government entities to protect and sustain land, water, wildlife and natural resources, has announced that the Bahía Beach Resort & Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, was selected by the Puerto Rico Homebuilders Association to receive the Heritage and Sustainable Community of the Year Award for 2008. Bahia Beach Resort is the first resort to be certified as Gold Sanctuary in the Caribbean by Audubon International. Audubon Environmental provided sustainability consulting services for the resort in an effort to preserve and enhance the facility’s natural environment.
The award recognizes the resort developers for outstanding dedication and commitment to sustainable development and for implementing practices that protect and benefit the environment. The resort, situated on 483 acres, has a nature-based focus that includes integrated architecture and a commitment to preserve about 65 percent of the land as green area. Working to honor this commitment, the Bahía Beach Resort has transplanted more than 4,000 trees and coconut palms, has propagated and planted more than 62,000 native or naturalized plants and trees, added more than 6,500 linear feet of aquatics, converted about three acres from grass to shrubs and transplanted wild ferns and oyster plants on the property.
The primary goals of the project were to protect the land and water, and improve the lives of the local population with education and jobs. Soul of Bahia serves as an environmental education and outreach arm of the Bahía Beach Resort and has created several pamphlets on beach and river conservation and traveled to local school groups to address the topics in addition to hosting beach and river cleanup events. Audubon Environmental worked with the Bahia Beach Resort development team to achieve the highest level of sustainability, preserve the history and culture as well as protect and maintain the ecological diversity of the region. The firm accomplished this through performing an on-site assessment of restoration, enhancement and protection opportunities; implementing strategies to promote those opportunities; and educating those who live, work and recreate on-site. Management programs were developed and implemented to ensure protection of the ecological treasures in perpetuity.
The Bahía Beach Resort boasts a 2-mile stretch of beach along the Atlantic Ocean, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., world-class golf and beach clubhouses and the 139-suite St. Regis Resort at Bahía Beach – the first five-star resort in Puerto Rico’s history. For more information, visit www.bahiabeachpuertorico.com.
“The Bahía Beach Resort project was a tremendous success and we are pleased to see it gain recognition,” said Smart. “This project is an example of how luxury can be coupled with environmental sustainability to create something great.”
Federico Sanchez, president and CEO of Interlink Group, development member of Bahia Beach Resort and Golf Club said, "It is an honor to receive this recognition on behalf of the Bahia Beach family. The work put in by our Green Team with the great guidance and support of Audubon International and Audubon Environmental, has allowed Bahia Beach to mature into a great natural setting where residents and tourists can enjoy and cohabitate with the wonders that nature has to offer."
About Audubon Environmental:
Audubon Environmental partners with landowners, developers and government entities to protect and sustain land, water, wildlife and natural resources in a way that balances economic realities with the needs of an ecosystem. Through design, development, management and education, environmental permits, golf services, and certifications, the firm provides comprehensive environmental services to communities around the world. It has diverse experience working with multi-family, single-family, mixed-use and new urbanist communities, resorts and amenity centers, golf courses, marinas, commercial and other land use developments. AE is the exclusive provider of environmental technical services to members of the Audubon International’s Signature and Classic programs. For more information about Audubon Environmental, visit www.audubonenv.com.
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