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Ethical tourism meeting to convene in Punta Gorda, Charlotte Harbor & The Gulf Islands

Kayak outfitters, boat tour companies, eco-attractions, and other operators who offer guided tours through Florida’s natural places will convene at the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside June 27 & 28 during the Florida Society of Ethical Ecotourism’s 2014 Annual Meeting.

Sean and Brooks Paxton, “The Shark Brothers” will present a keynote address on Friday, June 27 and award-winning writer and photographer Lucy Tobias will address the group on Saturday, June 28. This is the first time Florida SEE has held its annual meeting in Charlotte County.

Saturday morning, meeting attendees have the opportunity to take advantage of Punta Gorda’s good nature with one of three activities. Planned are a wading trip at Ponce de Leon Park with the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center followed by a visit to the Peace River Wildlife Center; guided bicycle tour along the new Punta Gorda Pathways with Acme Bicycle Shop; and guided kayaking trip with GAEA Guides, a Florida SEE GOLD Certified Ecotour Provider.

The host hotel, the Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside, is currently designated a Florida Green Lodging hotel. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to protect and conserve the Sunshine State’s natural resources.

Incorporated in 2001, Florida SEE is a statewide organization promoting a professional code of ecotourism ethics in order to encourage an awareness and stewardship of Florida's natural and cultural heritage. One of the ways this is accomplished is through certifying ecotour providers who contribute to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of Florida and are committed to using best practices for ecological sustainability, natural area management, and quality ecotourism experiences.

Registration for Florida SEE members is $50 while the non-member registration fee is $60.

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