Troy Bodden is tireless in his pursuit of multiple projects — “greening” his Laguna Beach Resort, offering retraining and jobs to fishermen — with a common goal: making Utila a better home for the people who live there. For his efforts, Bodden is our July Sea Hero.
What are you focused on?
“New jobs for local fishermen — overfishing is the biggest threat to our coral reefs, potentially altering the biodiversity and sustainability of our reefs. We train them to be dive-boat captains and sportfishing captains. We recently provided the seamen’s training course to a group of 44 young men and two young women who received their Seaman Certification, STCW. [The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, or STCW, establishes basic common seafarer standards.]
"Utilians getting their certification now have a new tool to make a living — training and employing fishermen in other crafts will help avoid the dangerous decrease of certain species and its damage to our reefs. Education is the key for growth and development.”
What does it mean to make a dive resort “green”?
“At Laguna Beach, we are constantly making changes to decrease our carbon footprint. We changed our roofing on the bungalows, providing better insulation, which increased our energy efficiency. At this moment, 90 percent of the cabins have energy-efficient windows. We are working on installing solar hot water on half of the bungalows — before our next high season, all will have solar hot water.
"We are changing all our lighting to LED; approximately 50 percent is LED currently. Our dive boats have a high-performance propeller that makes them 5 miles per hour faster — the improvement saves six gallons of diesel per boat per day. And we are about to start construction of the first building of our new Utila Beach Town project, which will generate approximately 20 new jobs.”
How can individual divers help?
“By coming to Utila! You help us generate more jobs, and we are able to keep supporting workers and all our ongoing projects.”