Boating plays a major in role in the economic and social infrastructure of many Caribbean islands. It is a unique ecosystem involving local boater, international yachting adventurers, local tradesmen and a rich history and culture of exploration and intrigue. We must also be diligent supporters for these island communities in their time of need. In wake of catastrophic physical, psychological and economic damage brought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Eastern Caribbean, it is our utmost duty to participate in relief efforts to help these communities recover as quickly as possible. In the aftermath of these storms, island infrastructure has been devastated and much of the population remains without access to vital needs such as water, food, electricity and medical care. Over the years, many individuals in these communities have become friends and partners of the international yachting community and now is the time come together and lend a helping hand.
Providing Immediate Assistance
Since day one, the proactive response from numerous industry leaders to assist with immediate relief efforts has been incredibly overwhelming and heartwarming. Likewise, IGY has made it a priority to provide support for these communities in any way possible. We have opened the doors of our properties to be utilized as make-shift hospitals and temporary shelters for those displaced, and have provided staging for military aid operations to regulate safety measures for local residents. Though these efforts served as great resources for immediate assistance, there is still more work to be done, as it will take millions to get these communities back on their feet.
Funding the Next Phase of Reconstruction
We are confident and optimistic that in time the spirit and resilience of the affected islands will prevail, however, we also understand the grave need to offer support for these communities to continue onto the next phase of the rebuilding process. Hence, IGY Marinas and its parent company, Island Capital Group LLC., have sponsored the creation of the NYC Eastern Caribbean Relief Fund Inc., an organization to raise money for hurricane disaster relief. Through this fund, we hope to join forces with industry partners, colleagues and friends to achieve the goal of raising $5 million to provide fundamentals of survival to families who have lost much of their livelihood. Solidarity is of the essence at a time like this, so our yachting community must rally in support of these islands, which are at the core of our industry – providing the goods and services we have come to rely on year after year.
Tom Mukamal serves as CEO of IGY Marinas. For more information on IGY Marinas or its collection of marina destinations, visit www.IGYMarinas.com.