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P1 Marine Foundation Supports New Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center Exhibit

Frode Sundsdal on 1st September 2022

As powerboat racing teams and personal watercraft riders arrive in downtown St. Pete ahead of this weekend’s Powerboat P1 Grand Prix and the Tampa Bay Watch Discovery Center introduces its new Ribbit Exhibit, the two organisations are renewing their partnership that was launched a year ago to raise awareness and enhance understanding of marine life in Tampa Bay.

Powerboat P1 works closely with its registered charity, P1 Marine Foundation, which is committed to the protection and improvement of the marine and coastal environment, and will be helping to support the opening this week of the ‘Frogs and Toads of Florida’ exhibit at the Discovery Centre on St. Pete Pier.

The Ribbit Exhibit opens this Friday (September 2) with the invitation to the public to ‘come meet the Discovery Center’s newest residents – a variety of live native and non-native frog and toad species that can be found in Florida.’

Frogs and toads are abundant in Florida and contribute to the state’s ecosystems in a variety of ways. The permanent exhibit will also inspire programming for field trips, after school programs and community outreach events.

P1 CEO and P1 Marine Foundation director Azam Rangoonwala said:

In our early discussions to stage a Grand Prix in St. Petersburg we became aware of the outstanding work of Tampa Bay Watch and the superb facilities at its Discovery Center, and we are excited by the launch of the educational Ribbit Exhibit that will give visitors the opportunity to discover how and why Florida’s native frogs and toads are increasingly threatened by invasive species.

Wherever we race, the protection of the local environment is a primary concern and selective partnerships play a key role in achieving this.

Dwayne Virgint, CEO of Tampa Bay Watch, commented:

The Discovery Center is pleased to partner with P1 Marine Foundation again this year. As local residents, we appreciate the care and discipline P1 takes to ensure marine mammals are protected during the races.

Using assigned boats and a helicopter to monitor race areas ensures that the protection of species remains a priority, as activities stop when an animal is spotted in the vicinity.

The continued efforts of both Powerboat P1 and P1 Marine Foundation ensure that we can enjoy our local waters while protecting our most important resources.

The two-day St. Pete Grand Prix will feature a double bill of offshore powerboat and personal watercraft racing over Labor Day weekend, and P1 racers are scheduled to visit the new exhibit when it opens on Friday.

Rangoonwala added:

The P1 Marine Foundation focuses on reducing the environmental impacts of our race events and continuously operating in an environmentally responsible manner.

The key aim of this partnership is to raise awareness of serious threats to marine life and we hope that our combined efforts will encourage locals and visitors to be stewards of their own environment.

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