5:26pm PT by Chris Gardner
Michelle Rodriguez Partners With Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has just announced a partnership with Taino Warriors and Michelle Rodriguez on a campaign to help Puerto Rico.
The initiative, dubbed Operation Taino Spirit Promise, comes less than three months after Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, the strongest storm to hit the island in 85 years.
Said to be in the spirit of Puerto Rico’s indigenous Taino people, Operation Taino Spirit Promise will deliver supplies to local Puerto Rican NGOs. Areas of focus include the environment, eco-agriculture and children’s mental health and education. The vessel will also retrieve plastics and raw materials, getting them off the island to ease the burden on the maxed-out landfills. The campaign launches later this month, continuing through 2018.
Rodriguez spent parts of her childhood on the island with her father, who is Puerto Rican. In a statement, the actress said, “Taino Spirit Promise will identify disrupters and change makers in Puerto Rico to empower them by bringing long term aid and assistance." Added Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd founder, president and CEO: “In this era of climate change Sea Shepherd stands ready to assist the good and resilient people of Puerto Rico in their recovery from these destructive events."
“The indelible Taino spirit that lives in every Puerto Rican on the island and in the diaspora commands us to come together to help rebuild Puerto Rico” said Puerto Rico-born Ivette Rodriguez (no relation to Michelle Rodriguez), who founded Taino Warriors, a Hollywood-based nonprofit. “We want to empower the younger generations and remind them of the greatness of their origins. We are thrilled that Michelle Rodriguez (no relation) and Captain Paul Watson are joining us on this mission.”
Sea Shepherd's other relief efforts include Hurricane Irma and Operation Good Pirates of the Caribbean, which involved the islands of Curacao, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia, Guadeloupe, Antigua, Saint Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, St. Barts and St. Croix.