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Jason

Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises Ocean Grant

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Shake-A-Leg Miami to Reclaim Biscayne Bay Islands With Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises Ocean Fund Grant

MIAMI, Jan. 27 -- Shake-A-Leg Miami will work with the City of Miami to transform two debris-strewn islands in Biscayne Bay into state-of-the-art recreational and educational sites for disabled and disadvantaged children with help from a $150,000 grant from the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises Ocean Fund. The Shake-A-Leg grant is one of 11 awarded this year by the Ocean Fund in support of marine conservation, education and awareness initiatives.

A portion of Shake-A-Leg's Ocean Fund grant also will be used to outfit a donated 37-foot trimaran, making it a fully accessible science and vocational training vessel, and to develop a marine-science curriculum it will offer to schools throughout Miami-Dade County.

"With the generous support of Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, we will be able to develop and operate unique environmental programs for adults and youth of all abilities," said Harry Horgan, executive director of Shake-A- Leg Miami, which serves the disabled, the disadvantaged and members of the community at large by providing accessible water sports opportunities.

Shake-A-Leg Miami is one of 11 organizations in 2005 to receive a total of $613,000 in Ocean Fund grants. More than $6.6 million has been awarded to 48 organizations since the fund's inception in 1996.

"We understand our responsibility to protect the oceans," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We also recognize that, through our Ocean Fund, we can play a pivotal role in raising awareness of the fragility of the world's marine ecosystems and support, in a tangible way, efforts to preserve those environments."

The 10 other 2005 Ocean Fund grant recipients are as follows.

* American Association for American Geographers, Washington, D.C.: $40,000 to conduct a coastal and marine cleanup project in four districts of Colon, Panama.

* Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro, Calif.: $40,000 over two years to continue its Sea Rangers youth conservation program, which trains students to serve as naturalists who conduct tours of the Cabrillo Bay coastal habitat.

* Cape Cod Stranding Network, Buzzards Bay, Mass.: $48,000 to develop outreach materials and a public awareness campaign focusing on the prevention of seal entanglements, as well as training materials produced in conjunction with the Virginia Aquarium on the evaluation of injured marine animals.

* The Conservation Fund, Arlington, Va.: $150,000 to purchase tracts of coastal land in Alaska for habitat conservation.

* Island Dolphin Care, Key Largo, Fla.: $25,000 to outfit classrooms, meeting spaces and therapy rooms in a new facility serving critically ill and special-needs children with dolphin-assisted therapy.

* MAST Academy, Miami: $50,000 to refurbish and equip a bus that will serve as a mobile science laboratory that will visit more than 30 schools in Miami-Dade County.

* Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Fla.: $20,000 to enhance exhibits at the Conch Baby Farm, a newly established aquaculture facility in Key West that studies the endangered Queen Conch.

* Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach, Calif.: $20,000 to help construct four marine mammal rehabilitation pools.

* Save the Bay, Providence, R.I.: $30,000 to create a large mural of undersea life in Narragansett Bay in the organization's new Explore the Bay Education Center.

* University of Miami, Miami, Fla.: $40,000 for two graduate fellowships at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

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