We invest in our community and care about our environment. Among our corporate values are sustainability and eco-consciousness. We are proud to work with the following initiatives by having a parking lot water management system, sea turtle friendly lighting, beach friendly native landscaping, composting, growing our own vegetables, recycling oyster shells, and supporting skip the straw campaign.
Community Initiative Partners
Mote Marine Laboratory
The Chiles Restaurant Group worked with fishermen based in Cortez, Florida, to procure and donate 600 pounds of frozen mullet to Mote scientists. Ed Chiles stated, “We are excited to be able to provide support for the second phase of the mullet feed trials, following the launch made possible through the funds provided by Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s X-prize-style competition.” Chiles continued, “Grey Striped Mullet built the village of Cortez, one of the oldest continual fishing villages in the state of Florida. While the roe from southwest Florida’s Sandy Bottom Grey Striped Mullet is prized internationally , the remaining byproduct, knowns as shuck, is often underutilized.”
If the fish meal project conducted by Dr. Main and her team at Mote is successful, then we could see this sustainable natural resource become another value-added opportunity.
Start: Preserving Our Coastal Waters
STARTS mission is to advance education and innovation that improves the quality of our coastal waters.
START is a non-profit grass roots organization founded in 1996 on Longboat Key by retired General Jim Patterson and a few other concerned citizens in response to a devastating ten-month long red tide bloom that ravaged a wide area along the West Coast of Florida. START is derived from the phrase “Solutions To Avoid Red Tide”. Ed Chiles is a founding board member and past Chairman of START. The Chiles Group continues collaboration with START by working together with the Clam Restoration project. Clams are of great importance in our marine ecosystem because they are excellent filter feeders that improve water quality, they can live for over thirty years and they are very resistant to red tide.
Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration
All three of the Chiles’ restaurants participate in the Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration Project (GCORR) which aims at collecting and reusing cast off oyster and clam shells to help restore the environment.
The process includes the collection, cleaning, and transportation of used clam and oyster shells from its three seafood restaurants to the local Manatee County Preserve to aid in restoration of oyster/clam habitat. The Gulf Coast Oyster Recycle & Restoration Project specifically involves oyster restoration, but its execution will positively impact many other aspects of daily lives by means of providing a hatchery for new oysters, reducing shoreline erosion, improving water quality, and revitalizing the oyster and other marine habitat to increase the local food supply. One oyster can filter 9.6 gallons of salt water in one day, creating cleaner environments for swimming and recreational uses.
The Gulf Shellfish Institute
The Chiles’ restaurants work with The Gulf Shellfish Institute to improve and increase the production of shellfish for both ecological and economic benefit throughout Florida and the Gulf region. High quality seafood produced in an environmentally sustainable fashion can boost coastal economies, preserve and strengthen working waterfronts, and improve coastal water quality and habitats.
Florida Maritime Museum
“Our mission is to collect, preserve and share traditional knowledge, cultural artifacts and personal stories specific to Florida’s fishing and maritime heritage.”
The Florida Maritime Museum is situated on almost four acres of land in the historic fishing village of Cortez. The residents of this community are passionate about preserving the past and ensuring that current and future residents and visitors to Manatee County understand the significance of Cortez Village and the broader maritime history of the area. Exhibits include historic photographs, boat models, tools, instruments, and other historically significant material relevant to Florida’s maritime culture and history. The museum is also home to a folk school that teaches traditional Florida skills and a research library that includes a variety of books, plans, logs, diaries, periodicals, letters, records and related archival material whose content is relevant to research concerning maritime subjects with special emphases on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Sarasota Bay Watch
Sarasota Bay Watch’s goal is to initiate innovative and effective action grounded in selfless and comprehensive planning to assure the sustainability of Sarasota Bay. It is their objective to establish collaborative relationships with other environmental organizations and scientists.
Sister Keys Conservancy was formed after the town of Long Boat Key decided to purchase the four islands to help protect them. The islands were restored with native plants, wetlands, salt marsh and gopher tortoise habitat.
Thanks to Mote Marine Laboratory, Longboat Key Town Commission and other members of the community, these islands will forever be protected from development and preserved as a wildlife and nature preserve.