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Sea Rangers sign first government deal

On December 5th, 2018, Carola Schouten, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, and Sea Ranger Service founder Wietse van der Werf signed a Green Deal. With this agreement, the Sea Ranger Service is able to start a two-year pilot on the North Sea.

The pilot will examine which tasks in the area of ​​sustainable food and energy transition can be carried out by the Sea Rangers; young people trained as ‘foresters’ at sea.

Eric Wiebes, Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management and Tamara van Ark, State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, will also sign the Green Deal, based on their wish to support innovative, sustainable initiatives. Sea Ranger Service founder Wietse van der Werf: “It took more than two years of hard work to bring the Sea Ranger Service to this point. It is remarkable that such an ambitious plan or idea, which was first considered impossible by many, now gets very concrete forms, thanks to the recognition and support from the government. Building a sustainable future is a shared ideal.”

The Sea Ranger Service has been set up as the world’s first maritime ranger service; an approach that is also followed with interest by foreign governments. The Netherlands is thus leading the way in maritime innovation and corporate social responsibility. With this Green Deal, the government recognizes that there are opportunities in the sustainable blue economy, or seaconomy, and that the Sea Ranger approach creates jobs for young people to carry out new tasks for sustainable food and energy transitions at sea. This could include the maintenance of seaweed farms, wildlife monitoring during the construction of new wind farms and nature restoration in Marine Protected Areas.

Sea Ranger Service

The Sea Ranger Service was set up in 2016 by social entrepreneur Wietse van der Werf. Every year a group of young adults is selected for a 5-week intensive bootcamp, led by navy veterans. Twelve participants from this group will be be offered a year contract to work on a sailing work ship for the Sea Ranger Service in all sorts of sustainable disciplines. Also, the company develops and builds special sailing ships able to deploy the Sea Rangers at sea. The start of the company is made possible by a variety of support and investment partners including the Rabobank Foundation, Citylab010 of the Municipality of Rotterdam, Randstad, DOEN Foundation and various social impact investors.

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