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Feel good about dining at this ocean friendly restaurant

June 5, 2019
By LEAH SANKEY (lsankey@breezenewspapers.com) , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Fish Tale Waterfront Dining is the only restaurant in Southwest Florida deemed an Ocean Friendly restaurant by the Surfrider Foundation. The Ocean Friendly Restaurants program aims for large scale changes that stop plastic pollution at the source by transitioning away from single-use plastic packaging.

"The beach banned plastic straws, and we took it a step further," said Janeen Paulauskis, the marketing director of Fish-tale Waterfront Dining and Fish-Tale Marina. "The marina has been a part of the Clean and Resilient Marina Program for years, then last year we learned about the Surfrider Foundation's Ocean Friendly Restaurant Program and we changed all of our products so that we could be a part of it. We don't use plastic to-go containers, everything is paper. During season, we use napkins that can be washed."

"We are the only ones from here to Sarasota that is Ocean Friendly," said Paulauskis.

To be considered an Ocean Friendly restaurant, restaurants must follow these practices: no styrofoam, proper recycling practices are followed, only reusable tableware is used for onsite dining, and disposable utensils for takeout food are provided only upon request, no plastic bags offered for takeout or to-go orders, straws are provided only upon request (however, they use paper straws regardless). The restaurant also participates in water conservation efforts and energy efficiency efforts.

"As part of the Fish-Tale Marina campus, and our continued efforts to provide a Clean and Resilient Marina, we are pleased to have Fish-Tale Waterfront Dining participating in the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program. Plastic pollution is a top issue affecting the ocean and coastlines, and with all of our help, we can reduce our impact and turn the tide for our waterways," Al Durrett, of Fish-Tale Marina said.

They just finished their second season, and the manager, Kayla Rosas, says that it was a success and that the off-season has been far more successful than expected. Their success is in no small part due to their tight-knit and friendly staff, their commitment to sustainability, their diverse menu, and, of course, their award-winning key lime pie.

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