A poignant mural by Evoca One.
A poignant mural by Evoca One.
Tre' Packard / PangeaSeed Foundation 2017

Saltmates Social App Unites Ocean Lovers for Fun and Philanthropy

If you're a water addict, you're obviously living in the right city. From Biscayne Bay to Miami Beach to Key Biscayne, life in the 305 means there's pristine H2O in every direction.

Not everyone is enthusiastic about the sea, however; many Miamians prefer shopping and staying put in the AC to spending time in the blue. Luckily for ocean lovers, there's a new South Florida startup whose app is designed to unite everyone who wants to get wet and soak up the sun.

The app, dubbed Saltmates, is the first dedicated to creating a community for people who love the ocean, while simultaneously working to save it. Ten percent of profits will be donated to ocean conservation nonprofits.

Founders Nolan Brady (a yacht captain) and David Alvarez Cuervo Rizo (aka El Cuervo, a South Beach local and ex-partner of Clandestino Pub), have partnered with the nonprofitPangeaSeed Foundation and its Sea Walls art initiative. The organization's mission is to inspire positive change on global ocean issues through art, science, and other creative endeavors.

A colorful mural by Ernesto Maranje.
A colorful mural by Ernesto Maranje.
Tre' Packard / PangeaSeed Foundation 2017

As part of the project, four local Miami artists (Tatiana Suarez, Evoca One, Nicole Salgar, Ernesto Maranje) each created a public mural addressing sea level rise — a major issue for South Florida (since Miami Beach is predicted to be underwater one day).

"There are many social apps out there but very few are dedicated to a specific lifestyle," says Brady. "Our goal is to become the go-to 'ocean lifestyle' app that builds meaningful relationships through real life experiences that have a positive impact in the communities that live, breathe, and sleep ocean life."

The app allows users to create events and activities — think paddleboarding, beach yoga, or surfing — and get like-minded people to join. "When a user downloads the app, they are prompted to create a profile," explains Brady. "Once the profile has been created, they are able to explore the app by seeing all the activity that's on the feed from different users as well as check out nearby events that might pique their interest."

Moving forward, Saltmates will continue to partner with other ocean-focused charities — and grow its presence for water-lovers everywhere.

"Our goal is to also bring awareness to issues that have a negative impact on marine life," adds Rizo. "As founders who have grown up next to the coast our entire lives, we felt it was important for Saltmates to keep ocean conservation and the environment at the core of our business. We know that change starts from within and if we can make any small contribution to help our coastal communities, it will all be worth it."

Saltmates is free and available on both iOS and Android platforms; it can be found in the App Store and Google Play Store, respectively.

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