Submitted by Mary Eva Tredway

October is National Seafood Month, and for the second year in a row, the Golden Isles Coalition for the Seafood Nutrition Partnership has big plans in store to educate residents and visitors about the overall health benefits – especially for the heart – of eating seafood at least twice a week.

A cadre of local dignitaries and personalities recently gathered to kick-off plans for the month — when they will also be encouraging everyone throughout the Golden Isles to “Eat More Seafood!” and take the healthy heart pledge.

Among the local leaders who will be stepping up for the campaign to illuminate the connection between seafood consumption and improved heart health are: Johnny Carino, corporate executive chef, King & Prince Seafood, in front, from left, and Joyce Mattox, nutritionist, Sea Island Co.; Dawn Lewis, director of culinary services, Glynn County Schools, second row, from left; Woody Woodside, president, Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce; Michael Scherneck, president and CEO, Southeast Georgia Health System and David Yarborough, pastor, St. Simons Community Church; Leslie Hartman, executive director, Safe Harbor, third row, from left, Bill Brunson, District 4 Glynn County Commissioner; Dr. Lori Tefts, neurologist, Southeast Georgia Health System; Cornell Harvey, mayor, City of Brunswick and Dr. Gregory Aloia, president, College of Coastal Georgia; Laura Roberts, partner, Roberts Tate, fourth row, from left; Rocky Hidalgo, head football coach, Glynn Academy; Randall Lacey, sergeant, Glynn County Police Department; Joe Willie Sousa, on-air personality, morning show host, WRJY WAVE 104.1 FM and Larry Harold, head football coach, Brunswick High School.

“I became a Seafood Nutrition Partnership Ambassador last year, and pledged to eat seafood at least twice a week,” said Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey. “I took the pledge very seriously, and also began to take better care of my overall health. Today, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in since the military, and it all started by simply eating more seafood.”

The local heart-health initiative is part of a larger national effort facilitated by the nonprofit Seafood Nutrition Partnership (SNP), a 501©(3) organization dedicated to raising awareness about the health benefits of a diet rich in seafood.

National partners of the SNP include leading health organizations such as the USDA MyPlate, the Non-communicable Disease Roundtable, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and others.

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease – disease involving the heart or blood vessels – is among the primary aims of the SNP’s education efforts.

A multifaceted marketing campaign is planned for the entire month October, Tigani added, to engage Golden Isles residents and visitors during National Seafood Month.

Local pastor and health buff David Yarborough signed on as an ambassador this year, citing that “If seafood was good enough for Jesus, it’s certainly good enough for me!”

For more information about the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, and to take the SNP’s Healthy Heart Pledge, visit www.seafoodnutrition.org.