When a catastrophic earthquake ruptured Haiti's core in January this year, thousands of relief workers, volunteers and military members responded with lightening speed.
Many are still in the Third World country, trying to rebuild, revitalize and renourish the impoverished area.
It's that kind of response that members of the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Council are hoping for should crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion wash along the shores of Navarre Beach.
"This is still an ecotourism opportunity," said Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Gordin Goodin during an emergency TDC board meeting May 5. "There are a lot of people who will want to come down and help out."
In trying to salvage the remainder of the summer tourism season, MDi Media Group - an Alabama-based public relations firm hired by the TDC to market Santa Rosa County - put together a campaign that would target would-be ecotourists.
"Many people care and want to help," said Meridith South, president of MDi Media Group's media division. "We need to be proactive."
However, before that campaign hits the airwaves, members of the TDC asked what recourse was available now to counteract guests' cancellations.
Over two days, Beach Rentals at Navarre received 27 cancellations, while Navarre Properties counted 20. A representative from Dale Peterson Vacations said only a handful - about 15 - guests cancelled their stays and Navarre Beach Agency has had only three.
South urged rental agents to show the beach to their guests, take daily pictures and e-mail them to would-be tourists, telling them the beach is still there.
"If you give truthful information, people will be more willing to keep their reservations," South said. "Show them the beach. Let them know it's still here."
Dorothy Slye, owner/broker of ERA Navarre Beach Agency, suggested the TDC come up with a top 10 things guests could do if the beach was tarnished.
"Even on rainy days, they still go other places," said Ira Mae Bruce, co-owner/broker of Century 21 Island View Realty and TDC board member.
TDC members pressed on with their plan to shoot fireworks off the Navarre Beach pier on July 4, hoping the oil would not keep that celebration at bay.
"One way or another, the people of Navarre need something big right now," Bruce said. "We need to do this for the community because it will be a hard summer for all of us if we can't turn this around."