Melges 32 Worlds

Photo by Joy Dunnigan - click to view gallery.

Photo by Joy Dunnigan – click to view gallery.

This week the 2012 Melges 32 Worlds hosted by New York Yacht Club is taking place here in Newport. The event is being run as a Gold Level Clean Regatta through NYYC season long commitment. 2012 marks their fourth year in a row! The NYYC venue is a great example of how you can make simple changes to your yacht club, and keep them going year round to run all your events as Clean Regattas – they have hosted 17 major events this sailing season. Learn more about Clean Regattas and how you can register your event by clicking here.

These are the best practices that have been followed at every NYYC regatta  this sumer:

  • Green Team
  • Water Bottle Reduction
  • Trash Free Regatta
  • No Discharge
  • Recycling
  • Non-Toxic Products
  • Gray Water Reduction
  • Oil Spill Prevention
  • Recycled Paper/ Online Registration & Results
  • Biodegradable or Reusable Products, such as plates, glasses etc.
  • Bottom Paint
  • Bottom Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Carbon Footprint – Reduce energy use
  • Stormwater Prevention Pollution
  • Tracking their success

We would like to thank NYYC for their longstanding commitment to Clean Regattas. We wish the racers the best of luck, view results here, and a live blog here.


Community Day at West Marine

We are very excited to announce that West Marine will be hosting a community day at their Sausalito, CA store for Sailors for the Sea!

On October 4th 5% of the stores sales for the day will be donated to Sailors for the Sea to support ocean conservation.

The store is located at: 295 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, CA and is open from 8am to 7pm on October 4th.

Representatives from West Marine’s Sausalito store and Sailors for the Sea welcome boaters  to join them on Thursday, October 4, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. for the Community Day event and barbecue. The event  will consist of activities throughout the day geared toward educating attendees on ocean health issues, featuring Rainy Day Kits.

Attendees will receive a Blue Future reusable shopping bag, a clean boating guide, posters, and can enter to win a $100 West Marine gift card. Please help spread the world – and if you have a big shopping trip you need to make, save it for October 4th!  If you won’t be in northern California on Oct. 4th, but would like to learn more about environmentally friendly boat supplies check out the Pure Oceans line from West Marine and our Clean Boating Guide. (PDF)

Salmon in Bristol Bay

This month’s Ocean Watch Essay comes from The Nature Conservancy in Alaska.

Salmon Fishing at Flounder Flats

Sailing off Flounder Flats, Nushagak Bay ca 1935. Photo by Dave Carlson, Dave and Mary Carlson Collection, Samuel K. Fox Museum. Dillingham, Alaska.

Did you know that sailboats were used to fish for salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay until 1950. This fishery,  now in it’s 128th year of commercial fishing, remains without question the greatest wild salmon run on Earth.

The key to success? Sustainability – from the pristine environment surrounding the area to the carefully managed fish stock rated as a “best choice” by he Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list.

Commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.

Commercial fishing in Bristol Bay.

The Nature Conservancy began protecting fish and wildlife habitat here in the early 1990s. Looming mine proposals continue to threaten this amazing region. Protection has been done largely through land purchases & conservation easements. In recent years, The Nature Conservancy has built a research program aimed at collecting the baseline data necessary for assessing the resource at risk from large-scale development.

What Can You Do?

  • Read the full essay for a better understanding.
  • Contribute to The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to protect habitat in the region.
  • Support ocean conservation by making a donation to Sailors for the Sea.
  • Support a sustainable wild salmon fishery: Ask for wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay when you buy fish
  • Discover Bristol Bay, its communities and wildlife in a compelling new hour-long episode of PBS Frontline,“Alaska Gold.”
  • Stay tuned to the progress of an EPA watershed assessment of Bristol Bay now underway.
  • Read “Sailing for Salmon: The Early Years of Commercial Fishing in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, 1884-1951.” This 60-page volume features essays, oral history, and historic photographs and is available in pdf by clicking here.

America’s Cup Healthy Oceans Project

Join the America’s Cup Healthy Oceans Project at The Bay Theater, Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39, San Francisco, for a wonderful evening focused on plastic in the ocean. Guest speakers including Jean Michel Cousteau will present about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch showing pictures, samples, and discussion about what we can all do to make a difference.

The event is free and open to the public on a first come first serve basis (free snack, beer & wine as well!). A $20 donation, which can be made here, will guarantee a seat for two people – and help support the project. Learn more about this event, and future events by clicking here.

America's Cup Healthy Oceans Project Film and Lecture Series

Great Lakes environmental accord

Last Friday, 40 years after “the death of Lake Erie,” Peter Kent, Canada’s environment minister, and Lisa P. Jackson, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator signed an updated Great Lakes Accord.

According to the NY Times:
“Swaths of green scum regularly choked Lake Erie’s shallow western basin during the 1950’s and 60’s as phosphorus from farms, sewage and industry along the Rust Belt’s shoreline fertilized algal blooms. Regulations limiting phosphorus improved the situation steadily starting in the 1970’s, but 2011 saw perhaps the worst bloom yet.” (pictured below – photo acquired by Landsat-5 satellite October 5, 2011)

New goal from the accord include:

  • Revamping coastal clean up efforts
  • Reducing phosphorus run off in Lake Erie
  • Address issues of evaporation due to higher temperatures
  • Taking action against ships dumping ballast in the lakes, and therefore invasive species

Sailors for the Sea would like to encourage recreational boater to take action on their own vessels. By using non toxic cleaning products at home, and on your boat you can help reduce phosphorus. Also washing your hull and propeller thoroughly before transporting your boat can help reduce the spread of invasive species.

For more tips check out our Clean Boating Resources or download our Clean Boating Guide to keep on your boat.

You can read the full accord here, and a summary from the NY Times, here.

Rolex Big Boat Series

The Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St. Francis this past weekend was run as a Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta for the first time! This regatta was part of the season long commitment the St. Francis Yacht Club has made to the Clean Regattas program. Sailors for the Sea is excited to be part of this historic event now in it’s 48th year.

For the 2012 season race organizers at the St. Francis are aiming to for gold level certification. They have focused on reducing the use of disposable water bottles by providing competitors with water refilling stations. They have also implemented a strong recycling in the front and back end of the club. Stay tuned for more information on Clean Regattas at the St. Francis as they finish up their 2012 season.

Check out the video below for race highlights and visits for results and photos.

Clean Regattas at the America’s Cup

Speed on! Photo by ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

The America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco continued the strong legacy of Clean Regattas with the 34th America’s Cup, striving for a gold level certification and presenting innovative techniques for reducing the events carbon footprint. In addition to many of the Best Practices they have implemented in the past, some of the highlights include:

  • The Healthy Ocean Project beach cleanup held on August 19 had 180 volunteers. With 360 hours volunteered, more than 75 bags of trash and recyclable items were picked up from Fort Baker. That is approximately 2,250 pounds of trash and recyclables removed; that is the same weigh as 17 Laser class boats!
  • All sailing teams were required to and used reusable water bottles.
  • The America’s Cup Event Authority distributed 2,725 gallons of water on site, which prevented the use of 20,640 single-use plastic bottles. Broken down, that is equal to 413 bathtubs full of water!
  • Seafood Watch Best Choice – was the only seafood served
  • On site composting – was in place throughout the site – see our recent blog post for more information on this great way to reduce waste.
  • Renewable energies – were used for the first time at an ACWS event. Audio on the main stage was powered by solar panels and a Biodiesel blend (B20) was used in generators to reduce fossil fuel consumption.
  • Plastic Film Collection -While making sure the crews safety comes first, those on the water have also been working hard and quickly to collect plastic film that breaks off the wings when a boat capsizes. If possible, it is recycled.
  • The event is working towards zero waste and carbon neutral commitments, which will be fully in place for 2013’s racing.

Check out the slideshow below for a few photographs of the Clean Regatta highlights!

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