Hurricane Sandy

We hope that everyone who follows our blog and was impacted by Hurricane Sandy is safe and dry. We have been lucky enough at our office to have power and no damage, however we know many of our friends are not so fortunate. We are wishing every one a safe and speedy recovery after Hurricane Sandy.

We wanted to pass along some information that we received that may be helpful or interesting:

From National Grid:

  • If you see a downed power line or wire, always assume it is live; do not go near it and never drive over it. Call 1-800-465-1212 in New England to report downed wires and 1-800-867-5222 in Upstate New York
  • If you have natural gas service and you smell or have a gas emergency, report it immediately at these numbers:
    • Metro NY: 1-718-643-4050
    • Upstate NY: 1-800-892-2345
    • Greater Boston area: 1-800-233-5325
    • All other MA areas: 1-800-548-8000
    • Rhode Island: 1-800-640-1595
  • If you are in immediate assistance of shelter information, visit http://www.redcross.org/.

We also reccomend following FEMA and the Red Cross, for updates on the storm and also on how you can help.

If you are looking to learn more about the science of Sandy, check out these links sent to us by Upwell. “One of the first mass media warnings of the potential for a mammoth storm to hit the mid-Atlantic came a week ago, before Sandy had even been named, from Eric Holthaus at the Wall Street Journal, followed by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press. Both pieces point out the convergence of events that conspired to make Sandy so powerful. Borenstein has another piece here (with infographic) that fits all the pieces together. Douglas Main explains why Sandy is so big. Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog at Discover magazine underlines the Moon’s role in exacerbating the impacts.”

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ACHOP lecture on Sharks!

The America’s Cup Healthy Oceans Project will be hosting a free lecture on Sharks! For those who live in the San Francisco area this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about these fascinating creatures and enjoy a wonderful evening at the Aquarium of the Bay. The lecture is free but you need to make a reservation. You can do so by clicking here, and sure with your friends with the facebook event page.

Marine Spatial Planning

From our friends at Rhode Island Sea Grant an excellent video highlighting the important work of marine spatial planning for our oceans and coastal waters.

In Rhode Island and beyond, coastal communities are working on plans to manage the ocean’s resources to generate new industries, support job creation, and provide food and services to an ever-increasing population. The film is the first in a series that explores this effort with ocean practitioners from around the world and provides an overview of economic issues related to ocean planning, with three additional films scheduled to be released throughout the fall, focusing on offshore renewable energy, fisheries, and the environment. To learn more about this topic check out the New England Ocean Action Network.

Youth sailor raising awareness for ocean conservation

Justin is sailing his opti to help raise funds for a bioextraction project.

An Opti sailor from Long Island Sound has garnered our attention with his mission to help protect the waters that he sails. 12 year old Justin Smith from Oyster Bay, NY is sailing across the Long Island Sound solo from Stamford, Connecticut to Oyster Bay, New York to raise money to help clean up the water in the Long Island Sound. He will be making the journey on October 20, 2012 in his eight-foot Optimist sailboat.

His goal is to raise “environmental awareness and protection to the local aquatic environment. I thought it would be a great idea to help clean and protect the Long Island Sound, where I go sailing and many other people enjoy many activities, and an entire ecosystem of fish, animals and plants live.”

The money he raises will be used, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to support a “bioextraction” project in the Bronx River, whose waters feed the Long Island Sound. This project uses seaweed and ribbed mussels to naturally filter pollution from the water resulting in improvements in water clarity. Water pollution can come from wastewater treatment plants, streets, roofs, sidewalks, lawn chemicals, and even from the air during storms.

We are inspired by Justin’s goals to raise awareness for ocean conservation and wish him the best of luck in his sailing across the bay!

Click on the folloeing PDF links learn more about Justin’s fundraiser, and make a donation. You can also follow Justin’s campaign on facebook.

Healthy Oceans Project Day

This morning at the America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco ocean health was in the spotlight with two exciting activities run by the America’s Cup Healthy Oceans Project. (ACHOP)

The conservation activity team! Photo by Franny Kupersmith

Sailors for the Sea staff raking mulch. Photo by Franny Kupersmith

The conservation activity involved team members, staff, and ACHOP members visiting Fort Mason one of the historical parks within the Golden Gates National Park Service. The conservation activity helped prevent runoff by adding mulch to the grounds of the park. The mulch helps absorb rain water, and reduces chemicals that might runoff into the bay. The group helped accomplish about 2 weeks worth of work during the hour and half of lending a hand.

Also a public lecture was held for all those who wanted to attend. Dr. Sylvia Earle spoke about the immediate importance of protecting the ocean. She highlighted the the proposed expansion of Golden Gate National Marine Sanctuary in San Francisco Bay. Lecture attendees were invited to sign a petition to help bring this to fruition. Learn more about the expansion here.

Member of Team Prada helping out at Fort Mason. Photo by Franny Kupersmith

Sustainability Initiatives at America’s Cup

Practice Racing Day 1 of ACWS San Francisco. Photo by ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Practice Racing Day 1 of ACWS San Francisco. Photo by ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

After achieving their first Gold certification in Newport earlier this summer, the America’s Cup aims to continue this trend for its events in San Francisco. For this October’s events, the following Clean Regattas Best Practices are being implemented:

Trash-Free Regatta: The event aims to leave no trace by ensuring ample trash bins and using a dedicated Green Team to keep the event site clean
Recycling and Compost: All trash bins are paired with recycling and compost, signage and volunteer outreach are being used to educate visitors on proper waste separation

Descriptive signs to show what should be composted, recycled, and thrown away.

Descriptive signs to show what should be composted, recycled, and thrown away.

Durable/Compostable Products: All food service items on site are either durable or biodegradable
Sustainable Food: All seafood served meets Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Best Choice standards, local, organic and vegetarian foods are being used wherever possible
Water Bottle Reduction: No disposable water bottles are being sold on site, all teams and staff use reusable bottles, water stations are set up in public, staff and team areas
Signage: Signage is made of biodegradable materials and reused between events, paperless communication is prioritized and when necessary only recycled paper is used
Oil Spill Prevention: Extensive spill kits on all motorized vessels, education on fueling and spill prevention for drivers, safe re-fueling areas used
No Discharge: Event boats do not discharge black, grey or bilge water and educational materials are distributed to local boaters promoting the same practices
Runoff Reduction: Stormwater pollution prevention plan in place, boats use water only wash downs, maintenance is conducted in fully contained areas.
Non-Toxic Products: Only non-toxic cleaning products are used in all areas, boats are painted with copper-free bottom paints
Fuel Economy: Event boats are designed to be particularly fuel efficient, drivers are educated in proper driving behaviors, and generators are being run on Biodiesel (B20)

Solar powered security light at America's Cup World Series in San Francisco

Solar powered security light at America’s Cup World Series in San Francisco

Sustainable Energy Sources: Solar panels are used to power audio PA, shore power is being used for base operations and energy efficient lightbulbs etc throughout event site
Overall Energy Use: An energy audit is being conducted, based on which future events will plan to increase efficiency and reduce overall energy use
Public Outreach: Public are being engaged in sustainability initiatives through Healthy Ocean Project exhibit in village, promotion of public transit and coastal conservation activity

Tell us: What do you think is the most important initiative? 

Good Morning San Francisco

San Francisco SkylineGood morning from San Francisco. We are very excited for the second America’s Cup World Series event in San Francisco. The village opens tomorrow with racing to begin on Wednesday. The city is feels very busy with Oracle OpenWorld and Fleet Week also happening this week! For a full schedule of America’s Cup events, click here.

The city has already impressed with it’s focus on composting, from a separate compost bin at the coffee shop to ads on buses reminding you to compost, it is clear waste reduction is important to this city. Stay tuned for a blog post later this week about Clean Regatta Best Practices at the America’s Cup.

If you are in the area this week we recommend coming to the The America’s Cup Healthy Oceans Project for breakfast and a lecture at Club 45 (located near St. Francis Yacht Club.) Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, author, and National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence, will speak about the complex threats facing marine life today. The event is free! Prior registration is required as space is limited – we recommend doing so today! Click here to register. 

Also if you need to buy any boat parts while in San Francisco this week – come to West Marine in Sausalito on Thursday to help support ocean conservation! (details here)America's Cup Healthy Oceans Project event