Clean Regatta Video

We would like to give a special thanks to all the organizers, participants and volunteers who have helped grow the Clean Regattas programs! Thanks to your efforts, this year:

  • Over 80,000 sailors participated in Clean Regattas
  • 75,000 disposable plastic bottles were prevented from entering the waste stream
  • Over 30 tons of food waste was composted
  • 17 regattas achieved Gold certification, including the first ever Gold outside of the US at BVI Race Week

This commitment helps ensure that our oceans will stay healthy for generations to come. Check out our new video, which illustrates the impact just one regatta series can have:

Now is the time to register your 2013 Clean Regatta! We’re adding tons of new resources this year, web badges to show off your certifications, and more. As always, please let us know if there is anything you would like to see improved about the Clean Regattas experience.

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Seabirds getting hooked

hooked cormorant

A hooked cormorant on the dock in Ft. Lauderdale. Photo by Mark Ivey

Spotted on the dock in Ft. Lauderdale a cormorant that got hooked by his potential meal. It looks like the cormorant was a victim of either a baited fishing line being cut free or longline fishing. Sadly longline fishing kill an estimated 300,000 seabirds every year.  Fishing with hook and line gear or having faster sinking longlines are two changes that the fishing industry can take to prevent hooking birds. Recreational fisherman should always avoid cutting lines and make sure they don’t leave behind any spare hooks or line on shore. Also having regular shoreline clean ups can help reduce fishing line that often washes up on shore, saving bare feet and wildlife.

If you are not a fisherman you can still make a big difference by eating sustainable seafood. Asking questions about how your fish was caught allows you to support fisheries that don’t use longlines. For example, with regards to eating Mahi Mahi, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Guide notes: “Commercial fishermen primarily use longlines and hook-and-line gear to catch mahi mahi. There is considerable concern about bycatch from longlining as sea turtles, seabirds, sharks and marine mammals get caught or entangled, often resulting in injury or death. Fisheries using hook-and-line gear (such as troll, pole-and-line, or handline), catch little to no bycatch and are more sustainable.”

To learn more about Seabirds and the problems they face visit BirdLife International. Special thanks to Mark Ivey for sending the photo, and helping draw attention to this important topic!

2 years of Rainy Day Kits!

A scaled up version of All the Glitters at the Newport America's Cup Wold Series. Kids & adults learned to "see like a fish" in the deep ocean.

A scaled up version of All the Glitters at the Newport America’s Cup Wold Series. Kids & adults learned to “see like a fish” in the deep ocean.

This January marks the second year of our Rainy Day Kits program! Since the programs inception 45,000 children have explored the ocean ecosystem with these hands on, interactive lesson plans. We have found that 55% of downloads come from sailing programs, and 45% from museums, camps, and schools. Showing the lesson plans diversity!

Rainy Day kits are informal, fun lesson plans that allow children to learn about marine ecology and ocean conservation without expensive laboratory materials. Lesson supplies can generally be found in an office, or purchased with a quick trip to staples. If you are very resourceful, you can collect some supplies right out of the recycling bin!

We have rounded up a few our favorite things involving Rainy Day Kits:

Our favorite lesson name: The Deadliest Catch
Our favorite lesson to teach: Dirty Water Challenge – get nice and muddy teaching kids about the water cycle!

Best quotes: From John O’Flaherty, Providence Community Boating: “The best way to protect the environment is to create little environmentalist. Rainy Day Kits from Sailors for the Sea drive  home today’s biggest ecological concepts to our smallest stakeholders. Out youths sailors will be seeing these kits in our lesson plans – rain or shine.”

Best picture:

Youth playing with Rainy Day Kits

Sailors at Ida Lewis Yacht Club learn about the water cycle with Dirty Water Challenge.

A big thanks to our contributors: Pew Environment Group, Scipps Institute of Oceanography, University of Miami’s R.J. Dunlap Marine Conservation Program, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, The Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, the New England Aquarium, the Harte Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
To download vist: http://sailorsforthesea.org/programs-and-projects/rainy-day-kits.aspx

ISAF new rule on Environmental Responsibility

us_sailing_final copyHappy new quadrennium! For the racing sailor this marks a new set of rules – small tweaks and changes to continue evolving the racing sector of our sport.

This year ISAF debuted a new Basic Principal (the first to be added since sportsmanship) focused on environmental responsibility. The principal states:

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
Participants are encouraged to minimize any adverse environmental impact of the sport of sailing. 

We are very excited for this ground breaking change in the rule book, and excited to continue growing our ocean conservation programs in 2013. We would like to encourage competitors to take a look at our Clean Regattas program and see what they can do to reduce their environmental impact while on the water. Many of these changes are easy, can help save money, and improve the beauty of the water you love to race on!

Also if you have gotten your new edition of the racing rules of sailing – take a look on the second to last page for our ad! (Also pictured above.) If you have not gotten your new rule book, head over to US Sailing to get one today. Also a big thanks to Onne van der Wal for the beautiful image!

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 11.38.31 AM

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.