How does your state rank?

The Marine Conservation Institute and Mission Blue just released a ranking of costal states based on the amount of Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s) that have designated no take zones. The study entitled Sea States: How Well Does Your State Protect Your Coastal Waters? looks at the percentage of “no take” waters per state.

Marine Protected areas have a large variety in the level of protection they offer to the waters that they cover with some allowing recreational fishing and others allow commercial fishing. Dr. Lance Morgan, President of the Marine Conservation Institute noted: “No-take marine protected areas are the gold-standard for healthy oceans, but far too few states and territories are designating them.”

In fact, 15 out of the 23 coastal states do not have a designated no take zone and our home state of Rhode Island – The Ocean State – does not have a no take zone! Below is a list of states ranked by percentage – to learn more visit:

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Stay tuned for next months Ocean Watch Essay focused on MPA’s and written by Marine Conservation Institute!


Safe & Green – Memorial Day Weekend!

The crew here at Sailors for the Sea is very excited for Memorial Day Weekend – and like many people in the country excited to be near the water and aboard a boat! This weekend our staff will be attending two exciting Clean Regattas, The Atlantic Cup and Figawi Race Weekend! At both events race organizers have used strong preparation to make their event follow our Clean Regatta Best Practices.

Many of these Best Practices can be applied to anyone’s weekend adventures – so here are a few tips for boating clean this weekend!

 Pump_out-04Overboard Discharges: Don’t discharge untreated sewage or blackwater in harbor (it’s gross) and very bad for your harbor – Find a list of pumpout stations here.


Non_toxic_cleaning-04Green Cleaning Products: More often than not, when you clean your boat the suds get washed off into the water. Learn more about Green Cleaning Products that can be bought or made for your boat.


water_bottle-04Reusable Water Bottles: Eliminate the use of single-use, disposable water bottles in your home and on your boat by switching to reusable water bottles. It make’s clean up at the end of the day so much easier!

For more ideas read our Clean Boating Resources.  

We wish everyone a safe & green Memorial Day Weekend!

Living on the Edge

Last Thursday, Sailors for the Sea board chairman, David Rockefeller, Jr. kicked off an exciting event Living on the Edge: The Atlantic Cup presents Coastal Communities & Climate Change.


The evening celebrated The Atlantic Cup, a two-time gold level Clean Regatta and the first carbon neutral sailing race in the United States. David noted, in his opening remarks: “Of course, sailors are natural supporters of the environment. That’s why we do it, that’s what we love, but we’re not always aware of the problems under the hull, and we know that with the help of events like the Atlantic Cup, we can galvanize sailors, in particular, into action to protect our oceans.

The Atlantic Cup is environmentally forward-thinking, and a truly unique race.  Boats use alternative energy including hydro-generators, fuel cells and solar panels. Another great fact is that no single use plastic water bottles are used at any time during the race!


The panel entitled “Telltales” was moderated by Global Green USA’s President Matt Petersen (far right) and discussed climate change at the convergence of land and water. Panelists from left to right included: Chip Giller, President and Founder of, Hannah Jenner, skipper for 40 Degrees Racing, and Dr. Ben Strauss the Chief Operating Officer and Director on Sea Level Rise for Climate Central. We have pulled a few highlights from the evenings discussion – we hope you enjoy!.

Dr. Ben Strauss made the point that storms are like a pot of water, as you increase the heat, the pot goes to a rolling boil. We currently have a similar situation with the oceans. The increased ocean temperatures are like turning up the heat on the stove and we are seeing more powerful storms. This clearly will have an affect on boaters around the world.

Hannah Jenner noted how she felt sailors are an important part of environmentalist movement stating: “We not only see the storms, up front, in your face, we also see the trash…plastics floating past and oil slicks coming off of ships passing, and it’s upsetting.

Chip Giller noted: “It all is very grim, but I just want to say, this discussion wouldn’t have been happening 10 years ago. And it’s a testament to Sailors for the Sea and others to keep the battles going so we really can’t give up hope.” He also noted that sailors can make a difference by looking at their own boats: “it’s a place where you guys are already adapting, thinking about how to make do with less and being really efficient, and I think there could be some cross-pollination in terms of the adaptation discussions. I think you should all make sure that you are members of Sailors for the Sea. I think there are ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Those are the practical things.

Matt Peterson ended the panel encouraging people to: “reclaim your role as citizens, become a citizen entrepreneur, unleash your crazy ideas as you try to take responsibility for your little corner of the world, on the ocean, or if it’s your twitter account, using whatever channels you have, what ever communities you are part of, to be a part of turning it all around!

Northeast Regional Planning Body

Do you sail or boat in New England? The Northeast Regional Planning Body needs you!

SailNewEnglandThe Northeast Regional Planning Body (a group working on National Ocean Policy in New England) will be holding public meetings for feedback on the draft regional ocean planning goals and associated potential actions. These meetings are for stakeholders and users of New England waterways. (Sailors & Boaters this is you!)

These meetings will also be an opportunity to review draft maps created to show the natural resources and diverse uses of the ocean. Public comment will be taken at these meetings, and if you are not available to attend but wish to provide input, the public comment the deadline is June 28, 2013.

These public meetings will be held in May and June as follows:

May 23, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Portland, ME
May 28, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Narragansett, RI
June 3, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Ellsworth, ME
June 4, 5:30 to 8:30 PM Rockland, ME
June 6, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Boston, MA
June 13, 4:00 to 7:00 PM New Haven, CT
June 17, 4:00 to 7:00 PM New Bedford, MA
June 18, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Gloucester, MA
June 19, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Barnstable, MA
June 25, 4:00 to 7:00 PM Portsmouth, NH

For additional information about these meetings and how to provide public comment visit:

Clean Regattas reach Mexico!

The whales are excited for Clean Regattas in Mexico too! Photo from: WesMex Regatta

The whales are excited for Clean Regattas in Mexico too! Photo from: WesMex Regatta

This spring, the first Clean Regatta in Mexico was held at the Vallarta Yacht Club! The 8th edition of the WesMex International Small Boat Regatta achieved bronze level certification.

Regatta organizers implemented a few simple changes that helped them run a more environmentally friendly regatta. This included:

  • Increasing trash & recycling bins around the facilities.
  • Encouraged participants to do their registration online.
  • Educated Sailors about Clean Regattas.
  • When printing was necessary they used only recycled paper.

    Simple, homemade trash bins help keep the regattas clean!

    Simple, homemade trash bins help keep the regattas clean!

  • A Green Team of local student volunteered to collect trash around the perimeter of the Club.
  • Re-used zip lock lunch bags.
  • Provided sailors with refillable water bottles and set up 6 cold water stations around the Club. Preventing the use of 1,583 plastic bottles (600 ml bottles)!

These small steps add up to make a big difference and we are very excited for the expansion of Clean Regattas to Mexico!