Help Keep Our Oceans Clean While Doing What You Love!

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October 14, 2015 by Monica Grant

Wether we’re sailing in the river, on a lake, or out at sea I’m sure we’ve all seen evidence of the rubbish we create and its negative effects on our watery environments. So have you ever wondered how we as sailors can reduce our ‘boatprint' and help repair some of the damage already done?  

Sailors for the Sea have a plan which can help. Since 2006 this energetic conservation group have been encouraging sailors and boaters to host Clean Regattas to help minimize negative impacts on our waterways. The program which is “one part education” and “two parts activation” offers support and resources to help conserve and protect the ocean. To date over 650 events have registered as Clean Regattas, and next weekend the Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) will add their event to the list. 

On October 15-17, HRCS will be hosting a Clean Regatta as part of their annual fundraiser, Sailing for Scholars Gala and Regatta. Proceeds from the event provides direct support for HRCS’s Sail Academy. Created upon a platform of sailing and boatbuilding, Sail Academy provides educational support in math and science to 9th grade students from seven New York public high schools. During the program students sail on J-24s and build 9' Optimist dinghies from wood. Lessons include algebra and physics, as well as classes on marine ecology, tides and currents, and marine debris. HRCS’s Youth Program Director, Alex Baum, believes marine debris education helps students understand the connections between local and global pollution issues, and considers a partnership with Sailors for the sea to be “a natural fit” for the program. 

   

So next time you’re organizing a regatta for your club, consider partnering with Sailors for the Sea and hosting your own Clean Regatta. With support and resources readily available at the Clean Regattas website, you can easily check items off the list of 25 Best Practices and help improve and protect waterways. Depending on your level of engagement you can earn certifications from Participant through to Gold levels. It’s simple, and it’s free, and the best part is that you can easily incorporate the practices into your every sailing pleasure. 

This is just some of the debris that's floating on the Hudson River with every tide:

You may not sail on the Hudson, but you can still help. Keen to get started? Now's the time to start planing and making your 2016 Summer Sailstice celebration a Clean Regatta. Find out more: http://www.sailorsforthesea.org/programs/clean-regattas

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