Environment of the Sea

A green and important focus on yachting: Green Yacht Design Committee Recommendations

The Green Yacht Design Committee has prepared these Recommendations to bring renewed focus on making yachting more environmentally friendly and reducing our carbon footprint. If you have comments about these Recommendations please send them to: energyconservation@cruisingclub.org

Leave No Trace - Dealing with Trash at Sea

One of several serious threats to our oceans is the amount of marine debris - trash and plastic in particular - which can now be found in all oceans in even the remotest places on earth. To help minimize the likelihood that sailors do not contribute to this problem, the Environment of the Sea Committee recommends that its members and the sailing community adopt a leave-no-trace approach. read more

Dealing with Trash During the Bermuda Race

The Environment of the Sea Committee’s paper “Dealing With Trash During The Bermuda Race” advocates a leave-no-trace approach. It has been incorporated into the Race Instructions. The Committee welcomes comments (to wsfoss@gmail.com)  on the paper as a standard for cruisers.

Yacht Club Standards for Ocean Stewardship

The Environment of the Sea Committee’s “Yacht Club Standards For Ocean Stewardship” was published in the Spring, 2010 GAM. It is now posted for convenient reference for CCA members and the sailing community generally.

Stay Informed and Get Involved

In recent years it has been documented beyond doubt that the world’s oceans, including their great bays and the Great Lakes, are in serious trouble due to over-fishing, the runoff of pollutants, the disappearance of wetlands, climate change and the accumulation of marine debris, among other things. These problems are not going to simply go away. Considerable effort will be required to address them, much of that, of course, by nations, international organizations and industries. No individual or group of individuals can solve issues of the magnitude of those facing the oceans. Nevertheless, small steps by many people can make a real difference. The Environment of the Sea Committee urges members of the Cruising Club of America, yacht clubs throughout North America and the recreational boating community in general to stay informed about issues affecting the oceans and to get involved by adopting a personal commitment of stewardship for the seas. The following are some suggestions about how to do this. They are but a start and are by no means meant to be exclusive.

Here is a short list of worthwhile books which focus on the current state of the oceans:

  1. Carl Safina, Song For The Blue Ocean (Henry Holt, 1997)
  2. Carl Safina , The Eye of the Albatross (Henry Holt, 2002)
  3. Richard Ellis, The Empty Ocean (Island Press/Shearwater Press, 2003)
  4. Sylvia Earle, Sea Change – A Message of the Oceans (Ballantine Books, 1995)                      
  5. Tony Koslow , The Silent Deep – The Discovery, Ecology and Conservation of    the Deep Sea (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
  6. Paul Johnson, Fish Forever – The Definitive Guide To Understanding, Selecting and Preparing Healthy, Delicious and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood (Wiley 2007)
  7. Claire Nouvian, ed.,  The Deep – The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
  8. Scientific American, ed., Oceans: A Scientific American Reader (2007)
  9. Myron Arms, The Riddle of the Ice (Anchor, 1999) (Myron Arms is a CCA member and a member of its Environment of the Sea Committee)
  10. Myron Arms, Servants of The Fish: A Portrait of Newfoundland After The Great Cod Collapse (Upper Access, Inc. Book Publishers 2004)

The following contain comprehensive discussions of the problems facing the world’s oceans today:

  1. Pew Oceans Commission, “America’s Living Oceans – Charting A Course For Sea Change” (May, 2003) (Summary Report) ( www.pewtrusts.org )
  2. U.S. Commission On Ocean Policy, “An Ocean Blueprint For The 21st Century” (Final Report, September 20, 2004) (www.oceanscommission.gov )
  3. UN Atlas of the Oceans (An internet portal providing information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans) (www.oceansatlas.org )

There are many organizations committed to ocean conservation which welcome the involvement of the public. Here are a few which can be supported by membership, financial contributions and/or participation in their programs and projects:

  1. The Ocean Conservancy (www.oceanconservancy.org )
  2. The Seafood Watch Program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium (www.montereybayaquarium.org )
  3. Sailors For The Sea (www.sailorsforthesea.org) (Several of the founders of this organization are CCA members.)
  4. Blue Ocean Institute (www.blueoceaninstitute.org)
  5. The Costeau Society (www.costeau.org)

Another way to get involved is to pick up a copy of 50 Ways To Save The Ocean by David Helvarg. This book is an excellent compendium of good ideas, annotated with a list of resources providing contact information for organizations which focus on each suggestion, together with a brief description of what the organizations do.

Lastly, you can calculate your own carbon footprint and learn how to take steps to offset it. There are numerous ways to do this. Three can be found at the following websites: www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/calculator (Nature Conservancy); www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html (EPA) and www.carbonfund.org.

Page Updated June 3, 2013