EYC Environmental Stewardship
The Eastport Yacht Club is committed to being a steward of the environment and of the Chesapeake Bay. This commitment includes a variety of efforts from a special concrete parking lot to reduce runoff to hosting Clean Regattas, to being the first yacht club in Maryland to have a Clean Marina certification.
For the Severn River and for other rivers in the Chesapeake Bay, runoff is the single biggest polluter of our waters. Excess nutrients, sediment, trash and chemicals from lawns, roads, driveways, farms and parking lots flow into the creeks and rivers rather than being absorbed by the ground. For more information on runoff please see the information provided by our local river keepers, the Severn River Keeper and the West Rhode River Keeper. It will be difficult to reduce runoff, but with hard work and cooperation, together the tide can change.
During a recent renovation, EYC made the decision to put in a pervious parking lot to protect the Severn River and the Bay. Water is absorbed so well by the parking lot that even a hose cannot create a puddle. The lot includes three underground cisterns so that if water is flowing too quickly, excess water goes into the cisterns so that it can gradually drain into the ground. The concrete is made with locally available and recycled materials, and it is more durable than traditional asphalt, which reduces EYC’s carbon footprint.
As the concrete is brighter than traditional asphalt, it decreases the urban heat island effect (decrease in global warming) and decreases lighting needs by 20% to 30% (decrease life-cycle carbon foot print).
In addition to the parking lot, rainwater from the club’s roof is collected in rain barrels and is then used to water our native plant gardens which meet Maryland Critical Area Commission regulations. On the dock, a wave wall was installed in 2012 to help protect the boats from chop. This wall includes oysters growing to slow wave movement and to filter the water.
The new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified clubhouse also contributes to the club’s green efforts. The building is spray insulated underground and in the frame to reduce energy needs in heating and cooling, and the club uses low emission carpet and paint. The kitchen recycles its vegetable oil and uses recyclable and compostable to-go products. We also have recycle bins throughout the property and encourage recycling.
Despite these valiant efforts in our clubhouse and marina, our membership realized that we can do better. With that in mind, we committed to hosting “Clean Regattas” for several major races including the 2014 J/80 World Championship and the 2015 Leukemia Cup. By participating in the Sailors for the Sea’s Ocean Conservation program we effectively reduced our environmental impact. This program includes using multi-use water bottles, separating trash and recyclables on the water, and reducing printed materials, among other practices. Subsequently, the club adopted a Clean Regatta Policy. In addition, our Junior Fleet now encourages its sailors to bring reusable water bottles and recycle their waste on an ongoing basis. The Junior Fleet has also introduced environmental education programming from Sailors for the Sea in its curriculum and initiated an educational Bay Week Program in 2015. Our Eastport Yacht Club Foundation has also established a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) youth education program that has environmental and bay stewardship components.