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Over the winter the Environmental Committee has been continuing its education and outreach efforts. Our 2018 lecture series was kicked off with a wonderful lecture on Climate Change on January 31st by Dr. Donald Boesch, former President, University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Studies, followed by a lecture on the National Marine Protected Areas Network by Lauren Wenzel, Director, NOAA Marine Protected Areas Center on February 28th.

The March lecture will focus on the health of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland’s Waters. Our speaker is Benjamin Grumbles, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment. Be sure not to miss this important lecture by the head of our state’s environmental programs and a key leader in Chesapeake Bay restoration and protection efforts on March 28th!In addition to increasing environmental awareness, the committee has also been working to facilitate a dialogue on important environmental issues without taking a position.

NDZs in EPA regions 123On February 6th, the committee hosted a Welcome Reception for Harbormasters from Chatham, MA and Newport, RI. We were very pleased to have with us Mayor Gavin Buckley, Alderman Ross Arnett and Annapolis Harbormaster, Beth Bellis. Commodore Ed Wells welcomed our special guests to the club and the Mayor welcomed everyone to Annapolis. The harbormasters were in town to meet with maritime business owners, the Annapolis Environmental Commission (Diane Butler, Chair) and the Maritime Advisory Board (Tarry Lomax, Chair) to share their experience with No Discharge Zones.The three Harbormasters joined the Environmental Committee for our February meeting to discuss No-Discharge Zones.

A “No-Discharge Zone” (NDZ) or area is a designated body of water that prohibits the discharge of treated and untreated boat sewage. Federal Law prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage from vessels within all navigable waters of the U.S. which include territorial seas within three miles of shore. Unfortunately, marine sanitation devices do not adequately remove nutrients and some bacteria from sewage. Most cruising areas in New England are NDZ’s (see map).

The Chatham and Newport Harbormasters are the Presidents of their respective state associations - Cape Cod & Massachusetts Islands Harbormasters Association and Rhode Island Harbormasters Association. They strongly believe in the value of NDZs and thought that designation of Annapolis and adjoining Anne Arundel County waters as EPA designated NDZs would be beneficial to our community (boaters, watermen and residents). Mayor Gavin Buckley and County Executive Steve Schuh are hoping to achieve such designation.

Looking to the future, the Committee Co-Chairs gave a presentation of the Environmental Committee’s Action Plan to The EYC Executive Board on February 15th. Phil Renaud summarized the key initiatives: Clean Regattas/Clean Club, Education/Outreach and Alternative Energy/Energy Efficiency. The plan was well received and the committee was commended for its efforts. There was a brief discussion of the committee’s efforts to garner support for a collaborative partnership initiative with Back Creek Conservancy, Spa Creek Conservancy and The Severn River Association. The value of such community outreach efforts was noted.

The EYC Environmental Committee (aka, the Green Team) is excited about expanding the club’s green (and blue) initiatives in our first full year of being a standing committee. The Green Team meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm. Our committee always welcomes new members so please feel free to drop in on our monthly meeting. You don’t need special skills to join, however, we’re seeking an EYC member who has energy efficiency experience so that we can draft a plan for improving our club’s energy efficiency.

The Green Team focuses on three major categories:

  1. Clean Regattas & Clean Club
  2. Environmental Education & Community Outreach
  3. Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

Water Quality Monitoring: This year, we will be applying for a grant to help us establish a more formal water quality program for routine testing of water quality in EYC’s marina. When you realize how many club members and junior sailors spend time in the water, it’s important to ensure the water is always safe to swim in. Our marina water quality has been quite good but all water quality in the Bay region declines after a hard rain. Anne Arundel County recommends that you avoid swimming for 48 hours after a rainfall of one half inch or more.

We will be presenting interesting environmental talks on the fourth Wednesday of February and March as part of our winter lecture series. Stay tuned for details!

December 1, 2017:  The EYC Environmental Committee (aka, the Green Team) was thrilled when you voted to approve the bylaws change at our recent Annual Meeting which made the Environmental Committee a standing committee! We’re honored by your vote of confidence in promoting clean regattas, a clean clubhouse and Chesapeake Bay stewardship. The Green Team recently adopted an Action Plan and we have some great ideas to work on with you that will further reduce EYC’s environmental footprint and demonstrate leadership in keeping our Bay waters healthy.

GreenCanAwardtoRC2017On the topic of clean regattas, the Race Committee hit a home run in 2017, earning a total of 7 Gold Level certificates from Sailors for the Sea for running clean regattas. The Green Team has also established a perpetual Green Can award which is now mounted on the wall right near the conference room. The EYC Race Committee is our first recipient of the Green Can award for their significant support of EYC’s environmental initiatives.

Additionally, Keith Jacobs was personally awarded a Special Recognition Certificate as the EYC regatta co-chair for the 2017 SAP I-505 Championship Gold Level clean regatta. Many of the international racers were impressed with EYC’s composting and recycling efforts and said they would bring those green practices back to their respective countries. Well Done to Keith and the entire race committee!

EYC is growing oysters now. We have 12 cages hung off the A-Dock full of old oyster shells covered with juvenile oysters (called spat). This effort is part of the Marylanders Grow Oysters Program, sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Severn River Association. Green Team members are acting as the oyster gardeners and we’ll put these young oysters out on a sanctuary reef on the Severn River around mid-June of next year. Thanks so much to Bob Whitcomb, Sharon Murray, and John Butler for leading this great initiative.

To learn more about the Environmental Committee and key issues in the Bay, join us for our winter lecture series. Our first lecture will be held on January 31 starting at 7 p.m. in the EYC conference room. Our distinguished speaker will be Dr. Donald Boesch, former President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science who will be talking about climate change issues. See you there!

December 1, 2017:  The EYC Environmental Committee (aka, the Green Team) welcomes all EYC members interested in advancing environmental initiatives to join our young (and recently formalized) committee. In this coming year, our committee will meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 6pm. However, EYC will be closed on January 2nd for carpet cleaning so we have rescheduled to Wednesday, January 17.

We’re particularly interested in recruiting someone with experience in energy efficiency for buildings. We know there are some good measures we can take to improve the club’s energy use but we need someone with experience to guide us. Whatever your interests may be, come sit in on any of our meetings and see if you’d like to be a part of EYC’s green (and blue) movement.

Did you know that EYC grows oysters to rehabilitate the Severn River? Our 12 cages of baby oysters are now in a dormant state for the cold winter months but they will grow quickly once spring arrives. Green Team members are acting as the oyster gardeners and we’ll sow these young oysters on a Severn River sanctuary reef around mid-June.

Don Boesch PhotoTo learn more about the Environmental Committee and key issues in the Bay, join us for our winter lecture series. Our first lecture will be held on January 31st starting at 7pm in the EYC conference room. Our distinguished speaker will be Dr. Donald Boesch, former President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Don’s talk is entitled “Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable while Managing the Unavoidable.” Don’t miss this fascinating presentation!

IMG 0433November 1, 2017:  The Environmental Committee is kicking off the fall season with a celebration of oysters. On October 1, the committee installed oyster cages in the EYC marina that were filled with spat covered oyster shells. The objective is to help restore the Bay's oyster reefs by raising baby oysters in our marina and then transplanting them to the Severn River oyster sanctuary next June.

IMG 0515On October 31, a special lecture "EYC Grows Oysters" was held to discuss both the oyster cage effort and our "living" oyster wave wall (see October "Around the Green Can"). Representatives from the University of Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the EYC Environmental Committee discussed EYC's oyster initiative and the importance of oyster restoration efforts in the Bay.

Our next lecture on November 29 will focus on restoration efforts in Annapolis Creeks.

With the J/70 Fall Brawl and J/80 North American Championship, October 19-23, the 2017 EYC Clean Regatta Season is coming to a close. We are very proud that during this season EYC held seven "Sailors for the Sea" gold-level clean regattas.

The SAP I-505 World Championship and the Annapolis Labor Day Regatta in September were held in partnership with Severn Sailing Association and Annapolis Yacht Club respectively. Our overall regatta season including the Beer Can Series will be silver.

A special thanks to the "Green Ambassadors" who helped out at the regatta parties and to a wonderful Race Committee that is committed to our EYC Clean Regatta Policy.

Eye On EYC