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February 1, 2017: PRenau speaking IMG 0202The Environmental Committee kicked off its 2017 Winter Environmental Lecture Series with an inspiring lecture on Coral Reefs by Capt. Phil Renaud, Executive Director of the Living Ocean Foundation on January 11. Using beautiful underwater photographs and videos, Capt. Renaud documented the beauty and majesty of the world’s coral reefs and the threats to their survival. Over 80 people attended the lecture and also enjoyed the Happy Hour Conch Fritters and Seafood Specials in celebration of our oceans.

Commodore Ersts provided closing remarks at the event and officially received a large “Sailors for the Sea Flag” in recognition of the club’s commitment to ocean stewardship. Virginia Tippie, Phil Renaud and Ursula Kuehn, EYC Clean Regatta Coordinator and 2016 Outstanding Environmental Committee Volunteer, presented the flag to Commodore Heather Ersts and Vice Commodore Ed Wells.

Presentation of SFTS Flag Jan 11 17Our February Lecture will be on the “State of the Chesapeake Bay.” Dr. Beth McGee, Senior Scientist, and Capt. John Page Williams, Senior Naturalist, of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation will present the Foundation’s 2016 State of the Bay report findings and discuss what actions are still needed to truly “Save the Bay.”SOTB

The report shows that the Bay has improved as a result of Bay restoration efforts. Underwater grasses have expanded 21 percent. The blue crab population jumped 35 percent. The Bay's native oyster population, a critical species that naturally filters the Bay's water, is rebounding These promising signs of Bay recovery show what is possible if we keep moving forward. However, there is still much more to do. Join us for this important presentation and discussion on Wednesday, February 8, 6 – 7 p.m.

As you begin to get ready for the boating season, come learn about our “Annapolis Local Waters” at our March 22 lecture. Amy Clements, President, Spa Creek Conservancy, and Dr. David Barker, Chair, Back Creek Conservancy, will discuss efforts underway to improve water quality and restore the living resources in our own “backyard.” Come find out what you can do to help!

Ursula Kuehn receives volunteer awardThe winter lecture series is intended to stimulate an ongoing discussion among club members on how we as individuals and as an organization can make our local waters safe and healthy and support efforts to save our bay and our oceans. With this input, the Environmental Committee will be working to develop an Environmental Action Plan for the club. Check out our new Environmental Committee Display for updates on our progress and join us in our efforts!

Congratulations to Ursula Kuehn, center. Ursula's efforts in the Clean Regattas program earned her a special volunteer award.

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