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.
On 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!
November 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.
On 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.
September 1, 2017: In September, the Environmental Committee will focus on the upcoming EYC Clean Regattas, our water quality monitoring program and an oyster restoration initiative. If you care about the Bay, join us in our efforts! We generally meet the third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at EYC.
Bay water quality is important to all of us. This summer, EYC Junior Sailing Program students monitored key parameters in our marina like water clarity, nutrients and pH utilizing the EYC Foundation’s water quality monitoring module. In addition, beginning in mid-July, we began to measure other parameters like salinity, dissolved oxygen and bacteria in a collaborative effort with Spa Creek Conservancy and Anne Arundel Community College.
Fortunately, the data show that our water quality is relatively good and our bacteria levels are low. Nan Walker. Junior Fleet Program Manager and Kevin Haigis, Spa Creek Conservancy will present the results of the summer monitoring program at EYC and in Spa Creek on August 31st.
Did you know that EYC has a living wave wall? This is a unique structure – perhaps the only one in the state of Maryland. When our marina was renovated, a wave attenuation breakwater was constructed around the marina. It’s made of stacked square shelves placed underwater all around the inside of the marina wall. These shelves hold triangular concrete blocks seeded with baby oysters (called “spat”).
In 2011-2012, about 80 triangles seeded with oysters were placed on the shelves as a test and the oysters grew! Now, we just need to fill up more of these shelves and the Green Team is up to the task. Our friends at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) have come to the rescue and are presently seeding a batch of triangles with spat – for free! Thank you, CBF. They value our efforts to build a living wave wall and want to see the project succeed.
Recently, EYC was visited by the Maryland Secretary of the Environment (Mr. Ben Grumbles) and he was impressed with our oyster wall. He said that EYC will now be recognized as the “Environmental Yacht Club!”
Do you want to be involved? Meet the Green Team at EYC at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 8, and you can help put the new oyster filled triangles in the wave wall. Bring work gloves. For those of you sporty enough to get in the water, bring your snorkeling gear.
Additionally, the Green Team is working with the EYC Board to get a “green light” to grow oysters in cages through the Marylanders Grow Oysters program to help build a Severn River oyster sanctuary. Go oysters!
October 1, 2017: The fall is a busy sailing season and the beginning of the oyster season. The Environmental Committee has been working hard to make our major September and October sailing regattas gold-level Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas including the Annapolis Labor Day Regatta and the SAP I-505 World Champi-onship.
We have also been developing and implementing a major oyster initiative to build a multi-class oyster reef under our marina docks and grow baby oysters for local conservation efforts.
Oysters, oysters and more oysters! On September 8 six volunteer divers with landside support volunteers installed 52 oyster spat-covered concrete triangles on the EYC wave wall shelves under A and C docks (see August VFB for background). From the 2011-2012 pilot project, we know the oyster spat will grow into mature oysters in our marina which helps attenuate wave action in the marina and cleans the water! We even found several previously installed triangles covered with healthy mature oysters doing their job.
On October 1st, working with the Marylanders Grow Oysters Program and Severn River Association we will further expand our efforts by installing oyster cages under the finger piers on Dock A. The cages are filled with oyster shells seeded with spat. Over the winter and spring the oysters will grow and then be placed on the oyster reef sanctuary in the Severn River.
To learn more about the Environmental Committee and key issues in the Bay join us for our monthly lecture series beginning in October. Our first lecture will be on Oysters at EYC October 31 at 7 p.m.!
August 1, 2017: The summer has been a busy time for the Environmental Committee with clean regattas, a water quality monitoring effort and an oyster initiative underway. The team has also developed an Action Plan for 2017-2020 based on input from members during the lecture/film series and discussions over the last several months.
The plan outlines goals, success criteria and tasks for our three key focus areas: 1. Clean Regattas & Clean Club, 2. Environmental Education & Community Outreach and 3. Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency. This living document will guide our efforts over the next few years.
Our EYC 2017 Clean Regatta Season is off to a great start with the gold-level Leukemia Cup in June and two gold-level certified regattas in July: the Chesapeake Challenge Stand-Up Paddleboard Race and the Boomerang Race. Our next clean regatta will be the Boatyard Bar & Grill Regatta to Benefit CRAB on August 19th.
At all our clean regattas this year, we have had high school students helping us “man” our eco-stations to ensure a trash-free regatta. The students also share information about our environmental efforts and receive service credits for serving as volunteers.
The 2017 Boomerang Race was especially “green” this year. The keynote speaker at the award ceremony was Benjamin Grumbles, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment. He joined us for the event to recognize EYC’s clean regatta efforts and. in his comments, he noted that “EYC” was the “Environmental Yacht Club” of the Bay.
Working with the Junior Sailing Program, the Environmental Committee has arranged for the students to participate in a summer-long water quality monitoring effort at the EYC marina. Utilizing secchi disks and test kits from the EYCF STEM Ecosystem Module, the students are now measuring various parameters such as water clarity, pH and nutrient levels every week. In addition, working with the Spa Creek Conservancy and Anne Arundel Community College, the students are also analyzing other parameters like dissolved oxygen levels, conductivity and even bacteria levels.
By the end of the summer, we will have some very useful information that we can compare to data collected in Spa Creek and on the Severn River. The data collected so far reaffirms that we have a great environmentally safe location for our sailors, kayakers and paddleboarders.
Another important initiative of the Environmental Committee is a multi-faceted effort to encourage the growth of oysters in our marina. Working with the Marina Committee we will be initiating an effort to place oyster spat on the existing “living” wave attenuation breakwater which is under the docks around the perimeter of the marina. The wave wall is actually a series of stacked concrete slabs that create shelving areas for oysters to be grown. As the oysters grow they will further attenuate the wave action in the marina and also help clean our marina water. Stay tuned.