March 1, 2017: The Environmental Committee is currently focused on increasing member awareness of the array of issues and opportunities for individuals and the club to make a difference. Toward this goal, the winter lecture series and several events have been organized.
In January, we held a lecture “Coral Reefs Through the Lens” and a special “Meet the Author” session. Using un-derwater images and videos, Captain Philip Renaud, Executive Director, Living Oceans Foundation, described the declining health of coral reefs worldwide at our first environmental lecture on January 11.
Later, Heather Lynn Mann, environmental advocate and author of “Ocean of Insight: A Sailor’s Voyage from Des-pair to Hope” shared stories of disasters and discoveries from six-years living afloat. During her voyage, the ocean became her teacher, transforming her with uncompromising lessons on how to harmonize with natural order.
On February 8, the committee held its second winter environmental lecture entitled “The State of the Chesapeake Bay.” Dr. Beth McGee, Senior Scientist and Captain John Page Williams, Senior Naturalist of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) presented the Foundation’s 2016 State of the Bay report findings and discussed actions needed to truly “Save the Bay.”
The report showed significant improvement in three indicator categories - pollution, habitat and fisheries including improvements in oxygen levels, underwater grasses and the crab population. Clearly, we are beginning to turn the tide but more needs to be done. The speakers urged EYC members to support legislation which will help restore Maryland’s forests. They also encouraged members to get involved in Bay clean-up and oyster restoration efforts. For more information, go to CBF webpage at http://www.cbf.org/about-the-bay/state-of-the-bay-report-2016.
The March environmental lecture will focus on “Annapolis Local Waters.” 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”. A discussion will follow regarding actions that we as individuals and as an organization can take to improve our local waters. The lecture will serve as a springboard for the development of a detailed environmental action plan for the club. Join us on Wednesday, March 22, for a special Happy Hour at 5 p.m. followed by the lecture from 6 – 7 p.m.
To further support the discussion of key environmental issues, the Committee will be showing the National Geographic film “Before the Flood” on Wednesday, April 12, 7 – 9 p.m. “Before the Flood” captures a three-year personal journey with Academy Award-winning actor and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo Di Caprio, as he interviews individuals from every facet of society in both developing and developed nations who provide unique, impassioned and pragmatic views on what must be done today and in the future to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
February 1, 2017: The 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.
Our 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.”
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!
The 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.
December 2016: The fall was a time for review and reflection by the Environmental Committee. At the Annual Meeting in November, the Environmental Committee was given the opportunity to have a display at the meeting and also give a short presentation on our accomplishments to date and our plans for 2017.
The intent to establish an environmental committee was announced at last year’s annual meeting by Commodore Ersts who appointed Virginia Tippie to serve as the chair. The Committee formally met in the early spring of 2016 and established three working groups - 1. Clean Regattas & Clean Club, 2. Environmental Education & Awareness, and 3. Alternative Energy & Energy Efficiency.
Key accomplishments over the last year included:
- Clean Regattas: Working with Sailors for the Sea, EYC sponsored six gold-level Clean Regattas, one silver level Clean Regatta with AYC and our overall Racing Season was certified at the silver level (including the beer can series).
- Environmental Education: Through outreach efforts there was increased environmental awareness among club members, sailors and youth.
- Alternative Energy: The team’s working group surveyed the industry to identify alternative energy solutions and developed a solar proposal.
The Committee also presented our 2017 work plan to the membership. In addition to continuing our clean regatta efforts, educational outreach and energy analysis; specific key efforts in the upcoming year will include:
- Clean Club Initiative (e.g. EYC’s Chili Cook-off on 1/28/17 will be “green”)
- Environmental Lecture Series (e.g. Coral Reefs through a lens by Phil Renaud 1/18/17)
- Educational Display in EYC Clubhouse
- “Green Can” Environmental Award
- Town Hall Meeting on Solar Proposal
The Environmental Committee’s annual meeting presentation concluded with a thank-you to the general membership who has worked to make EYC environmentally sustainable in so many ways. Recognizing that it is individuals that make the difference, the Green Team also presented a Special Recognition Certificate to Tristan and Sheila Keen, J/30 North American Championship Regatta Managers, for their outstanding efforts to ensure a successful clean regatta.
(Left to right: Ursula Kuehn, Tristan Keen, Sheila Keen, Commodore Heather Ersts, Virginia Tippie)
The Environmental Committee is pleased to announce that we will be holding an Environmental Lecture Series through the winter months focusing on global, regional and local issues. Our first lecture will be “Coral Reefs Through The Lens” by EYC member, Phil Renaud on Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm in the EYC Conference Room.
Captain Philip Renaud, USB (Ret), is the Executive Director of the Living Oceans Foundation and led the recent Global Reef Expedition Program, a five year circumnavigation of the globe to map and survey coral reefs of the world in an effort to reverse the decline in coral reef health. Through unbelievable underwater photographs he will be telling the story of our world’s coral reefs. His experience as conveyed through his photographic images are a wake up call for all of us. As stated in his own words - “The Global Reef Expedition was simultaneously an honor and a burden for me. Sometimes I was elated with the beauty and majesty of the coral reefs, while many times I thought I was diving on a crime scene. This coral reef crisis must be met with a bold and ambitious response to turn the tide. After all, our oceans are the heart and lungs of our planet Earth, and they must be saved.”
Phil began his career at the Naval Academy where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Oceanography. Throughout his distinguished 25-year career in the Navy, he served as an oceanographer in a variety of positions culminating his military career as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Oceanographic Office. Capt Renaud has been leading the Living Oceans Foundation for the last 12 years and has developed the Foundation into a world-class scientific organization dedicated to conservation of the marine environment. He is an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, sailor, skier and an active member of the EYC Green Team.
November 2016: As the 2016 racing season draws to a close, EYC should be proud that we received six Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta gold-level certificates and one joint silver-level certificate with AYC.
Our overall racing season will be certified at the silver level. Congratulations to all!