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GreenCanJuly2017webThe Environmental Committee officially kicked off the Clean Regatta Season on Saturday, June 3, when Commodore Ersts and the EYC Clean Regatta Team raised the new Sailors for the Sea Flag before the start of the Leukemia Cup (see photo).

The 25th Anniversary of the Leukemia Cup was a great success with 92 boats participating and an all-time record of $350,000 raised. The Rock the Dock Party that followed the race was attended by over 400 people.

Both on and off the water all participants were encouraged to meet a variety of best practices to ensure that the event was a clean regatta. The Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and educational materials provided in the skipper’s bags and on site at EYC promoted clean regatta efforts. Participants were encouraged to use refillable water bottles and water refill stations were located on site for the event.

At the party, EYC Green Team members and volunteer high school students manned eco stations to encourage proper disposal of plates, utensils and food waste in the compost bins and plastic cups, glass bottles and cans in the recycle bins. As a result no waste went into a landfill site, it was either recycled or composted. A special thanks to our Green Ambassadors for making this a successful Gold-Level Clean Regatta.

To celebrate World Oceans month, the Environmental Committee held a special ocean evening on June 14. The Living Oceans Foundation screened their latest film, An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch to an enthusiastic group of club members and guests. Following the film, the audience had a chance to discuss over-fishing issues with both Phil Renaud (EYC member and Exec Director of the Living Oceans Foundation) and Alison Barrat (the film Director).

The film was co-produced with the Smithsonian Channel and is now being broadcast nation-wide. Without improved fisheries management, there is a real risk of a monumental collapse of world-wide fisheries in approximately 30 years from now. This film tackled a complex topic and made it clear that action must be taken now to prevent a food-security catastrophe in the not-too-distant future.

Looking to the future, the Environmental Committee has drafted an Action Plan intended to provide structure and set priorities for the Green Team’s activities and programs. The Action Plan supports the committee’s mission “To promote Eastport Yacht Club’s environmental and Bay stewardship efforts.” This draft plan details actions that will help EYC achieve various goals aligned to the Green Team’s three key initiatives: 1) Clean Regattas & Clean Club, 2) Environmental Education & Community Outreach, and 3) Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency.

We have been encouraged with EYC members’ enthusiasm and interest in “greening” our club and taking good care of our surrounding waters. The Action Plan has plenty of volunteer opportunities for all club members to participate in. As time goes on, we will keep you all informed about our various programs and activities.

June 1, 2017:June 8th is officially World Oceans Day and throughout June communities around the world are sponsoring special events to recognize and care for our oceans see www.worldoceansday.org.

The theme this year is “Our Oceans, Our Future” and the focus is preventing plastic pollution and cleaning-up marine litter.

Please help us in our efforts to take care of our beautiful bay and the world’s oceans this month and throughout the year. Think refillable water bottles, recycling, non-toxic boat cleaners and no-discharge overboard!

Join the Environmental Committee and work on a range of initiatives from alternative energy, clean regattas/clean club to environmental education. You can also volunteer to be a Green Ambassador at our EYC events and ensure that we are clean, green and responsible.

With the boating season fully underway, we are now working “full speed ahead” to ensure that our 2017 major regattas are certified as gold-level Clean Regattas by Sailors for the Seas, the organization that certified the last America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race - Newport Stopover and many of the regattas held here at EYC.

Sailors for the Sea says this: “One part education, two parts activation, the program unites and mobilizes sailors by offering support and resources to help conserve and protect the ocean.” The 2017 Leukemia Cup & Rock the Dock Party on June 3rd will be our first major clean regatta of the season. Please help us make it a Gold-Level Clean Regatta! To volunteer go to eastportyc.org/team-eyc.

To celebrate World Oceans Day and Ocean Month, the Environmental Committee will sponsor a special showing of the film “An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch” on Wednesday, June 14, at 7 p.m. Following the film, Captain Phil Renaud, Executive Director, Living Oceans Foundation, will moderate a discussion of ocean issues.

Produced by the Living Oceans Foundation and the Smithsonian Channel, the film investigates one of the most important stories of our time: how close are we to a global crash in fish populations? Narrated by actor and ocean advocate Ted Danson, this award-winning film features the groundbreaking research of renowned fisheries scientist Dr. Daniel Pauly as he calculates how much seafood has been caught since the dawn of industrial fishing.

The award-winning film “An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch” dives into the most ambitious fishing investigation ever conducted to discover the shocking impact of overfishing. For more information go to www.livingoceansfoundation.org/outreach/films/an-ocean-mystery.

April 1, 2017: The Environmental Committee welcomed spring with a lecture and discussion on ”Annapolis Local Waters” on March 22nd. David Barker, Chair, Back Creek Conservancy and Amy Clements, President, Spa Creek Conservancy discussed efforts underway to improve water quality and restore the living resources in our own “backyard.”

In Back Creek, the newly established Conservancy recently completed an assessment of the “state of the creek” and outlined an action plan. This landmark effort was undertaken last summer with the assistance of interns supported by EYC’s Foundation. Monitoring results revealed a system under significant stress and important biological indicators, like submerged aquatic vegetation, are undetectable.

In Spa Creek, Amy Clements summarized their program and Donna Jefferson, Water Quality Coordinator, reported that the headwaters show very high levels of contaminants. Kevin Haigis summarized their program to install oyster cages to cleanse the water and encouraged people to volunteer.

An extensive discussion followed on actions that individuals and EYC can take to save our creeks and make them fishable and swimmable! For more information go to: http://backcreekconservancy.org/bcc/ and http://spacreek.net.

In April, the Environmental Committee will be continuing its ongoing education efforts and getting ready for a “Clean Regatta” sailing season in collaboration with Sailors for the Sea.

beforethefloodTo encourage a discussion of climate change, the National Geographic film “Before the Flood” will be shown at EYC 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 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.

A discussion will follow the showing of the film regarding what EYC can do to help address the issue of climate change and other environmental concerns.

Over the next several months the Environmental Committee will be developing an EYC Environmental Action Plan based on the ideas suggested during our lecture series and special events. We are also planning a fall lecture series and additional educational program events. The Committee will be posting information about relevant upcoming events from the 2017 Annapolis Film Festival Environmental Films March 30 - April 2 (http://annapolisfilmfestival.com/special-showcases/) to upcoming Earth Day activities.

For example, Phil Renaud (EYC Member and Director, Living Oceans Foundation) will be premiering his new film “An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch” at the Museum of Natural History on Earth Day 2017, Saturday, April 22, starting at 6 p.m. The film, which just received the International Ocean Film Festival “Best Conservation Film” award, is a fascinating detective story about overfishing that ranges from the Atlantic coastline to the shores of Senegal. Stay tuned for future events.nnapolis 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.

May 1, 2017:  Spring is here and the busy boating season is about to begin. The Environmental Committee is actively working closely with EYC’s Committees to ensure that the club’s building and grounds are eco-friendly, the marina is clean and that our upcoming regattas are certified “Clean Regattas.”

Check out the Environmental Committee Display board on the first floor to learn more about our Green Building & Grounds, our certified Clean Marina and our participation in the Sailors for the Sea “Clean Regatta” Program.

In April, the Environmental Committee celebrated “Earth Day” month by presenting our first perpetual “Green Can Award” and hosting a special event on April 12th to show the National Geographic film about climate change, “Before the Flood.”

GreenCanAward0417The Green Can Award is EYC’s highest Environmental Award. It is given to an entity that has made a significant contribution to EYC's environmental efforts which will have a long-term impact.

This year the EYC Race Committee is the recipient of the award for their efforts over the last year to ensure that EYC activities and operations met the requirements of a “Clean Regatta” both offshore and onshore. As a result of their commitment, the club received 8 Clean Regatta Awards from Sailors for the Sea in 2016 (6 gold, 2 silver).

Commodore Ersts and Vice Commodore Wells presented the Award Certificate to the Race Committee at their April 10th meeting. Virginia Tippie, Environmental Committee Chair, and Ursula Kuehn, Race Committee Liaison, then announced the award and displayed the certificate at the public EYC Earth Day Event - “Before the Flood.” After the award announcement and the showing of the film, there was a discussion of what EYC can do to further reduce our environmental impact.

In May, the Environmental Committee will distribute a draft EYC Environmental Action Plan to all appropriate Committees for review and comment. The plan will outline specific actions to achieve the club’s environmental and stewardship objectives including: A Clean & Energy Efficient Club, An Eco-Friendly Landscape & Habitat, A Clean Marina, Clean Regattas & Events and Effective Environmental Education & Outreach.

We encourage EYC members to join in our discussions and help us meet our environmental objectives.

Volunteer to be a “Green Ambassador” and help us make our regattas and onshore events like the upcoming “Leukemia Cup/Rock the Dock Party” on June 3rd a “Clean Regatta.”

Donate your boat and/or time to help with the EYC Foundation’s STEM Program” May 30 - June 1.

Follow the MD DNR Clean Boating Guidelines and check out the “Sailors for the Sea” Green Boating Guide suggestions for “Spring Preparations” as you get your boat ready for the season. Working together we can make a difference!

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.

Local WatersThe 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.

beforethefloodTo 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.

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