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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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

RenaudCaptain 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.

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