Environmentally minded megayacht owners attending the AC World Series races or the America’s Cup finals, take note. The America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) is making a concerted effort to promote ocean conservation and sustainability. It has established the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project, a.k.a. AC Healthy Ocean Project, with both local and global outreach.
ACEA established the AC Healthy Ocean Project with several scientists and environmental organizations. The groups include Sailors for the Sea, founded to galvanize the sailing and boating community around ocean health issues. Another environmental organization supporting the effort is OceanElders. It’s an independent group of global leaders such as Jean-Michel Cousteau who use their experience, supported by science and data, to promote ocean conservation.
Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer who’s also on the scientific advisory council for the International SeaKeepers Society, is the Global Ambassador for the AC Healthy Ocean Project. “Working with local and international partners, the America’s Cup organization will inform people about what they can do individually and together to protect and restore health to the ocean,” Earle says. “There is time, but no time to waste. The race to restore health to the ocean is one we can’t afford to lose.”
The AC Healthy Ocean Project kicked off in San Francisco earlier this month. San Francisco is the host city for the finals in 2013, but it’s also renowned for its eco-minded practices and citizens. A beach cleanup, with crewmembers from some of the racing teams participating, was among the events held to show what can be done.
Even prior to the kickoff, ACEA held activities and community forums spotlighting ocean issues. It will continue to do so in the future, through public service announcements to be aired during broadcasts of the AC World Series events. All participating raceboats will feature AC Healthy Ocean Project signage. ACEA has further pledged that its events will meet Clean Regattas standards. The Clean Regattas program, created by Sailors for the Sea, is a third-party certification program that helps regattas, yacht clubs, and sailing programs voluntarily achieve higher environmental standards. Methods include preventing discharge, recycling, and limiting grey water.