Monday, October 17, 2011

America's Cup Healthy Ocean Project: global sailing event plans to promote ocean conservation

From BYM Sailing & Sports News comes this announcement regarding the upcoming 34th America's Cup and its new commitment to ocean conservation:

"Global leaders in the arena of ocean conservation, oceanographic research, and environmental sustainability gathered today in San Francisco to celebrate the launch of the America's Cup Healthy Ocean Project, the global initiative of the 34th America's cup to educate the world's populations about the issues facing our oceans and inspire them to act.

Driven by its commitment to have the the 34th America's Cup be 'more than a sport,' the America's Cup Event Authority (ACEA) has set an ambitious goal with the AC Healthy Ocean Project to develop the world's largest communication outreach program focused on improving ocean health. To accomplish this goal, ACEA has partnered with some of the leading voices in the ocean conservation field, including Dr. Sylvia Earle and her organization Mission Blue, Ocean Elders, Sailors for the Sea, One World One Ocean and IUCN, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

From public service announcements woven into America's Cup broadcasts to visible identification on all America's Cup boats and events committed to Clean Regatta standards, ocean conservation and environmental stewardship will be pervasive throughout the America's Cup as it travels to global destinations over the next three years, beginning with the AC World Series and becoming more pervasive on the path to 2013's Louis Vuitton Cup and America's Cup Finals in San Francisco.

'The increasing pressure of global use continues to strain marine life and vital coastal habitats. Once considered inexhaustible and resilient, the ocean is actually finite and fragile,' said Dan Pingaro, CEO, Sailors of the Sea. 'We believe by harnessing boater's profound passion for and understanding of the world's seas, we can galvanize the sailing and boating community around ocean health issues. ACEA's commitment to our Clean Regattas program and pledge to run the America's Cup events with a strong commitment to ocean and coastal water conservation is a beacon to boaters and sailing organizations on the need to take action and effect change to protect this vital natural resource.'"

This represents one end of the public awareness spectrum - the higher end of the socio-economic ladder as personified by the Louis Vuitton Cup. But while it doesn't necessarily smack of down home, Main Street, grass roots advocacy, it does serve a very important purpose by tapping into the hearts, minds, and, hopefully, the wallets, of the affluent and influential.

For ocean conservation to succeed it must reach a multitude of groups - those that can alter personal, day-to-day behaviors, those that study and search for new answers and solutions, and those that can impact policy and decision makers. No age group, nor political persuasion, or financial or social segment should be left out. We're all in it together and we will need everyone on board - from the Gilligan's right up to the Thurston Howells of the world.

Read more about the America's Cup ocean conservation plans at BYM Sailing & Sports News.
Visit the America's Cup Healthy Ocean Project website.

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