Setting Sail for World Oceans Day

Get out on the water this World Oceans Day and experience the magic of the seas for yourself by going sailing. You’ll be joining sailors around the world who are holding World Oceans Day events and working together to keep our oceans healthy for future generations. There are so many ways sailors, sailing clubs and organizations can celebrate the seas this year. Get ready to hoist your sails and adjust your heading towards ocean conservation this World Oceans Day with the ideas and resources below.

Sail green

Prepare a plan for a green sail before you leave. Consider the waste you’re bringing on the boat and make an effort to reduce packaging before you set sail, and never throw any trash overboard. Use moorings instead of anchors when possible. When you anchor on rocky or coral bottoms, you risk the chance of damaging fragile ocean landscapes. If you have to use an anchor, anchor in a place where you can see the bottom to avoid reefs and grass beds. Make sure you’re caught up on the latest green sailing practices with Sailors for the Sea’s Green Boating Guide. This unique guide provides resources and tips to make sure you and your boat are as ocean-friendly as possible. Cruising World also provides information on sustainable sailing and how to reduce your boat’s footprint. 

Host a regatta or sailing festival

Get your local community involved by hosting a regatta or sailing festival that is open to the public. As the experienced sailors race, the public can celebrate with music, games, and sustainably sourced seafood.  Staff an outreach booth to ensure that you are highlighting ocean conservation at your event. Consider offering beginning sailing lessons or free cruises to attendees. For a great example of how to integrate sailing and celebration, check out the International Maritime Festival in France for inspiration!

Keep the waves clean

Consider hosting a marina or harbor cleanup to remove marine litter from your local waterway. Start your cleanup on the docks, then make your way out into the water to make sure your marina is completely free of debris. Looking to make an even bigger impact this year? Make a change at your sailing club or organization by going plastic-free, or encourage your local marina to do the same. Last year, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club said good-bye to all plastic bottles, bags, and straws by launching their plastic-free initiative on World Oceans Day. This action decreased their operations negative impact on the environment and encouraged their members to reduce, reuse and recycle. Whether you choose to clean up ocean plastic or reduce your plastic use altogether, you'll be joining a larger effort to prevent marine litter for a healthier ocean and better future.

Celebrate tradition

Humans have been sailing for thousands of years, and the art of sailing has a deep, rich history. Sailing changed the way we interact with and perceive the ocean. Celebrate the tradition of sailing with antique boats, and old sailing techniques. Last year, the Polynesian Voyaging Society sailed their traditional voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, around the world and to the United Nations in New York on World Oceans Day. Their voyage inspired and educated many people about traditional sailing boats and practices, all while bringing awareness to the issues our oceans face today. This World Oceans Day, share your boats and sailing techniques from the past with demonstrations and lectures to inspire people to be better ocean stewards for the future.

Make your event even better with free resources and submit your event to the world map to let the world know how you’re celebrating! 

Samantha Mackiewicz 11-Apr-2017