The efforts of the BVI Spring Regatta in supporting the ‘Sailing towards Clean & Green’ campaign has brought the regatta a Silver Certificate from Sailors and the Sea, sponsors of the Clean Regattas Certification program.

Many hope ‘green’ will signify a long-term change in lifestyle and the views of world citizens toward our natural resources. As reported in CowesOnline, ‘Regardless of the fact that the BVI has no pump-out stations, the BVI Spring Regatta has creatively embraced the concept and in 2008 made some inroads by recycling glass and plastic. Then, in 2009, the event went well beyond the initial steps taken in 2008 and made a full-fledged commitment to the cause:

*Recyclable water bottles were made available to all who were in the Nanny Cay BVI Spring Regatta Village.
*Money raised from the 900+ bottles sold was donated to VISAR (Virgin Islands Search and Rescue) and Green VI.
*The BVI Tourist Board provided skipper bags, which were made from recycled materials and designed to be reusable to take gear, food or whatever to and from the boats. Inside the skippers’ bags was a list of natural cleaning products and where to find them locally
*The cleaning of boat bottoms in the confines of the marina and emptying of holding tanks in BVI waters was strongly discouraged
*Event host Nanny Cay Marina and Resort encouraged the use of its luxurious private bathroom/shower facilities located in the hotel, which minimized the amount of water left in holding tanks
*Nanny Cay Marina and Resort set up the glass recycling bins. SOL provided sailors with fuel spill prevention kits and Heineken promoted these initiatives with posters around the Regatta Village. Even the regatta awards were ‘green’, gorgeously sculpted pieces made from natural clay by local pottery shop Bamboushay

‘These efforts were so remarkable that Sailors and the Sea, an organization committed to protecting the oceans and sponsors of the Clean Regattas Certification Program, awarded the 2009 BVI Spring Regatta the first Silver certificate to ever be awarded to any regatta.’

BVI Spring Regatta Director Judy Petz looks to next year, ‘We’re going to continue with all the initiatives started in 2009 and look to furthering our conservation efforts. One of the major ways we see that we can improve is to minimize the amount of printing we do. Our press officer is already planning to distribute her press packs electronically and we’re looking at ways to reduce the paper used at registration…We want to ‘do the right thing’ and know that sailors who join us for the 2010 edition of the BVI Spring Regatta, March 29 – April 4, want to too.’

Thanks to all involved for your efforts.