The America’s Cup is getting a lot of attention over the last few days, and it’s not because they’ve figured over how to encourage fans to follow along. In fact, they’ve inspired outrage from sailors, sailing fans, conservation groups and organizations.

On August 30th, America’s Cup shared a video on their Facebook Page where organizers released hundreds of balloons in Gothenburg.

It should come to no surprise to anyone who follows sailing, or to anyone who made their way out to the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover, that releasing balloons out into “the wild” to fall wherever they please was a terrible decision.

Sailors For The Sea, headquartered in Newport, RI,  is a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean.

Sailors For The Sea recently wrote a blog post encouraging folks to keep pressure on the America’s Cup to ‘keep the cup clean’, read that entire blog post here.

A key point they made that should resonate with everyone, are these startling statistics;

What goes up, must come down. Sea turtles, whales, birds and 267 other sea creatures are known to have suffered from ingestion or entanglement from plastic debris in the ocean.Researchers from Queensland recently found that in one study, 78% of the plastic recovered from a sample of sea turtles came from eating balloons”

 Again, Please Read The Entire Blog Post HERE

It’s not just Sailors For The Sea and other conservation organizations that are outraged, one look at the comments on America’s Cup Facebook Page and you’ll see hundreds of comments condemning these actions (you may recognize a lot of local Newport faces).

It’s downright silly that one of the largest sailing events in the world could make such a poor decision.

It also outrages us, Ryan from the What’sUpNewp Crew was on hand at Fort Adams State Park every day during the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover. He saw how hard race organizers, Sail Newport, Sailors For The Sea, Clean Ocean Access and many other organizations worked to reduce the event’s impact on Newport, the ocean and the environment.

At the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover, those working to ensure sustainability were able to divert 60% of the waste from entering the landfill and they organized cleanups before, during (with a 250 member green team) and after to ensure that Fort Adams State Park would be cleaner after the event than before.

At the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover balloons, fireworks, straws, styrofoam and single-use plastic water bottles were banned.

Why can’t they be banned by the America’s Cup? An event that should be leading the way.

Sailors For The Sea urges sailors, sailing fans and people who care about the environment everywhere to keep up the pressure on America’s Cup Event Authority to do the right thing. Let your voice be heard:

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. Although not the founder or original owner, Belmore has been with What'sUpNewp since its early beginnings in 2012.

Belmore was born in Providence, Rhode Island; grew up and graduated high school in Coventry, Rhode Island; and lived in Newport, Rhode Island for more than ten years. He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He and his wife, Jen, as well as their two dogs (Aero and June), recently moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Belmore travels back and forth to Newport every couple of weeks to cover events, work on story ideas, to meet with What'sUpNewp's on-the-ground contributors, to visit friends, and to eat as much seafood as possible.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

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