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”
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: