5 Reasons to Sail-abrate 2021

By Shelley Brown

With support from sailors and boaters across the globe, we've been able to achieve huge wins for our oceans in 2021. Here are a few highlights:

1. Our Clean Regattas program celebrated 15 years of success in sustainability

Since the summer of 2006, more than 2,800 events and 750,000 sailors in 35 US states and 49 countries have helped protect our oceans and waterways by participating in Clean Regattas. In the past five years alone, Clean Regattas around the world have prevented 6.9 million single-use plastic water bottles and 1.7 million plastic straws from heading to landfill or polluting our oceans. The growth and success of the Clean Regattas program is due to the dedication of Clean Regatta organizers who continuously bring sustainability to the forefront of their events. In 2021, a record 11 Clean Regattas achieved Platinum Level status, the highest level of sustainability certification. The Clean Regattas program continues to share innovative and effective ways to make a lasting impact on the environment.

2. More than 36,000 Green Boaters stepped up to advocate for our oceans and practice eco-smart habits on the water

Being on the water, sailors and boaters are ideally positioned to be advocates for protecting our seas. Green Boaters shared their voice by supporting policies that would reduce the production of single-use plastics, save endangered marine wildlife and protect sensitive marine habitats. This year, we also released a new edition of the Green Boating Guide to provide boaters and sailors with practical and actionable steps to enjoy their time on the water in an environmentally responsible manner. The updated guide includes the latest research, suggested solutions, and features two new topics.

3. Sixteen Sailors for the Sea Skippers worked with their local community to make a difference for our seas

Located across the United States and Canada, Sailors for the Sea Skippers are conservation leaders in their local sailing communities who are working on projects that will help restore the health of our oceans. This year, Skippers attended or presented at events across the nation to share Green Boating tips, support Clean Regatta sustainability initiatives, and engage youth on ocean conservation topics. Several Skippers are also collaborating with their home clubs to implement club sustainability policies, launch sustainability committees, or develop youth-focused environmental programs. The Skippers have supported local policies to reduce the production of throwaway plastics, have spoken up to protect critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, and have interviewed important figures in their community. These dedicated sailing leaders continue to take an active role in protecting our oceans and waterways.

4. Our KELP how-to videos were viewed 61,000 times

Over the past two years, we launched 20 instructional videos highlighting our most popular KELP (Kids Environmental Lesson Plans) activities. The instructional videos provide teachers, parents, and kids helpful guidance on how to carry out the lesson. With five new activities launched this year—on topics ranging from how dolphins use echolocation, to how boats can spread invasive species—our KELP library currently consists of more than 50 marine science activities to inspire the next generation to protect our oceans.

5. Sailor and surfer, Liz Clark, joined Sailors for the Sea as our first ambassador

Liz Clark is a well-known passionate conservationist, sailor, surfer, and author who is committed to a life of sustainability. For over a decade, she has lived aboard her sailboat, Swell, while cruising the Pacific and documenting her experiences.  She has gained worldwide recognition as an environmental activist, adventurer, and brand ambassador for eco-conscious organizations. Being closely connected to the sea, Liz believes our Green Boaters can be catalysts for change when it comes to restoring the health of our oceans.