Joint Effort Planned to Lessen the America's Cup World Series Environmental Impact in Newport - Sailors for the Sea

Joint Effort Planned to Lessen the America’s Cup World Series Environmental Impact in Newport

Press Release


NEWPORT, RI, June 18, 2012 – As the eyes of the sporting world descend on Newport, Rhode Island, during the final stop of the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) (June 23, 2012 – July 1, 2012), a trio of local organizations are working in collaboration to set a new standard for sustainable sporting events. The ACWS Host Committee, led by Sailors for the Sea and the RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) in conjunction with the America’s Cup Event Authority, will promote environmental stewardship and ocean health by introducing four key initiatives throughout the ACWS Newport as explained below.

Clean Regattas 
Organizers aim to reach a Gold Level Certification under Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas program. Clean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect the waters upon which people sail. Highlights include:

  • Composting throughout the site and requiring vendors to use compostable serviceware
  • No disposable plastic bottles sold on site; water refilling stations and refillable bottles available
  • Nontoxic cleaning products and copper-free bottom paints only
  • Public transport by shuttle, water taxi and bike heavily promoted
  • No gray water discharge into the bay
  • Electronic communications prioritized
  • Boats washed only with water, preventing harmful runoff 

Conservation Activity
The three collaborative groups will construct a sustainability project at Fort Adams State Park as part of the ACWS to promote improved water quality and control invasive plant species. Storm water runoff from an existing parking lot at Fort Adams State Park will be controlled by a newly constructed rain garden featuring native Rhode Island shrubs and plantings generously donated by local nurseries including Blue Moon Farm Perennials of Wakefield, Rhode Island Nurseries of Middletown, Stewart Nursery of Wakefield, Briden Nursery of Cranston, and All Island Landscape of Portsmouth in coordination with the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscaping Association. The project, designed by Louis Berger Group, Inc. of Providence, RI and GLA Division of BETA (formerly Gates, Leighton & Associates) of East Providence, RI, will be constructed entirely by volunteers including America’s Cup sailors, staff and media, and organized by the project partners. Project goals include:

  • Enhancing water quality of Brenton Cove
  • Controlling parking lot runoff though infiltration using a native rain garden
  • Mitigating and controlling invasive plant species 
  • Landscaping with native Rhode Island shrubs and plantings

Sustainable Seafood and Local Foods
Food vendors will feature fresh produce from local farms and seafood sourced from well-managed southern New England fisheries. Seafood vendors will be asked to select from a list of species that are seasonally available and subject to fisheries management plans aimed at preventing overfishing and maintaining stocks at optimal levels of abundance.

Public Engagement
Interactive, educational exhibits on ocean health developed by the University of Rhode Island and other local partners will be a major part of the ACWS Village Exploration Zone at Fort Adams State Park. Additional activities on sustainable seafood and reducing marine debris will be held throughout the event. We ask that visitors help us run a sustainable event and preserve Newport’s local environment by:

  • Using public transit where possible to reduce carbon emissions
  • Recycling and composting while in Newport
  • Bringing a refillable water bottle 
  • Engaging in efforts to promote sustainable practices

About Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program
To participate in the Clean Regattas program, regatta organizers commit to carrying out at least one Best Practice. With three levels of certification, participants select their level of engagement, and work to fulfill the related certification requirements (five for Bronze, 10 for Silver, 15 for Gold), relating to:

  • trash and recycling collection and disposal
  • discharge
  • oil spill prevention
  • green cleaning products and bottom paint usage
  • bottom cleaning and boat maintenance
  • global warming and carbon offsets
  • biofuel conversion
  • use of recycled materials in regatta awards

About Sailors for the Sea 

Founded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and local waters. For more information or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit