Following two days off from racing at the America’s Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal, skippers and 100 volunteers spent a morning removing sour figs, an invasive species that prevents other plants from taking root, from Boca do Inferno.
This was the first step of many in the new America’s Cup Sustainability Series, which is focused on exposing global audiences to the issues facing oceans and coastal waters worldwide. At each America’s Cup event, conservation and restoration activities will be woven into the event program to generate awareness about the need for ocean conservation and restoration efforts. This week’s volunteer efforts were followed by the first America’s Cup Sustainability Forum where Sailors for the Sea Executive Director Dan Pingaro welcomed the America’s Cup’s ongoing commitment to operating a Clean Regattas policy at all of its events.
Craig Thompson and Tom Huston, respectively the CEO and COO of America’s Cup Event Authority, said the huge media interest around the America’s Cup could be harnessed to bring a strong environmental message to a large global audience. “We want to use the America’s Cup to help people understand the problems with the world’s oceans, and we want to challenge other sports to take some positive action,” Thompson said.
In addition to the America’s Cup World Series Sustainability Series, ocean conservation and environmental stewardship elements will be pervasive throughout the America’s Cup as it travels to global destinations over the next three years, culminating in the America’s Cup Finals in 2013. Event organizers are using the global platform of the America’s Cup, in partnership with NGOs, like Sailors for the Sea, to reach people around the world who have an affinity for the ocean, and to motivate them to act to improve ocean health.
For more information, go to www.sailorsforthesea.org.