Certified Gold Clean Regatta
Did you know?
Nantucket Race Week has been recognized as a Gold-level Clean Regatta by Sailors for the Sea every year since 2010!
What is a Clean Regatta?
The Clean Regattas program is the world’s leading and only sustainability certification for water-based events. This is a voluntary, self-assessment tool that provides a step-by-step system for regatta organizers to benchmark what their environmental footprint is today and set goals for the future. By running a Clean Regatta you can become a catalyst for engaging boaters to protect their waters.
Our Clean Regatta has three goals:
1. Generate less waste throughout the event
2. Reduce the amount of trash that ends up in the water or on the shore
3. Reduce pollution in the harbor.
The event sponsors and organizers have worked together to adopt Sailors for the Sea standards for a Clean Regatta, and developed a comprehensive program to achieve the environmental goals we have set. We were proud to receive both Silver and Bronze Level certification during our first year in 2009, and building on those actions, we have received the Gold Level recognition every year since 2010.
Clean Regatta Action Plan
Nantucket Race Week takes being a Clean Regatta very seriously and has put a Clean Regatta Action Plan into place. Click here to view what we are doing to ensure we have a Clean Regatta.
Some of our Clean Regatta actions include:
- No discharge of treated or untreated sewage or black water in harbor areas or no-discharge zones around Nantucket.
- No overboard discharge of trash or littering at shore facilities (e.g. rigging tape, paper, soda cans).
- Follow Nantucket’s trash and recycling guidelines: Trash must be in clear plastic or biodegradable bags. All paper, glass, metal and plastic must be recycled and placed in separate containers.
- Reduce waste by using refillable water bottles and compostable paper products.
- Use green cleaning and maintenance products, and copper/cuprous oxide-free bottom paint.
- Reduce the impact of oil spills from motorized vessels by carrying at least one bilge sponge and fuel spill pad.
Clean Harbor Award
In 2010, Nantucket Community Sailing created the Clean Harbor Award to heighten public awareness of pressures on our harbor's water quality, the importance of restoring the quality of our harbor's waters and to encourage stewardship of this precious resource.
Sponsored by Carlin Contracting, this award is presented to a person or organization that has engaged in activities that not only improve Nantucket harbor's water quality, but also provides a model of action for other organizations and individuals.
Previous winners of our Clean Harbor Award:
2011 - Maria Mitchell Association: Category - Natural Resource; Quality of Water
2012 - Town of Nantucket's Board of Health, Category: Quality of Water
2013 - Nantucket Land Council
Nantucket's Water Quality Initiatives
(by Cormac Collier, Nantucket Land Council Executive Director)
Nantucket has had a long history and tradition of protecting our water quality and the wetland ecosystems. Whether it is efforts to protect the island's sole source aquifer or fragile wetlands, estuaries and harbors, Nantucket has worked to ensure the health and vitality of these systems.
Like many oceanfront communities, Nantucket is challenged with nutrient overloading resulting from excessive or inappropriate development, threatening one of the island's long-standing industries. We are blessed with the last remaining viable bay scallop fishery in the northeast. Both Nantucket and Madaket harbors support a vital eelgrass habitat, which is unique in its density and quantity. Scalloping is integral to the year-round economy and is also a vibrant tourist industry during several months of the year. Various recent initiatives have been instituted to further protect of our vital harbor resources.
The Town has created the Nantucket Harbor and Madaket Harbor Watershed protection districts. All septic systems are being inspected and upgraded where necessary to reduce the amount of nitrogen from entering these harbors and causing harm. An overbalance of nitrogen accelerates algae blooms, reduces oxygen levels, diminishes light penetration, and ultimately kills eelgrass and other important marine organisms. The Town is also exploring ways to sewer certain sections of each watershed in hopes of eventually eliminating this pollution source in its entirety.
Island nonprofit organizations have collaborated to fund research programs and educate the public about issues related to water quality. The Nantucket Land Council is the primary advocacy and watchdog organization that monitors development in and around wetland areas and promotes sustainable land use practices. Awareness in the community about the harmful effects of inappropriate fertilizer use is beginning to take shape as the Land Council has promoted several fertilizer reduction initiatives on the type, quantity and use of appropriate fertilizer throughout the island. The Land Council has also undertaken a number of important research initiatives, including a project to determine the viability of transplanting eelgrass back into areas experiencing serious declines.
The University of Massachusetts Boston Field Station on Nantucket performs ongoing research to foster a better understanding of the biology of the harbor ecosystem, with a particular focus on water quality and improvement. The Maria Mitchell Association is collaborating with the Town of Nantucket to investigate the life cycle of the scallop and improve scallop populations in the harbor. Finally, the Town of Nantucket is investing in its shellfish propagation program by improving the Brant Point laboratory with necessary infrastructure and equipment and also dedicating valuable personnel. Through these and other collaborations, a dedicated effort is underway to protect the marine ecosystems of Nantucket and the important marine life that inhabit them.
Clean Regatta Actions
Every year Nantucket Race Week distributes a User Guide to Sailors to all Nantucket Race Week skippers in their skipper's bags. These User Guides describe our Nantucket Race Week Clean Regatta actions and where to find water to refill reusable water bottles and how each skipper can do his/her part.