Making a positive environmental impact one boat owner at a time

Over 100 delegates attended the second annual conference of The Green Blue – the joint BMF and RYA initiative that promotes the sustainable use of coastal and inland waters – at the SS Great Britain, Bristol yesterday (4 November 2008).

Representatives from sailing clubs, marine businesses, port authorities, colleges and other water-interested organisations heard a stirring call to action by broadcaster and environmentalist Chris Packham.

In his passionate keynote address he embraced and echoed the Green Blue’s own philosophy of empowerment, saying: “The single most important thing is that you, as an individual, can make a difference.”

Delegates heard research-based presentations on upcoming legislation and the economics behind behavioural change, followed by workshops on practical topics such as how to prevent antifoul waste from polluting waterways and how to improve your sailing club’s environmental credentials while also saving money and more.

The conference brought together people from all areas of boating, and Sarah Black, The Green Blue’s project manager, appealed for action: “The last 4 years of The Green Blue we have seen people take some great steps into the unknown, changing behaviour and becoming more environmentally friendly while out on the water. For me the next four years is about bringing our strap line to life, we want to make that sort of behaviour ‘second nature!”

The RYA’s CEO Rod Carr concluded that The Green Blue has proved itself: “The reality is, this is not a flash in the pan, but a long-term education process, and I’m personally proud of that.”

For free literature and advice see the Green Blue website