I first learned about the art of sailing when I was nineteen years old. I had signed up for a semester abroad with a program that teaches students marine biology and oceanography courses, as well as sailing and coastal navigation skills. After a year of scraping together money and filling out forms, I spent my sophomore winter on an 88’ schooner in the Caribbean with a plan to sail to twenty islands. Continue reading →
After learning about Soraya Simi and her work, I checked out her short film First Flush. In just one minute we follow the journey of raindrops hitting the Los Angeles pavement, to the accumulating floodwaters traveling across roadways and down drains, all leading down to the LA River. The drainage carries with it more than just rain: various plastic trash on the streets are carried and gather around the storm drains. The journey ends exactly how we’d expect: at the ocean.
Soraya’s final message to her audience: “If you’ve ever wondered where it all goes…” Continue reading →
Traditionally the boating community associates algae with one word: nuisance. It covers hulls, jams propellers, slimes up fishing poles, and can even make the water unswimmable. Algae is a gigantically diverse group of marine organisms, ranging from tiny single-celled plankton, to kelp that stretches hundreds of feet toward the surface, to the wrapper of your favorite sushi roll. Continue reading →
ASA has brought on marine conservationist Lauren Coiro to help with advocacy and education when it comes to how sailors interact with the environment that they call home. “Ask Lauren” will be a regular feature where our questions on the environment will be asked and answered.
Sailors are motivated to contribute less to the ocean’s plastic problem, but when plastic is incorporated into almost everything we do, where do we begin? The average American generates over 4 pounds of trash every day, and when we send it to landfill, it becomes out of sight, out of mind. Whether we live on the coast or we sail on landlocked lakes and rivers does not matter: about 95% of the plastic in the ocean originated on land and gets carried through our waterways. Continue reading →
January is a fresh start, and after a year-long rollercoaster of environmental news, I am feeling hopeful about what’s to come. 2018 was a year of awareness, and while it was painful to learn about the state of our oceans, we now have the power to fix it. 2019 is not only about becoming better sailors; it’s also about becoming better stewards of the ocean. Continue reading →
Sailing is an amazing sport, powered by wind and so close to the water – it’s impossible not to feel connected to nature – and that’s why we love it! This wonderful feeling comes in sharp contrast to the fact that whether you sail on a lake, river, bay or the open ocean, your waters are not as healthy as they could be. But the good news is you can make a difference and we are here to let you know how.
Back in the spring of this year, the American Sailing Association became involved in The Ocean Cleanup – an extremely ambitious project devoted to ridding the world’s oceans of harmful plastic pollution. The concept, devised by a 20-year-old Dutchman named Boyan Slat, involves capitalizing on the ocean’s currents to funnel large and small pieces of plastic into one place where they can then be collected and removed. If all goes according to plan, the plastic debris could then be sold on the recycling-market, which would inject a self sustaining financial component, thereby making the project something that could sustain itself in an ongoing way.