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Sustainability at YUSWC

What is Sustainability?

The basic premise of sustainability is defined as fulfilling the present needs of a population without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In practice this means only depleting a resource at a slower rate than its regeneration time, or altering an environment slower than its natural remediation rate.

What is YUSWC doing to become more sustainable?

Last year YUSWC took part in The Green Blue sustainability challenge and came 1st! We are participating again this year with hopes of achieving a top spot again. The challenge is a joint initiative founded by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine in September 2005 which aims to encourage water sport participants to sustainably use coastal and inland waters, and promote sustainable operations.

At YUSWC, The Green Blue is helping implement sustainable practices in the club, ensuring the longevity of our sport and the environment we depend upon. At a time of ever increasing concern about the world’s environmental condition, and as representatives of a university that prides itself on its green motives, YUSWC aims to inspire other clubs and successive members to embrace more sustainable habits.

Today, some of the environmental challenges faced in the boating world include:

  • Oil spills – associated with refuelling outboard motors and RIBS
  • Transfer of invasive and non-native species – algae and other aquatic species
  • Litter – a notorious consequence of recreational use of water bodies
  • Lack of awareness – too few water users are knowledgeable of the impacts of their sport on the environment

More information about current environmental issues and the sustainability challenge can be found on The Green Blue website, http://thegreenblue.org.uk.

How is YUSWC going to achieve sustainability?

Last year we succeeded by following the criteria set out by the sustainability challenge. We will be continuing to use our methods put in place last year and hopefully complete some of the criteria we didn’t manage to finish. Some methods for tackling the above challenges include raising awareness in the club and wider sailing community at our training grounds through talks, conducting audits and litter picking activities, providing information for washing boats, and demonstrating how to effectively use innovative new equipment to prevent or address oil spills.

Ben Morris

YUSWC Sustainability Officer

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