Sailors are able to reap the benefits of the environment that surrounds us more than most. From splashing about in the clear blue waters to watching wildlife in the sea and the skies, Scottish sailors have access to areas of incredible natural beauty.
With that privileged access comes a responsibility to help these landscapes, seascapes and the wildlife that inhabits them remain as they are in future.
As such RYA Scotland is doing all it can to help clubs, individual sailors and events understand their impact on the environment and offering advice as to how that impact can be reduced.
This may include advice on environmental sustainability, through to advice around the impact of Avian Flu and highlighting biosecurity for those landing by boat on lslands.
RYA Scotland also work closely with partner organisations such as Marine Scotland and Nature Scot on marine planning and avoiding adverse environmental impacts of planned projects. This work provides wider insights around the impact of climate change and Scottish Government policy on coastal facilities.
The Green Blue is a joint environmental awareness programme between the RYA and British Marine, it offers advice to the boating community. This includes boating wildlife awareness, guidance on stopping the spread of invasive species and the #SaveOurSeabed campaign.
The #SaveOurSeabed campaign aims to protect, restore and reduce recreational pressure on sensitive seabed habitats like seagrass and maerl beds in UK waters.
On a healthy seabed, vital habitats like seagrass can flourish providing nursery grounds for young fish including many commercially important species such as herring, pollock and plaice. It offers food and shelter for protected creatures, helping to reduce coastal erosion, cleaning surrounding seawater and capturing and storing carbon.
Last year the Green Blue launched a boating pledge to encourage sustainable boating. Boaters who sign up for the pledge are committing to a range of small actions which will help maintain the environment.
· Keeping to speed limits
· Minimise wash
· Use eco-friendly cleaning products
· Don’t throw anything overboard
· Observe wildlife from a distance
Marc Turner, RYA Scotland Communication and Engagement Manager, said: “The importance of having a thriving, healthy and diverse marine environment is one of the many reasons people take to the water to explore and engage in this unique
"While we aim to train and enable confidence in the people taking part in water based activities it is equally important to ensure we inform and inspire people in protecting our marine environment by reducing their impact and raising awareness around key issues.”
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