Sailors for the Sea—a forward-thinking non-profit conservation organization for sailors and boaters founded by David Rockefeller, Jr.— is asking millions of U.S. boaters and others to show the ocean some love to help heal its rapidly declining condition. The Newport, RI based group is asking fellow sailors and all lovers of the sea to take the NT3 Pledge—No Trash. No Trail. No Trace.*
By logging on to sailorsforthesea.org, visitors will be prompted by a homepage pop up containing the pledge; which takes just a few minutes to complete. The urgent request comes on the heels of alarming new research published this month and the ongoing process of Ocean Acidification (sometimes referred to as the evil twin of climate change) caused by carbon dioxide emissions: The ocean absorbs more carbon dioxide than rainforests—one third of all CO2 emissions—which is causing the chemistry of the ocean to change.
“There’s no time to waste,” says David Rockefeller, Jr. “And I don’t know of a community that loves the ocean more than recreational boaters. We have an extraordinary ability to affect change. For instance, with waste reduction alone, if only 10 percent of U.S. boaters stopped using single-use bottles for one year, that would reduce our carbon footprint as much as planting 500,000 trees.”
According to a recent New York Times story, “A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.” That new research was published January 16, 2015, in the peer-reviewed journal Science and warns that human activity is creating large-scale marine habitat loss, as evidenced by the fact that 40 percent of the world’s coral reefs are now in decline.
Ocean’s Food Chain Endangered; Pledge is First-Step in Raising Awareness and Taking Action
“If you cranked up the aquarium heater and dumped some acid in the water, your fish would not be very happy. In effect, that’s what we’re doing to the oceans,” says Malin Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and a co-author of the new Science report.
“Salt water and human blood are equally sensitive to changes in acidity (pH),” Rockefeller notes. “If the acid level gets too high, ocean shells and corals—just like human bones–are subject to being dissolved. The result is that 20 percent of the world’s food supply could disappear, and coral reefs, which are nurseries for young fish could vanish entirely.”
“Our goal with the NT3 Pledge is to engage at least 1.2 million in the boating community—or 10 percent of U.S. boaters within the next three years,” he explains. “Sailors for the Sea is intent on uniting millions who love the ocean in what could be the most significant ocean conservation movement of our time—and one that is long overdue.”
“The ocean holds 97 percent of the Earth’s water, while it’s estimated that mangroves, seagrass beds and salt marshes sequester three times the amount of carbon per unit area than an Amazon rainforest,” adds Mark Davis, President, Sailors for the Sea. “We are passionate about educating and activating the boating community with the Pledge as we race to restore ocean health. We believe that it’s time for a sea change—and we are committed to rallying the boating community here in the U.S. and throughout the world.”
*Taking the NT3 Pledge—and Fighting Ocean Acidification
Since the industrial revolution, the ocean is 30 percent more acidic due to absorbing excess CO2 in the atmosphere. The No Trash. No Trail. No Trace (NT3) Pledge offers simple actions millions can make to reduce their carbon footprint three ways:
1. NO TRASH- Pledge to reduce plastic trash—which creates carbon emissions during manufacture, by choosing reusables like water bottles, cutlery and coffee cups.
2. NO TRAIL- Pledge to reduce your carbon trail by choosing petroleum-free products like non-toxic cleaning products and copper-free bottom paint.
3. NO TRACE- Pledge to reduce your carbon trace by not idling boat engines, biking and buying carbon offsets.About Sailors for the Sea:
Sailors for the Sea is a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean. Sailors for the Sea is a movement and pragmatic voice for action that offers boaters tangible opportunities to create a legacy and make a difference.
Through the NT3 pledge, events like Clean Regattas and conferences, Kids Environmental Lesson Plans (KELP), Ocean Watch and tools like the Clean Boating Guide, Sailors for the Sea sends a vibrant message of hope and empowerment. www.sailorsforthesea.org