IN just three weeks, the shores of Reduit Beach will be filled with various sail boats such as J24s, Surprise, and Cruising class vessels — possibly even a huge schooner! With 25 to 30 boats expected to bring about 150 sailors to the shores of Saint Lucia, the Saint Lucia Yacht Club took to action to be proactive with the impact on the environment. Joining with Sailors for the Sea to operate a “Clean Regatta”, the Mango Bowl Committee has been working feverishly to establish specific protocols and processes to accomplish this goal.
Regatta Director, Lily Bergasse, is on a mission to run a “Clean Regatta”. Through event sponsor, IGY Rodney Bay Marina, she was placed in contact with a local organization handling waste management and recycling. Greening the Caribbean, headed by Wayne Neale, has worked with IGY Rodney Bay Marina to be one of the only marinas in the Caribbean “that has a recycling and waste management policy and practice”, as quoted by Suzanne van der Veeken in her book, “Ocean Nomad” — released last week. She further states, “Saint Lucia, then, is the only suitable island for disposing of your recycling waste in the least harmful way.” This should spill over to our communities.
This being said, Bergasse was elated when Neale committed Greening the Caribbean as another sponsor for the Mango Bowl Regatta. Established seven years and operational for the last 3 years, Greening the Caribbean works with local companies to establish environmentally- responsible practices. Setting up waste management and recycling centres for several local businesses, the crew at Greening the Caribbean has made steady impact to protecting our land and seas. You probably have even seen them once a month with JICA cleaning up garbage and waste from Johnson’s Hardware by the Rodney Bay Marina to Dive Saint Lucia.
Under the motto, “Put waste in its place”, the two organizations work together every third Saturday of the month gathering and separating items collected on the side of the road. As much as possible is recycled to avoid the landfill.
This year, as vessels arrive for the Mango Bowl Regatta, they will be met with specific guidelines regarding their waste management and recycling through signage at IGY Marina and Saint Lucia Yacht Club.
Further, the regatta has established other protocols, such as a paperless registration, water bottle reduction, water refilling stations, responsible/reusable dinnerware, recycling, toxic free cleaning and maintenance. Participants and skippers will receive instructions and information regarding the “Clean Regatta” as updates are provided electronically.