General Session- Sustainable Sailing: Plastic Reduction, Fiberglass Vessel Recycling
and the Future of Responsible Material Management
The future of recreation in the marine environment is dependent on measures that will limit human impacts and help preserve the natural resources we love. Our relationship with the materials that make sailing and sailing events possible come at a cost. So, how do we ensure that our industry takes the right steps to reduce, reuse and where possible, embrace the methods of a ‘circular economy’?
Join Tyson Bottenus (Sailors For the Sea Powered by Oceana) and Evan Ridley (Rhode Island Marine Trades Association) as they provide insight into how their organizations have taken leading roles in the development of practices and tools that can take sustainable boating to the next level.
Since 2006, Sailors for The Sea has used their Clean Regatta management criteria to help more than 2,300 sailing events achieve greater levels of waste reduction, public education and marine pollution prevention. The efforts have created a lasting impression on coastal communities in over 40 countries.
The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has worked to establish a national network of stakeholders dedicated to reinventing lifecycle management practices for fiberglass boat hulls. Using methodologies developed by the European wind energy industry, they have successfully demonstrated the use of end-of-life boat materials as an emission-reducing resource for industrial cement manufacturing.
Tyson Bottenus | Director of Clean Regattas, Sailors for the Sea Powered by OCEANA
Tyson is a passionate advocate for sustainable ocean use, Tyson Bottenus is a pragmatic and engaging changemaker within the boating community. Prior to joining Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana Tyson spent nine years teaching and coaching in the marine nonprofit sector and worked as an offshore Fisheries Observer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Mr. Bottenus was the lead developer of Sailors for the Sea’s newest generation of Clean Regattas Best Practices, the only sustainability certification program for water-based events in the world, and was a vital force on the Sustainability Committee for the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover.
He has written extensively for Marine Technology Reporter, Cruising World, Nautical Rhode Island and internationally in Mariner Brazil, among other publications in the marine and environmental field. A lifelong sailor and outdoorsman, Tyson is a certified Master Composter and holds a USCG 100-ton Master’s license; a unique blend of expertise that qualifies him to not only command vessels underway, but allows him to also expound on the importance of humus and healthy topsoil.
Evan Ridley is Director of Environmental Programs at the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association. The focus of
his work has centered on the development and growth of several sustainability initiatives in the recreational boating industry. This includes the creation and launch of the
Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling Pilot Project, a “first-in-the-nation” effort to establish alternatives to landfilling for end-of-life fiberglass boats and their materials. He actively shares
his research on this topic with a growing network of international stakeholders and collaborators. Ridley received his Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and previously worked as a graduate research assistant at the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program.