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Minimising possible impact on the Clyde

by RYA on 3 Jul 2014
On 25 July, over 250 boats will gather at James Watt Dock in Greenock to take part in RYA Scotland’s Commonwealth Flotilla, one of the many official Festival 2014 events to celebrate the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow and an important way for people from near and far to be part of the Games experience.

The Clyde is steeped in history, notably its industrial and commercial significance as the home of shipbuilding. Today the river continues to be right at the heart of city life, providing a great location for sailing and watersports activities, as well as an important focus for retail, culture and tourism.

So with the largest flotilla in the history of the Clyde arriving in just a couple of weeks, The Green Blue – the joint environment initiative of the RYA and BMF - is delighted to be working with RYA Scotland to make sure that with so many boats on the water, we do our bit to minimise any possible impact on the environment.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games, the largest sporting event ever to be held in Scotland, will be used as a vehicle to demonstrate the interdependency of people and the environment by building sustainable principles into the planning, delivery and legacy of the event. It therefore makes perfect sense for the flotilla to demonstrate its own commitment to environmental best practice.

On Saturday 26 July, the flotilla will make its way from James Watt Dock to Pacific Quay but not before a selection of free environmental products are distributed to flotilla boats to help them keep the Clyde clean.

Bilge socks are an easy way to absorb hydrocarbons from bilge water before the bilge water is pumped out. Fuel collars are also handy to place over the fuel nozzle when refuelling, to catch any drips or splashes. And environmentally friendly boatwash will also help to keep phosphates and toxic cleaning agents out of the water.

In addition, a commemorative tea towel will be given to every boat - handy in the galley but also a good read if you want to catch up on how to go green on board with just four top tips:

• Keep the decks clear and let nothing go overboard – over 100,000 marine animals die every year from entanglement, suffocation or starvation.

• Use a bilge sock, fuel collar and spill kit to stop those splashes and spills. Just one litre of oil or fuel can contaminate one million litres of water.

• Use pump out facilities or empty your tanks more than three miles offshore. One flush from a boat contains the same amount of bacteria as 250,000 flushes through the sewage treatment process.

• Clean off your anchor before stowing and check, clean dry dinghies, trailers and equipment to stop the spread. As well as preying on, out-competing and displacing native wildlife, invasive species can spread disease and block waterways.

Skippers will also have a simple advice leaflet on other ways to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive non-native species, most importantly to give hulls a scrub to remove biofouling before setting off for the Clyde, minimising the risk of moving any species that might be present from one location to another. RYA website

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