Photographs by Christopher Fay
Summer is upon us, and wherever you travel this season, it is likely that some sort of body of water will be part of your vacation and family gathering. Many of our friends here at Venü have shared with us inspirations for sailing, yachting, fishing, SCUBA diving, kayaking and exploring great rivers and lakes here in the United States and abroad.
This spring, Venü was a proud media sponsor of the 34th Annual Palm Beach International Boat Show. This event is one of the top five boat shows in the country and features over $1.2 billion worth of boats, yachts and accessories from the world’s leading marine manufacturers.
During the show our team had the pleasure of meeting and walking the docks with a new friend, Helga Piaget. Ms. Piaget, a resident of Monaco, has a great love of the sea and an immense desire to help change our current global crisis of water pollution. She is the CEO of Passion Sea, a nonprofit organization promoting the preservation and respect of our waters through educational programs on water conservation by incorporating global messaging through the arts.
According to their website: “Passion Sea aims to educate the children of the world about the importance of water, dangers that we are facing and the solutions that are at hand.” When we asked why founded Passion Sea, she stated “Water is a precious gift of nature, vital for our survival on this planet. We are all part of this amazing blue element.”
One of Passion Sea’s first art projects was the production and release of a book titled “Water is Life: Thoughts of Our Generation”, which includes a summary education segment that is illustrated, the 40 best art works from children all around the world (ages 3-12). The children took part in an international art contest on the theme of water. The winning works of art are juxtaposed with quotes from royals, visionaries, scientists, music and sports celebrities, artists and government officials on their view and importance of water.
Ms. Piaget was attending the Palm Beach Boat Show in order to introduce their new global initiative, the Passion Sea Flag. By attaching this lively blue flag to your yacht or tender, you commit to love and respect the Ocean and have a mindful behavior, especially when it comes to trash and recycling. The flag serves as a Code of Conduct reminder while enjoying our precious waters. While all of the below may seem common sense, it is always helpful to be proactive and help spread the following message:
- Please avoid littering from aboard or on the shore.
Littering is a dangerous activity and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any amount of trash discarded in the environment piles up and then adds to the global pollution crisis.
- Please minimize plastic usage, avoid single-use plastic products and recycle properly.
Plastic is one of the main cause of pollution and deterioration of our waters. Please avoid single-use plastics such as plastic bags, water bottles, straws, cups, utensils, dry cleaning bags, take-out containers, and any other plastic items that are used once and then discarded. At present, just 9% of plastic is recycled worldwide. Recycling helps keep plastics out of the ocean. It also reduces the amount of “new” plastic in circulation.
- Please avoid products containing “microbeads” of plastic.
Tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads,” have become a growing source of ocean plastic pollution in recent years. Microbeads are found in some face scrubs, toothpastes, and body washes, and they readily enter our oceans and waterways through our sewer systems, and affect hundreds of marine species. Avoid products containing plastic microbeads by looking for “polyethylene” and “polypropylene” on the ingredient labels of your cosmetic products.
- Please prefer using environmentally friendly products for cleaning on board.
Environmentally products have less harmful ingredients in their composition. They help decrease the amount of water pollution. It is a healthier option for you, your yacht and the planet.
- Please avoid fishing in marine sanctuaries.
Marine sanctuaries areas are protected to help provide a safe habitat for species close to extinction and protect historical artifacts.
- Please respect marine protected areas.
Restricting activity in marine areas can help preserve the unique marine life and cultural sites for the generations to come.
- Please avoid overfishing & bycatch.
Overfishing can lead to extinction or imbalance in marine species. The same goes for keeping bycatch fishes instead of releasing them back in the water.
- Please help clean marine debris.
About 60%-80% of all marine debris is composed of plastic (Rios et al. 2007) and Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance estimates that 8 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean each year. Mammals and fishes get their nutrition from the oceans. Plastic is a man made product which they do not understand and if its floating in the water they can mistake it for food and therefore eat it and die.
- Please avoid releasing toilet waters in marine sensible areas.
Toilet waters should be filtered and treated before getting released or pumped. Human sewage entering the
water is harmful as it sparks the process of eutrophication. This happens when excess waste feeds the dense growth of phytoplankton, which sucks the oxygen out of their environment. This drastically influences the food chain, issues with coral reef and creates “dead water” zones.
- Please safely discard cigarettes butts. Cigarette butt litter is a real issue at our beaches and in our oceans.
Cigarette butts not properly discarded – left on the street for example – end up on our waterways dues to storm drains and rivers. Direct litter of cigarette butts at the beach adds to the problem. Toxins, toxic chemicals, and carcinogens from cigarettes get collected on the filter and are then washed out into our waterways and the ocean. Birds and sea mammals ingest these toxic butts, misinterpreting them for food.
- Please send love and gratitude to water. Water responds to vibration and energy.
Dr Masaru Emoto proved that the structure of water changes depending if exposed to words with “positive” vibration like love and gratitude or “negative”ones like “hate”. Only “positive” vibration words allow water to crystallize in beautiful snowflakes.
- Please stay informed on current issues & help by spreading awareness.
Stay informed on issues related to plastic pollution and help make others aware of the problem. Tell your friends, family, company about how they can be part of the solution.
We would like to invite our readers to protect the beauty, feeling of bliss and plenitude that our ocean’s procure.
This summer, be part of the global campaign! Visit www.passionsea.com and sign up to stay in the loop, attend events, and buy a book or a flag today. #passionseaflag