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The Green Blue to shine a light on underwater habitats at RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show

by Emma Cotton 16 Feb 10:47 GMT Stand B5, 26-27 February 2022
Universite Sailing Sustainability Challenge © The Green Blue

The Green Blue prepares to return to the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 26 - 27 February. Whilst much of the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show will be focussed on activity on the water, The Green Blue wants to draw boaters' attention to the life happening beneath the water's surface.

With the power of virtual reality (VR) headsets, visitors to the stand will be offered the chance to experience the wonder of underwater habitats from a diver's perspective. Users will be able to witness first-hand the importance of seagrass to marine life such as pollock and seahorses - creatures that value the vegetation as both a feeding ground and a nursery.

The Green Blue, the environmental programme for the RYA and British Marine, are working together on raising awareness of the plight of seagrass as part of the ground-breaking LIFE ReMEDIES Project. The Project, which is aimed at restoring seagrass beds through re-seeding and education is being delivered in partnership between the RYA, Natural England, Ocean Conservation Trust, Plymouth City Council, and the Marine Conservation Society.

The stand will also offer the opportunity to gain a taste of the seagrass re-seeding process with The Green Blue's hands-on activity - Wildflower Seed Bombs. Young and older visitors alike will be invited to mimic the re-seeding process practised by the project by mixing flower seeds, soil and clay to take away and re-plant at home to encourage biodiversity.

Commenting on the stand, Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager, said: "We have so much planned for this year's RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show, not only does our stand have a variety of educational activities, but we're also showcasing a selection of more sustainable products from The Green Blue Business Directory. Visitors can handle the products, ask us questions and learn more about what sustainable changes they could make to their everyday boating, club, centre or class association."

University Sailing Sustainability Challenge

The Dinghy & Watersports Show will also see the return of the grand finale of The Green Blue's University Sailing Sustainability Challenge, sponsored by Ocean?. Taking to the Suzuki Main Stage at 1.15pm on Saturday, students from successful sailing clubs from across the country will wait to hear if their club's name is called from the Challenge's prize draw.

Kate explains: "The students will have completed a range of green actions across the academic year, these will be dependent on which award level they've chosen: Bronze, Silver or Gold. The actions extend to all aspects of their club's activities, from awareness raising, to sustainable socials, to club kit, waste disposal and practicing environmental boating best practice."

Green Credentials

As part of this year's plans to increase the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show's green credentials, exhibitors have been asked to consider their own impact and in doing so, sign-up to the RYA Exhibitor Sustainability Pledge.

The Pledge Certificates will be displayed around the Show, showing that the exhibitor has signed up to a minimum of 6 sustainable actions. These actions can vary from only offering recyclable / sustainable giveaways, to travelling to the Show on public transport, or sustainable adaptations to their stand's design.

Visitors are also strongly encouraged to use public transport to the showground. A special RYA shuttle bus will be taking visitors directly from Farnborough train station to the Show with the intention to reduce both local traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

Don't forget to bring your reusable water bottle as well, the RYA have been working with the Farnborough International Exhibition Centre to ensure that water refill points are available to visitors and exhibitors.

You can find The Green Blue within the RYA area at stand number B5.

You can watch the announcement of The Green Blue University Sailing Sustainability Challenge on the Suzuki Main Stage at 1.15pm on Saturday.

The RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show runs from 26 - 27 February at Farnborough International Exhibition Centre. Tickets are available to purchase in advance here.

The Green Blue is a joint environment programme between the RYA and British Marine to encourage a more sustainable recreational boating sector.

To find out more about The Green Blue visit thegreenblue.org.uk

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