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BVI Spring Regatta Recylcing Campaign Raises the Bar

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Clean, green event set for March 29 to April 4, 2010

Money always makes people smile but this time, that is only part of the story. Certainly Judy Petz, BVI Spring Regatta Director, Phil Aspinal, President of Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR), Chuck Peterson, Director of Clearwater, and Charlotte McDevitt, Executive Director of Green VI, are all pleased that the BVI Spring Regatta campaign to promote the use of recyclable water bottles resulted in funds being raised for the donation to VISAR and Green VI, but it was even more important what this donation represented.

Judy Petz explained, “We really did it. We set out to reduce plastic waste by 30% and with the donation by the BVI Tourist Board of the green reusable water bottles and Chuck Peterson stepping in and supplying free refills throughout our regatta, plastic waste was reduced considerably. We met our goal and next year plan to raise the bar even higher.”

Executive Director of Green VI, Charlotte McDevitt, is in the midst of getting a pilot island-wide recycling program off the ground. With a major donation from Deloitte, and the funds from the BVI Spring Regatta, recycle bins for marinas, select schools and special events will be bought and distributed. Recycle efforts will initially focus on glass but Charlotte explained that plans are to expand to include aluminum and PET plastic as soon as possible 

When discussing how the funds for VISAR would be spent, all agreed with Phil Aspinal, President of VISAR, that the money should be earmarked to help pay for the new four stoke engine that will be bought as a “spare” for both the Tortola and Virgin Gorda rescue boats. Phil explained, “The four stroke 225hp engine meets the requirements to be considered ‘green’ by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  It is so much more efficient than a comparable two stroke engine that the boat will go as fast with one half the throttle and use 66% less fuel.”

As a sponsor of the BVI Spring Regatta recycling initiative, Chuck Peterson could not have been more pleased. “Last spring, at my wife’s insistence, I walked into Judy’s office and asked how I could help. As it turned out, people were very excited to see us at the regatta with Clearwater, the drinking water purification machine; and the fact that the water tastes great and was free just added to our popularity.”

Sailors for the Sea, an organization committed to protecting the oceans and sponsors of the Clean Regattas Certification Program, awarded the 2009 BVI Spring Regatta the first Silver certificate to ever be awarded to any regatta. Building on the success of 2009, Petz said that efforts will be expanded for the March 29 – April 4, 2010 event to include a further reduction of disposable plastic, a reduction of paper used in the registration process, electronic press packets, volunteers monitoring recycling bins and helping sailors and partygoers to get the trash and recyclable materials disposed of properly.

For full details on the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival including daily news, photos and complete results from the 2009 event, visit the official web site: www.bvispringregatta.org. E-mail:   [email protected]

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