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Satellite-based Sargassum Watch System (SaWS)
The Sargassum Watch System (SaWS) is designed to use satellite data and numerical models to detect and track pelagic Saragassum in near-real time. Find out more about the spread of this seaweed throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico and how it might affect your cruising choices.
A sailor’s guide to whales and dolphins
Posted July 2015.
Useful report by Yachting Monthly with descriptions of species and photos, plus a list of sites where you can record your sightings.
Marine Wildlife Viewing Regulations: Canada
This guide provides information about how far you need to be from marine mammals when viewing them in Canada. It also outlines illegal actions including, swimming or interacting with a marine mammal; moving a marine mammal (or enticing/causing it to move); separating a marine mammal from its group or going between it and a calf.
Ocean Crusaders
Posted November 2017.
Educating children on issues our oceans are facing. The primary goal of the Ocean Crusaders campaign is educating youth through their primary school education program. They have developed a lesson program for any primary school teacher, or parent, to download free of charge from this site and present to their children. Good kids section with a great information and a puzzle page.
Whale Watching Regulations: Washington State
Regulations are in place in both Canada and the US which require vessels to keep 200 yards/meters away from endangered Southern resident killer whales. These regulations are being more firmly enforced as of 2018.
Wider Caribbean's Marine Protected Areas (CaMPAM)
A useful database of MPAs in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean region. All Marine Parks are MPAs, and therefore if wanting to find out about any marine parks in the islands you are visiting, details and location can be sourced via this website. Includes Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, BVIs, Caymans, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, DR, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherland Antilles, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos, USA & Venzuela.

Citizen Science Programmes for Cruisers

Through citizen science projects it is easy to team up with scientists to contribute valuable data to a variety of marine studies. There are many projects to choose from, on a wide range of topics offering a variety of levels of involvement. Research expeditions, especially offshore, can be very expensive - so scientists often welcome data from volunteers.

2016 Greenland Climate project
Citizen science projects in the Arctic by sailors: Arctic melt; microplastics; ocean gyres; ocean acidification . . .

5 Gyres TrawlShare program
Researching plastic pollution, cruisers can enrol in this programme and trawl for microplastics in the waters where they cruise. Data is included in 5 Gyres' annual Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution.

Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation
ASC is dedicated to building partnerships between outdoor enthusiasts and scientists, and will match interested volunteers with an appropriate project. They have projects that are well suited to cruisers, but many for those who are still tied to land as well. Currently looking for volunteers to take ocean water samples as part of their Ocean Microplastics project.

Caribbean Volunteer Projects
Short-term seasonal cruisers to the Caribbean or life-long sailors who have made the region their home can make a difference to the islands’ people and wildlife. All at Sea Magazine show a sample of seven ways that you can volunteer.

Coastal Clean-up
Posted November 2018.
Coastal Clean-Up, with the help of the sailing community, wants to encourage changes to waste disposal worldwide. The website includes a form for cruisers to log what they collect and where they collect it, this is added to a database that can be used in the future to analyse findings. Initiative of OCC Member Steve Brown, s/y Novara.

Flukebook
Facebook for whales. Take a picture of a whale’s tail (its fluke) and then upload it to this site to learn more about the whale you have spotted. Contribute sightings and follow individual cetaceans across time.

Jellywatch
Recording sightings of jellyfish and other marine organisms. Handy app. now available to make it easy to submit sightings

Ocean Health Monitoring
The not-for-profit group, Indigo V Expeditions, is a worldwide community of oceanographers, researchers, volunteers and sailors dedicated to the study of ocean health. Boaters wishing to participate can install an auto-sampling device coupled with instrumentation called the Ocean Sailing Microbiological Observatory (OSMO). It will be attached to the stern pulpit on any cruising yacht and it is designed to be completely autonomous. To get involved in the project go to the website.

Pacific Northwest/Salish Sea Drift Card Studies
Drift cards are used to learn about ocean currents and circulation, in particular with reference to oil spills. At least 50,000 drift cards have been released over the years in this area, if you find one, be sure to report it. Find out more at pdf link.

Reporting Site: Pelagic Sargassum in the Caribbean - 2018
If you are crossing the Atlantic, cruising in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, you can help understand the widespread sargassum seaweed bloom that has been occurring for the past few years. Report your sargassum seaweed observations to the Gulf Coast Research Lab via their online form.

Sea Stewardship
Sea Stewardship is active throughout the archipelago of Kiribati Line Islands. This modest non-profit organization run by Ari and Ben assist Pacific islanders to deal with the consequences of climate change: the destruction of their low lying island home. Within the next generation, the lowest lying islands will be uninhabitable and many people will have to be relocated. Local island communities (churches and private) have asked them to help them prepare for the inevitable transition. They provide professional and hands-on skill sets including assessments, training, transportation, and a well equipped, sailing mothership. They use their 70 foot sailing vessel ‘Rosalie Clare’ to link people, materials, and ideas between distant communities across enormous expanses of water. Volunteers and sailors needed.

Sea Watch Foundation
UK cetacean research charity concerned with the collection of data on cetacean sightings throughout UK waters with the help of a network of trained voluntary observers. You can get involved too.

SeaBC Sea Bird Count
The SeaBC Sea Bird Count is a citizen science project organized by a volunteer group of nine long-distance birding sailors from around the world. The mission of SeaBC is to benefit seabird conservation by mobilizing the worldwide boating community to document ocean bird sightings, providing critical and seldom-recorded data on seabird abundance and distribution, as well as on ocean migration routes. Their facebook group allows members to request to join and then to post pictures, identification questions, share sightings and locations, etc. It's at: www.facebook.com/groups/BirdingAboard/. The website has all the latest resources (such as field guide, app, and onboard camera recommendations, resources for kids aboard, tally sheets, rally packets, and more).

Secchi Citizen Science Project
Project launched February 2013, first paper 2017, project on-going
A global study of plankton to try and determine the productivity of the oceans and how they are being impacted by climate change. All offshore cruising sailors are asked to get involved. Read news reports adjacent and find out full details on the website.

WhaleTrack: Cetaceans in the Hebrides
An app for citizen scientists to help track whale and dolphin sightings in the Hebrides and North Sea.

eBird
Probably the world’s most popular citizen science project. A real-time, online checklist programme for the worldwide birding community.

iSeahorse
Record your observation for the scientists at Project Seahorse so they can act to protect these often endangered marine animals. Website also has lots of interesting information about seahorses.

On Board Garbage

Aluminium Cans and the Ocean
Posted September 2015.
Is it ok to throw them overboard? An interesting article by Ocean Crusaders.

Guidance on managing garbage when cruising remote islands in the Pacific
A useful article if cruising any of the world's more remote regions.

Unusually Practical Ways To Use Banana Peels
Don't throw your banana peel overboard, take a look at this incredible article about how banana peel can be used in surpisingly functional ways.

Reports

Balearic Islands: Be Aware of the Posidonia LIFE Project if wanting to anchor.

When Whales Meet Sails

Indonesia, Bali to Komodo: The Depth of our Plastic Problem

Arctic Ocean: An Alarming Report about the Amount of Trash

USA: Science and Solitude on the Chesapeake's Crowded Waters

Pacific Ocean Crossing: Collecting Water Samples on the Fly

Canaries:The ARC Forest Grows

We can all help Clean up the Med!

Sharks make their presence felt in south east Queensland

Antarctic Deaths - Enormous Ramifications

Yachting vs Conservationists in southwest England

California: Visiting yachts to have dye placed in holding tank

Turkey - Positive Changes Afoot for New Grey Water Regulations

50 Days Around Australia to Save our Seas

Washington, San Juan Island: Proposed No Go Zone to Protect Orca Feeding Areas

Galàpagos - Paradise Lost

Plastic "Soup" Floats Around North Pacific

New Discharge Permits To Affect Yachts

Norwegian Environmental Zero Emission Yacht

Blue Sea Angels
An environmental group of sailors who promote and encourage ways in which we can go about changing our lifestyles so that we can minimize our impact on the global environment. If you are thinking about living on a boat or recycling a used boat, contact this group for free advice.
DART
DART is the Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis developed by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
M.E.E.R. e.V.
M.E.E.R. e.V. is a non-profit association based in Berlin, Germany which runs the project M.E.E.R. La Gomera, Canary Islands. The Association’s objectives are the promotion of environmental protection through scientific research and public education, particularly concerning cetaceans and their natural habitats and the study of peaceful encounters between man, whales and dolphins.
Ocean Champions
Ocean Champions, a 501(c)(4) organization, with a connected political action committee Ocean Champions PAC, is the first national organization of its kind focused solely on oceans and ocean wildlife. Their goal is to develop a broad, bipartisan base of supporters from which to cultivate political champions for ocean conservation in the U.S. Congress and in key states. Ultimately, the aim is to create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a priority of federal and state governments.
Race for Water Foundation
Posted March 2018.
A charity dedicated to water preservation. Aims to identify, promote and help implement solutions that give end-of-life plastics a value and therefore prevent the plastic pollution of our waterways. Global Odyssey on specially designed solar-hydrogen-kite powered catamaran began in April 2017 in Lorient, France. At time of posting they are en-route from Panama to Lima.
Sailing Green Coconut Run
A young cooperative group of ecologists and adventure lovers who left their homeport of Santa Barbara, CA on March 2015 on a voyage aboard the 42ft trimaran Aldebaran. They are sailing along Central America and the South Seas to promote a network of marine protected areas across the Pacific.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS)
An international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization working to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Cruisers can get involved to assist with monitoring or volunteer as crew, find out more on the website.
Tara Expeditions Foundation
French schooner Tara has been constantly on the move for 13 years, travelling more than 300,000km across the oceans to study and understand the impact of climate change and the ecological crisis facing the World's Oceans. A French, non-profit organisation active since 2003. Tara Expeditions works daily to increase environmental awareness among the general public and young people. The Tara Pacific Expedition runs from 2016-2018. Find out more on their website.
The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage
Posted November 2016.
"Hōkūle‘a" is a re-creation of a historic Polynesian sailing vessel, it’s a 62-foot-long, 20-foot-wide, double-hulled voyaging canoe made of wood and held together by six miles of rope. Eschewing all modern navigational technology - not even watches are allowed - its navigators steer by the stars. They are asking kids, families, governments, communities, and businesses to share how they mālama honua - take care of our Island Earth. So far they have voyaged from Tahiti (2014) to Australia, Bali, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, Caribbean and are currently on the east coast of the US.
The Ocean Clean Up
Posted June 2014.
Boyan Slat, 19 years old, has developed a passive concept to clean the plastic out of our oceans.
World Oceans Day - June 8th
Coordinated by the The Ocean Project, this annual celebration of the body of water that links us all began in 2002 and is now officially recognized by the UN. Take part in World Oceans Day events and activities this year and help protect our ocean for the future!
www.greenboatstuff.com/
Environmentally friendly boating supplies.
General
Platinum Sponsors

Sailors with a Vision for Healthy Oceans
and Sustainable Island Communities.

Over 200 boats and 1200 people take part in the ARC every year
2700 NM across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia
A rally for everyone; families, racers, couples, big boats and modest boats
Two weeks of pre-departure activities in Las Palmas
Welcomed in Saint Lucia with a rum punch and a chilled beer
Fantastic achievement - crossing an ocean on a small sailboat

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