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Teams praised for marine protection

Greatly encouraged: chairman of BEST, Stuart Hayward

An environmental group has hailed the six America’s Cup teams for their efforts protecting Bermuda’s marine habitat.

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce said it had been greatly encouraged by participants’ appreciation of the island’s beauty.

The praise from chairman Stuart Hayward came as the America’s Cup Event Authority and the six America’s cup teams signed on to an environmental responsibility plan called the AC35 Sustainability Charter.

The charter is designed to protect Bermuda’s marine environment during America’s Cup events and establish a protective stewardship for future maritime events.

“We had been encouraged that at the earliest opportunity, over a year ago, AC35 chairman Mike Winfield and minister Grant Gibbons made statements in strong support of environmental awareness and protection.

“We noted at the time that the previous America’s Cup held in San Francisco adhered to very high environmental standards. In the absence of equally stringent environmental standards in Bermuda, we are delighted that this world-class event, AC35, is bringing these sustainable event-management benchmarks to Bermuda.

“It is encouraging that AC35 participants are consistently showing a deep appreciation of the beauty of Bermuda and her people.”

The charter aims to eliminate single-use plastics, maximise reuse and recycling and conserving water.

It is also designed to reduce energy and carbon impact and support the local economy.

Mr Hayward added: “We see tremendous value for Bermuda from our AC35 guests who have been participating in so many aspects of our community services, including environmental issues such as KBB clean-ups and lionfish eradication.

“We understand that the AC sailing teams are leading the way as signatories to the ten points of the Sustainability Charter. Maintenance teams, the Endeavour programme and the youth sailors-in-training are also adopting the plan.”