Government backs green boating scheme

The British Marine Federation and Royal Yachting Association have announced that their Green Blue project has received government funding for its third year.

The project, which encourages boaters and boating businesses to be more environmentally aware and take action to limit their impact on the marine environment, was one of 34 projects to receive funding from Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affair’s (Defra) Environmental Action Fund (EAF).

Over £2 million of funding was made available for the various EAF projects, which are designed to help change people’s behaviour at a grass-roots level so that consumers live more sustainably.

Sarah Black, Project Manager for the Green Blue, said: “With the environment coming to the top of the political and social agenda, we have really seen the programme reach critical mass this year. It is really important that we maintain the momentum towards positive change and this funding means we can do just that.”

She continued: “Key to the success of the programme will be our developing volunteer programme. There are so many BMF and RYA members who want to see the environment they love preserved and we want to give them all the help they need to do that. This year we have distributed close to 100,000 pieces of information and the demand for our publications continues to grow. Producing the UK’s only directory of green marine products and services is another step towards providing people with sustainable solutions. None of this would be possible without the support of the EAF programme.”

The Green Blue project encourages a sustainable recreational boating community, through three routes:

Information: Providing advice and information through a website (www.thegreenblue.org.uk) and publications like its “How to” guide
Practical Projects: Establishing practical demonstration projects around the country. Small-scale projects with the potential to be rolled out nationwide
Research: The Green Blue launched a major research study into ‘The Environmental Interactions of Recreational Boating’ and launched the searchable database of 650 documents in 2006. The Green Blue also links with universities to initiate primary research where data is lacking.