Sustainability and Ocean Conservation: The America’s Cup and Sailors for the Sea

Sailors for the Sea has a cause and it’s ocean conservation.  The 34th America’s Cup, an international sporting event that is a regalogotta by any other name, came together under the sustainability flag with a focus on the Clean Regattas Program and ocean conservation.  Since July 2011, Sailors for the Sea has worked with the America’s Cup Event Authority to support the vision and plan of delivering a model sustainability sporting event.  Sounds simple enough.

In my previous blog post I featured three interviews with Jill Savery head of sustainability for the America’s Cup and if you listened to her (video here) you came to understand a sustainability plan for a sporting event of this magnitude was anything but simple and making it happen was a big challenge.

Dan Pingaro

Dan Pingaro

In this post I am focusing on an interview with Dan Pingaro, Executive Director of Sailors for the Sea.  Published in three parts, America’s Cup Clean Regatta, emphasizes their work with Jill and the collaboration it took between their organizations and among a whole host of partners and vendors, not to mention fans from all over the world, who all contributed to reducing significantly the carbon footprint of this event.  A second video, Ocean Conservation and Sailors for the Sea Programs, is about their Clean Regattas Program and Rainy Day Kits, environmental lesson plans focused on marine ecology that can be taught to students in sailing programs and other low resource environments around the world.

While interviewing Dan I took the opportunity to ask him about his career as a sustainability and ocean conservation advocate and in this, the third video, A Passion for Ocean Conservation, he talks about how his passion, education, and experience combined with an emphasis on collaboration all came together to help his team grow Sailors for the Sea into an international organization.

In October Sailors for the Sea awarded the 34th America’s Cup their highest level Clean Regattas certification! According to David Rockefeller, Jr., chairman and co-founder, Sailors for the Sea, “The collaborative efforts between Sailors for the Sea and ACEA resulted in an expanded Clean Regattas program that will benefit the ocean that boaters rely on, and established a model framework within which other world-class sporting events can strive to achieve the highest possible levels of sustainability.”

We can all learn from this collaboration and the leadership provided by Jill Savery and Dan Pingaro, their staff members, and the hundreds of volunteers who all worked hard and together.


Ruth Ann Barrett, Sustainability Advocate, Portland, Oregon, October 31, 2013.

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