Haven Academy Award for the Environment
The Green Blue, an environmental programme promoted by the Royal Yachting Association and the British Marine Federation, is the winner of this year’s Haven Academy Award for the Environment.
The award will fund signage to inform boat users about the risk of spreading non-native invasive species through recreational boating. Using the principles of DEFRA’s ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ campaign, the signage will provide practical advice on the steps that can be taken to minimize the threat.
The spread of invasive species is becoming a growing issue in both marine and inland waters around the world because they compete with native plants and wildlife and can cause major changes to waterways.
There are over 140 aquatic non-native invasive species in the UK and The Green Blue is leading the way to encourage boaters to do what they can to minimise the accidental spread by boats and on equipment.
Jane Swan of The Green Blue said, “Two non-native species in particular are a threat – the Killer Shrimp and the Carpet Sea Squirt – and they are already present in our inland and coastal waters. Increasing the visibility of the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ message is vital to help combat these invaders and enable boaters to continue to enjoy their time on the water”.
Chairman of the Haven Academy judging panel, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, commented:
“As boat owners and users we all have a responsibility to our shared environment and only taking proper care of it will allow us to continue to enjoy it. The judges are delighted to be able to reward such a deserving project”.