Environmental Impact of Regattas

Published on February 8th, 2017

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has been a Clean Regatta member for many years, striving to minimize the impact the event has on the environment. When the 37th edition gets underway in the Caribbean next month, participants will witness additional steps put into place to further minimize the impact the event on the environment.

“The most significant step to helping keep both St. Maarten and the environment clean is the ban on all Styrofoam use for all official venue vendors during the regatta,” reports Nila Hoogenboezem, Regatta Coordinator for International Liquors & Tobacco. “This simple step will significantly reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste that will end up in the local landfill.

“Additionally, we will continue to ban straws at the venues, something which we have been doing for a number of years now. The party locations will also have bins to collect recycling and party goers who turn in a filled garbage bag will be rewarded with a free Heineken for their efforts. Recycling bins will also be placed at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and at the Police dock in Simpson Bay. In order to keep the area clean, the bins will be picked up twice a day.”

Other efforts being made by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club continue to pursue areas that will have an impact. “In addition to steps that we have been making for years, such as paperless registration and the impressive beach clean-up we organized a few weeks ago, we are now offering a septic pump out service for competitors,” explains Regatta Director Michelle van der Werff.

“This service will be available for a reduced price and competitors can schedule an appointment for a pump out at a time convenient for the competitor,” continued Van der Werff. “We hope that through this initiative we can reduce the number of boats that pumps out into the ocean, and more specifically those who pump out near our shores.

“Together we can all make a huge difference to the island’s environment, and as an organization, we take this very seriously and hope to be able to inspire the public to recycle right alongside us during the regatta. Obtaining a Clean Regatta certification is important to the event, and by implementing small changes we hope to also make an impact on the island, the youth and the visitors attending the event. Together we can help keep St. Maarten clean.”

Editor’s note: Information on the Clean Regatta program can be found here.

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