Save the Sound & the Young Americans: a pilot partnership for education and outreach

Sailors explaining the Save the Sound display at a regatta.
Sailors discussed the Save the Sound display with competitors at regional regattas.

Save the Sound focused its youth outreach and education efforts this summer with the Young American sailing team at the American Yacht Club (AYC) in Rye. Together we developed a pilot partnership that could be replicated with other youth sailing clubs across the region.

Thanks to the generous support of local residents and members of our board, the Young American sail team became representatives of Save the Sound. They proudly sported a spinnaker sail with the Save the Sound logo at regattas throughout the region.

We also equipped the sailors with Save the Sound sailing shirts and water bottles, each stuffed with a sheet that listed the top five things to do to protect the Sound along with links to the Long Island Sound Pledge and Save the Sound’s website.

The young sailors set up a tri-fold display at races to discuss the importance of a healthy Sound with other sailors and their families, and promoted the Long Island Sound Pledge. We were also given a boost when victorious AYC team members mentioned Save the Sound in their winning speeches at the end of a race.

water bottlesWe visited a navigation class at American Yacht Club and invited the teen members of the Young Americans to join our water quality sampling efforts.

One sailor in particular, Megan Ploch, was greatly enthusiastic and supportive of Save the Sound’s efforts. She took charge of the tri-fold informational board and helped in raising awareness about clean water practices at races. Megan and a friend from Pelham High School’s science research program joined us on a number of sampling runs. After sampling with us, they chose to focus on bacteria testing on the Mamaroneck River for their original science research project. They will design and execute a study of the river, which will culminate with a poster presentation of their findings at a science fair at the end of the year. We are looking forward to learning about their results!

We at Save the Sound are pleased to have had the opportunity to work in partnership with the American Yacht Club and the Young American sail team. We look forward to expanding our work with them next summer and increasing our joint outreach and education work on behalf of a clean Long Island Sound.

As the sailors start the school year they can set an example for their peers of what it means to be a steward of the Sound, by using reusable water bottles and not littering on the street or the beach.

Thanks, sailors! Have a great year and we’ll see you next summer!




Posted by Talia Steiger, Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator for CFE Save the Sound.
Photos by Marie McKeige and Mara Ploch

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