festival greening

UPDATE: Annapolis Green was one of four organizations across the country to be awarded a $10,000 grant from the BoatU.S. Foundation!

At the 2013 fall boat shows, you'll see a stepped-up effort to bring
our message of sustainability and care for the Chesapeake Bay
to residents and visitors alike.


In December, Annapolis Green applied for a Grassroots Grant from the BoatUS Foundation. The selection committee selected us and six other organizations from around the country as finalists. The organization with the most votes will be awarded a $10,000 grant. We need your vote!

Our Application

Red, Right, Recycle: Annapolis Boat Show Greening


  1. Grow existing event Greening program, “Red Right Recycle,” at Annapolis Boat Shows to showcase importance of green boating & clean waterside operations as a replicable model for any waterside event.

  2. Diverting 80% of boat show waste from landfill, including paper, plastic, cardboard, carpeting & metal, to serve as a baseline to build upon in future years by increasing the number of Eco-Stations.

  3. Implement innovative, technology-savvy, aggressive public relations campaign to create grass-roots support for Green practices on the part of recreational boaters, exhibitors and show management.

  4. Implement training program for volunteers & boat show & waste collection staff about “Red Right Recycle” making them good stewards of the waterways. It can be independent of boat show management.

  5. Complement “Red Right Recycle” campaign with Green Boater QR Code linking to web-based, mobile-ready Green & clean boating info for local & visiting recreational boaters, exhibitors & show attendees.

As America’s Sailing Capital on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis hosts the annual Annapolis Sailboat and Powerboat Shows, the largest and oldest in-water boat shows in the country. Annapolis Green sees an opportunity to reach the 90,000 recreational boaters drawn to these events, 700 exhibitors, and residents, and businesses with a Green Boating message: Protect Our Bay.

We modified the familiar boating mnemonic “Red, Right, Return” to fit our campaign. Our goal is for “Red, Right Recycle” to become synonymous with clean boating and good stewardship of the waterways.

In 2012, Annapolis Green launched its innovative “Red Right Recycle” pilot program that brought comprehensive recycling to the boat shows. Previously, only cardboard discarded by exhibitors had been recycled and many dumpsters of recyclable plastic cups and bottles, cans, paper, exhibitor carpeting and other material went to the landfill.

We met with boat show managers and discussed the fact that Greening these events is important to the city, the Chesapeake Bay, and their own bottom line, and they gave Annapolis Green the go-ahead to proceed on a limited basis, but provided no funding. We raised $3500 in sponsorships from the marine and tourism industry to implement the pilot program. Twenty-five sets of Eco-Stations – colorful, eye-catching, dual bins for recycling and trash, with signage and lids – were deployed.

Concurrently, Annapolis Green mounted a public relations campaign to raise awareness of a clean and Green component to the boat shows to encourage behavior change on the part of recreational boaters, maritime industry, exhibitors, show management, Annapolis residents, other visitors and show attendees. The message: Recycling at the shows is a first step toward joining local residents as stewards of the National Treasure that is the Chesapeake Bay. (Recycling is often the first and most visible sustainability step leading to good environmental stewardship and more eco-efforts to come.)

The result: Even though the 25 Eco-Stations were insufficient to cover the entire footprint of the shows, we achieved diversion rate of 50% where our Eco-Stations were deployed, and adjacent areas were clean and free of litter. With limited funding and support, we made the city and the show look good. Reaction from the public and exhibitors was entirely positive.

With lessons learned from the pilot effort, we are now poised for success at a greater level of effort.

We are requesting a grant to step up the “Red Right Recycle” to accomplish three aims:

  1. Increase the amount diverted from the landfill
  2. Increase public awareness about the environmental importance of Green and clean boating, particularly the 90,000+ recreational boaters who attend the shows
  3. Develop materials and procedures to allow organizations with waterside and in-water events in other locations to replicate the effort – a Green Boating Event Toolkit

We can accomplish this by:

  • Covering the entire footprint of the shows with 20 more Eco-Stations, staffed with volunteers to explain the importance of Green waterside operations and clean boating
  • Training waste collection staff on the “why and how” of the effort
  • Expanding our social media component
  • Linking printed materials (such as informational rack cards & sponsor stickers on each Eco-Station) to technology via QR codes and strategic, mobile-ready online landing pages
  • Expanding in-person outreach via Green Drinks Annapolis
  • Discussing the program on our weekly radio show, “Living Green in Annapolis”

We also realize that the exhibitors are critical in the success of our efforts. They too have the opportunity to carry our message of stewardship. We will design a program by which they can pledge to recycle at the boat shows and we will promote those who take the pledge, publicly recognizing their commitment to the Chesapeake Bay. Recognition could be made a part of the annual boat show awards breakfast as understanding that clean water and the marine industry goes hand in hand.

“Red Right Recycle” will reach the over 90,000 attendees and 700 exhibitors of the Annapolis Sail Boat and Power Boat Shows in addition to the thousands of recreational boaters who live, work and boat in the Annapolis area and the approximately 400 members of the local maritime industry.

VOTE FOR USAs America’s Sailing Capital, recreational boating enthusiasts (sail and power) make up a large percentage of the population of the Annapolis area. And when the boat shows come to town, the boating community grows exponentially.

During a two-week period in October, the population of the Annapolis area will swell with recreational boaters from all over the world and over 700 exhibitors – maritime industry businesses that come in from the United States and abroad. These exhibitors are messengers and influencers who will share our Green and clean boating message with the boat show circuit in which they travel.

Boat Show Greening

this vs that
Annapolis Green partnered with United States Boat Shows and four sponsor companies
to Green the most visible outdoor events in downtown Annapolis -- the United States Sailboat
and Powerboat shows in October.
Read more


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