Grants from 11th Hour Racing benefit 10 organizations

STUDENTS FROM ROCKING THE BOAT are pictured sailing on the Hudson River. / COURTESY ROCKING THE BOAT/11TH HOUR RACING
STUDENTS FROM ROCKING THE BOAT are pictured sailing on the Hudson River. / COURTESY ROCKING THE BOAT/11TH HOUR RACING

NEWPORT – Less than a week before Volvo Ocean Race contestants and fans descend upon Newport, 11th Hour Racing, based in the City by the Sea, announced the recipients of its latest grant funding round – the first round to be awarded this year.

AN INFOGRAPHIC from the UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign aims to raise awareness of the negative impact of microplastics on coastal communities and ocean health. / COURTESY UN ENVIRONMENT, 11TH HOUR RACING
AN INFOGRAPHIC from the UN Environment #CleanSeas campaign aims to raise awareness of the negative impact of microplastics on coastal communities and ocean health. / COURTESY UN ENVIRONMENT, 11TH HOUR RACING

“We are proud to support the work of this incredible group of organizations,” said Michelle Carnevale, 11th Hour Racing program manager, in a statement. “I’m excited to see the impact these innovative, dynamic projects will create and look forward to sharing more about their initiatives and results over the next year.”

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Selected organizations, per the release, “represent a wide-range of solutions for restoring ocean health and putting sustainability at the forefront of decision-making.”

While 11th Hour Racing chose not to disclose either the amount of each specific grant or the total awarded during this round, a statement by Hilary Kotoun, the company’s communications manager, said the grants range in size from roughly $20,000 to $200,000 each.

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Grants launched by 11th Hour Racing in 2018 include funding given to the United Nations Environment Program‘s #CleanSeas campaign, which aims to engage governments and the public in reducing marine plastic pollution, and the R.I. Marine Trades Association Foundation.

11th Hour Racing will continue to support RIMTA Foundation’s Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling Project, which turns fiberglass from retired and abandoned vessels into cement in an attempt to keep the materials from ending up in landfills.

There are eight previously established 11th Hour Racing grants which were renewed in 2018. They are:

  • The Newport-based Clean Ocean Access program installed four trash skimmers along coastal communities in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay in 2016 and has collected a cumulative 20,000 pounds of debris in that time. Continued funding will expand the project regionally.
  • Expansion of the Community Boating Center New Bedford will allow the organization to engage 3,000 public school students and launch a high school training program for students interested in sustainable aquaculture.
  • In an effort to promote self confidence among at risk middle and high school students, funds have been given to the Philadelphia Wooden Boat Factory, based out of Philadelphia, to teach students boat building and sailing skills.
  • Establishing the College Persistence Program through youth support program Rocking the Boat, based out of Hunts Point, N.Y., 11th Hour Racing funds will provide social and academic support to Rocking the Boat alumni after high school, through college or training experiences.
  • Seeking to heighten the awareness of issues facing oceans and bodies of water, this grant supports screenings by newportFILM in local schools of related documentaries paired with question and answer sessions to create a community dialogue.
  • 11th Hour Racing funds will help implement fellow Newport-based Sail Newport‘s One Ocean Exploration Zone during the Newport stopover of the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race.
  • The Young Mariners STEM Academy works to prevent students from falling further behind in schoolwork during the summer. Stamford, Conn.-based Soundwaters helps students prepare for the next school year with confidence and positive momentum.
  • In support of marine pollution litter research done by Athens, Ga.-based University of Georgia engineering faculty members Jenna Jambeck and Kyle J. Johnsen, this grant project will expand the Marine Debris Tracker app and allow for new partnerships with Seabin and the Sea Education Association.

The 11th Hour Racing grant initiative supports and promotes solutions to reducing ocean pollution, educating and fostering ocean stewardship in sailing and coastal communities and advancing clean technologies and best practices which reduce the environmental impact of the sailing industry.

While 11th Hour Racing is a title sponsor of the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team competing in the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race, their grant activities are not tied to the race, per a statement by Kotoun.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.

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