West Marine Donates $25,000 to Ocean Conservancy's Good Mate Program

To support the preservation of our country’s waterways, West Marine has donated $25,000 to the Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate program--a program designed to reduce and eliminate marine pollution and environmental degradation. Our country’s abundance of rivers, lakes and coastal waterways is one of its defining characteristics. They are an irreplaceable source of recreation and economic wealth from tourism and fisheries, as well as home to countless marine species. Sadly, however, 40 percent of these waterways have become too polluted for fishing and swimming, and threaten marine life that lives in and around them.

"West Marine has been a long-time partner with The Ocean Conservancy in helping us protect our oceans and waterways through sound environmental boating practices," says Stephanie Drea, vice president, communications and marketing, for The Ocean Conservancy. "West Marine’s support for the Good Mate program will help educate boaters and marina operators on the strategies needed to operate and maintain boats properly, thus helping to protect our waters."

The Ocean Conservancy, formerly the Center for Marine Conservation, is the nation’s oldest and largest marine conservation organization. The Good Mate Recreational Boating and Marina program was created by The Ocean Conservancy, in collaboration with the United States Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary, to raise awareness and promote environmentally responsible boating.

With more than 10,000 marinas in the United States, serving more than 22 million recreational and commercial boats, day-to-day changes in the way we maintain and operate our boats can make a big difference in protecting aquatic habitats. The Good Mate program aims to raise the understanding and awareness of recreational boaters and marina professionals about how they can help protect aquatic habitats and eliminate marine pollution in simple and inexpensive ways while enjoying their recreational boating activities.

As well as promoting Ocean Conservancy membership, West Marine will advocate environmentally sound practices for boaters and marinas with store displays throughout the month of July. Information will be available regarding oil and fuel pollution, environmentally responsible vessel maintenance and repair, environmental rules and regulations, recycling used products, nonpolluting cleaning products and information about the Good Mate program. West Marine’s donation will help support efforts to clean up boat pollution such as fishing nets, line, and other materials that endanger aquatic creatures and habitats.

"West Marine has been working hard through the years to help organizations in the effort to reduce pollution in and along our waterways. And we’ll continue to make marine conservation one of our top priorities," says Michelle Farabaugh, West Marine’s senior vice president of marketing and strategic planning. "We are pleased to support to the The Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate program, a program that moves these conservation efforts forward so that we can all enjoy our waterways in the present and for generations to come."

West Marine is firmly committed to protecting and preserving the marine environment. Aside from the company’s contributions to environmental groups, West Marine also carries a full line of environmentally-friendly products labeled with the company’s "Ecologically Sound" logo. These products, ranging from bilge cleaners to boat soap, are 100 percent biodegradable and contain nonhazardous chemicals.

For more information about The Ocean Conservancy visit oceanconservancy.org. For more information, on West Marine’s line of Ecologically Sound products, call 1-800-BOATING or visit West’s website at www.westmarine.com.