Utilizing a historic schooner to raise awareness of sustainable practices of marine vessels in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea
It’s entirely possible that Joshua Berger has the greatest job in the world. As Captain of the schooner Adventuress— a 133-foot wooden tall ship and National Historic Landmark— he provides an education platform for more than 5,000 young people and adults annually in an ongoing mission to preserve and protect the marine waters and estuaries of the Puget Sound region. He also develops education programs and sustainability initiatives, manages a crew of 15 (along with a network of hundreds of active volunteers), and directs a multi-year ship restoration project. Throughout, he makes a point of advancing a sustainable leadership style, “…using the ship as a platform and metaphor for sustainable living, community building, and group decision-making,” as he put it.
Joshua’s experience has taught him that typical marine vessel operators are stuck in patterns of construction, maintenance, and restoration that are contributing to the decline of the region’s marine environment and species. His TogetherGreen Fellowship project aims to do nothing less than facilitate systemic change throughout the marine industries of Puget Sound.
Joshua’s powerful ethos of “ship as sustainable community” is the basis of the project. Working with the Sound Experience leadership team, partners and green building experts he will design and implement cross industry dialogue in three different areas of Puget Sound in a series he calls “Where BLUE Meets GREEN.” Inviting over 75 industry leaders from communities along Puget Sound's shorelines, the project will consist of three, five-hour sails aboard Adventuress designed to facilitate dialogue between multiple stakeholders (the small passenger vessel community, along with fisheries, marinas, recreational boaters, tribes, USCG inspections, electrical and propulsion engineers, shipyards, and others with a stake in the Puget Sound, Strait of Juan De Fuca, and San Juan Islands regions). Topic areas covered during sail discussions include sustainable building/material use practices and their impacts to the marine and human ecology along with methods of developing a typology of marine transportation guidelines for sustainable practices. Discussion results would then be shared at regional and national conferences with designers, builders, educators, product manufactures, and regulatory bodies.
“As in the land-built environment and the great strides in the green building industry, strides are necessary to begin a process of greening marine vessels, and examples of sustainable models are needed to understand and discuss alternatives,” Joshua concluded.