WEST MARINE GREEN PRODUCT OF THE YEAR CONTEST

WMWest Marine, the nation's largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, is accepting nominations for its third-annual Green Product of the Year Award. The company expanded the contest this year to include all of the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

The Green Product of the Year is a component of West Marine's BlueFuture initiative to help create a sustainable future of our planet. The Green Product of the Year will be announced and the award of $10,000 will be presented to the designated Official Winner at the 2012 Miami International Boat Show.

"West Marine strives to be a leader in sustainability. We hope to inspire the marine industry to create environmentally friendly products to preserve and protect the oceans and waterways that we all enjoy," said Geoff Eisenberg, CEO, West Marine.

The competition is free and open to individuals, manufacturers, distributors and/or inventors of boating products. West Marine uses a panel of judges to choose the winning product. The judges include:

  • Dr. Randy Kochevar, PhD, Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station
  • Stan Honey, Ocean Racing Navigator, founder of Etak and SportVision
  • Bill Lee, Owner, Wizard Yacht Sales
  • Jim Leishman, Owner & VP of Nordhavn Yachts
  • Dr. Laura Strohm, President of Strohm Sustainability Consulting
  • Margaret Podlich, VP of Government Affairs, BoatUS
  • Mike Sutton, VP and Director, Center for the Future of the Oceans, Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Randy Repass, Chairman and Founder, West Marine
  • Chuck Hawley, VP of Product Information, West Marine
  • Ron Japinga, EVP Merchandising & Logistics, West Marine

The judges will select the winner based on the following criteria:

1) Effectiveness: Is the product as effective as competitive products in the marketplace?

2) Economical: Is the product priced competitively with existing solutions or similar products in the market? This can be measured on a per-use basis or a cost-justified basis (use of the product will save money).

3) Environmental Impact: How does the use of this product benefit the environment? Due to the diversity of product categories, this could be expressed in reduced fuel consumption, reduction of chemicals of concern, reduced air or water pollution,healthier or more abundant fish stocks or other metric.

4) Degree of Innovation: Is the product different from anything else in the marketplace? Does the product incorporate new materials or technologies?

5) Verification of claims: All environmental or efficacy claims must be verifiable and substantiated by an independent third party. Entry must provide actual data, test results, laboratory analyses, etc.

The winner of the award and the $10,000 prize last year went to the creator of Black Tip Catch & Release Recompression Tool, designed to reduce the effects of barotrauma on deep-water fish. The simple-yet-effective tool works on any fish species in both fresh and saltwater. The device simply clamps onto the fish's jaw until and sends the fish down to the bottom with a weight. Once the fish hits bottom, the tool automatically releases the fish for recovery. It can be lowered and recovered using a hand line, standard downrigger or large rod and reel combo, along with a lead weight supplied by the angler.

To enter the contest and view the complete rules and entry requirements, visit westmarine.com/green. The company will accept entries until December 1, 2011.