This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Ventura County In-Water Boat Show at the Channel Islands Harbor, and with it comes a new take on the age-old sport of recreational boating. For the first time, the promoters of this event are including a Green Expo to showcase the many products and services that are now available to boaters. Most people don’t think about the ecological consequences of boating, but as we become more conscious of our “footprint” on the Earth, the desire to consume and recreate responsibly is increasing.

It’s the first time organizers are adding a green element to the Channel Islands event, though it was met with good response in Dana Point, Calif. They plan to have more than 25 green-oriented exhibits in addition to regular marine product vendors and boats as far as the eye can see.  

Some of the green products and services that will be featured are solutions to boat  pollutants (from paints and finishes to motor fluids and waste removal), solar electricity options and wind turbine technology. Also, electric boats are gaining in popularity much as hybrid automobiles are becoming the norm on land. “Solar electricity is a huge thing,” says the show’s creator, because you don’t need any other plug in — same goes for wind turbines.”  While green alternatives can be more costly in the short term, in the long run they can save boaters money.  Also on display will be 80 percent green RVs, some of the first in the industry. All vehicles will be available for touring, and select sailboats will be available for brief harbor cruises.

The boatshow is a fun event for the whole family, with live music and great food every day. Thursday is free admission day, and Friday is dollar day with $1 admission, $1 beer and $1 hot dogs and soda. 

Ventura County In-Water Boat Show, July 15-18 at Channel Islands Harbor, Victoria Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. Regular day admission is $12, children younger than 12, free. Hours: noon to 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday. For more information, visit www.venturaboatshow.com or www.venturagreenexpo.com or call (323) 655-2010.