In This Issue:
- Understanding Sea Level Rise in the Mid-Atlantic
- Scientists Flex Mussels to Protect Shorelines
- Rethinking Storm-Related Beach Erosion
- Stabilizing Fisheries for the Future
- Clean Marinas a Boon to the Boating Industry
- New Jersey Beaches Shored Up for the Summer Season
- A Legacy of Learning
- Coastal Calendar
Clean Marinas a Boon to the Boating Communityby Michael Danko, Marsha Samuel and Jessica Staats, New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium and Donna Morrow, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
With thousands of marinas along the mid-Atlantic seaboard, boaters have myriad options for where they choose to slip and launch their vessels. From large marinas that offer a wide range of sophisticated services to smaller facilities focused on basic boating needs, most boaters can easily locate a marina whose size and services fit their individual needs.
Green-minded boaters are also finding facilities which share and support their concern for the environment. In 1998, the first Clean Marina Program (CMP) was formed in Maryland to recognize marinas that go above federal- and state-mandated requirements for environmental protection by awarding them Clean Marina status. Almost a decade later, there are 22 states or regions with Clean Marina programs and 983* Clean Marinas nationally. Each state or region developed their program to reflect the environmental and regulatory differences in that area. There are now 265* Clean Marinas in the mid-Atlantic region alone.
Haven, New Jersey proudly fly the state's Clean
Credit: Jessica Staats, NJSGC
Survey data provided a unique look at how Clean Marinas were engaging in the Program. In the effort to become a Clean Marina, facilities reported changing several of their standard business practices including providing oil spill kits in the event of spillage or leakage into the water while fueling, initiating recycling programs, updating training procedures for staff and enhancing member and slipholder awareness through educational newsletters and installed informational signage. Seventy-one percent of respondents believe that implementation of "Clean Marina Rules" for customers and contractors led to a cleaner facility, while over ninety-three percent of responses found the certification process invaluable in complying with federal and state regulations and permits.
Of course, there are costs associated with changes and improvements. Depending on the size of the facility, most marinas and boatyards reported spending, between $50 to a few thousand dollars to achieve Clean Marina status. The survey even found one facility that invested $150,000 in capital improvements that contributed to Clean Marina designation. Time spent making improvements ranged from a day or so to several months to complete. Across the board however, survey respondents felt it a worthwhile investment of time and money to become a certified Clean Marina, with 99 percent responding that they would recommend other marinas participate in the program. Boater and slip holder feedback about these Clean Marinas has been largely positive; the efforts made by participating marinas to maintain clean, safe, and environment-friendly facilities have not gone unnoticed.
proper disposal of other waste products is among
the many improvements Clean Marinas can
Credit: Jessica Staats, NJSGC
How do boaters know if their marina is a Clean Marina? According to the survey, nearly all responding Clean Marinas proudly fly their state's Clean Marina flag, while a solid majority of certified facilities use the Clean Marina logo in advertisements and other printed materials, as well as on their websites. What can boaters expect to find at a Clean Marina? At a minimum, they should find clean and secure facilities, proactive approaches to green boating and best management practices in place. As customers, boaters can also help persuade those marinas not participating in the program to seek the Clean Marina certification.
To find a Clean Marina Program in your area, including a list of local Clean Marinas, visit cleanmarinas.noaa.gov and click "Links" for your state's Clean Marina Program.