Many states across the nation are designing voluntary programs to address a broad range of issues related to the environmental impacts of marina operations. These "Clean Marina Programs" provide information, guidance, and technical assistance to marinas, local governments, and recreational boaters on how to minimize their impacts on water quality and coastal resources. To reduce adverse impacts, states are promoting voluntary adoption of best management practices (BMPs) cited in the states' clean marina guidebooks. They also are establishing some type of recognition or awards program for participation in the program and adoption of these practices and are providing outreach activities to further promote environmentally responsible marina and boating practices. A few examples of such programs follow.
Maryland's Clean Marina Initiative
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources developed the state's Clean Marina Initiative, and EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the state of Maryland provided financial support. The Initiative distributes a comprehensive pollution prevention guidebook for marinas with advice on topics like marina design and maintenance, storm water management, vessel maintenance and repair, sewage handling, waste containment and disposal, and more. The guidebook is written for managers of full-service marinas with boatyards, but it is equally applicable to marinas with limited services, independent boatyards, and marine contractors.
Marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs that adopt a significant proportion of the BMPs suggested in the guidebook will be recognized as "Maryland Clean Marinas." They will receive a certificate acknowledging their environmentally responsible actions, authorization to use the Maryland Clean Marina logo on their letterhead and in their advertising, a flag to fly from their property, and promotion by the Clean Marina Initiative in publications, on the World Wide Web, and at public events.
For more information on Maryland's Clean Marina Initiative, see www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/cleanmarina.
Virginia's Clean Marina Program
On January 12, 2001, Virginia's Clean Marina Program was launched as an implementation element of the Virginia Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, supporting compliance with section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990. Virginia has established a Marina Technical Advisory Program to work with marinas to achieve voluntary designation as a "Virginia Clean Marina" by following a series of steps. The first step involves a pledge by a marina operator to work toward becoming a Virginia Clean Marina. Second, the marina operator conducts a self-assessment using an evaluation checklist that contain criteria taken directly from Virginia's Clean Marina Guidebook of marina BMPs. After the checklist is complete, the operator requests a formal site visit from the Marina Technical and Environmental Advisory Committee to confirm the adequate assessment scores. Once scores are confirmed, the Committee recommends a Clean Marina designation. Designated facilities report annually to retain their designation, and they are encouraged to consider additional projects that prevent pollution.
For more information on Virginia's Clean Marina Program, see http://www.virginiacleanmarina.com/.
North Carolina's Clean Marina Program
The National Marine Environmental Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to clean up waterways for better recreational boating, developed North Carolina's Clean Marina Program. The program was initiated in July 2000 as a joint project between the North Carolina Marine Trades Services and the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management. As in the Maryland and Virginia programs, marina owners are asked to voluntarily complete an evaluation form to determine their use of specific BMPs. If a marina meets the criteria, it is eligible to fly the Clean Marina flag and use the logo in its advertisements. Through the promotion, boaters are able to identify marinas that care about the cleanliness of area waterways.
For more information on North Carolina's Clean Marina Program, see www.ncmta.com.
Other state marina programs
Many other states are also developing their own Clean Marina Programs.
Other programs include