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2017 September October Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Marina at Keppel Bay has installed sleek, unobtrusive pump-out hydrants. as we would like it, it is amazing to me how marinas new to the programme are virtually qualified when they walk in the door. That’s because they are already following good practices. That’s heartening, because it’s just a matter of documenting their work. Operators are realising the need to document their performance to change public perceptions. It doesn’t count if you don’t document it.” O’Brien, as part of the Clean Marina Program, works with state and local government agencies to educate them on the industry’s accomplishments. “The Interagency Coordinating Committee (IACC) meets quarterly to mesh together their programmes and work out overlaps and conflicts between agencies,” said O’Brien. “We attend and make presentations to show them our programme and answer their questions. We also think it’s important that our programme is from industry and not from government. Most government bodies are not close enough to our day to day activities to fully understand the issues and to know the most viable ways to address them.” Australia has a similar clean marina programme with interesting adaptations. Michelle Macready is new in her position at the Marine Industries Association (MIA) based in Sydney. She is taking over the management of their robust Clean Marina Program. Their programme has four levels of certification. Levels 1 and 2 are introductory and self-assessed. Level three requires an independent assessment every three years. Most marinas in the programme are at Level 3. Level 4 awards an internationally recognised accreditation through ISO 14001. Currently, only a handful of marinas are at Level 4. There are also ‘Fish-Friendly’ designations for marinas that meet additional special requirements. Long-term environmental issues Environmental concerns encompass long-range issues such as sustainability, climate change and global warming. The least controversial part of that discussion is sea level rise. There is no doubt sea levels are rising, the only real question is how much and how fast. Balboa Island in Newport Beach, CA, has had inundations during ‘king’ tides and is already dealing with the problem. Adam Gale, a managing planner also with Anchor QEA, said, “Our planning for the sea wall is based on the California Coastal Commission Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance. We look at potential effects now and in the future. We can modify the height of the sea wall either in phases or as part of the original design.” Balboa Island is currently constructing a 9in (23cm) coping on top of the existing walls to provide flood protection during high tide events. Sustainability is less controversial than global warming and generally applauded. One of the leaders in sustainability is Sun Harbor Marina in San Diego, the first marina to receive a LEED certification recognising highperformance environmentally-conscious design. Sustainable materials and technologies are used throughout the property from the upland buildings to the concrete floating docks. Strengthening our voice Are marinas good stewards of the environment? Yes, clearly. Are we getting the word out to the public? Yes and no. A good place to start is to educate people in our own industry so that they have the tools to communicate the positive story about the job we’re doing. Equipped with the facts, developers, operators, vendors and others can begin to educate the public and have an influence on decision makers in regulatory agencies. Environmental activists driven by near-religious fervour are difficult to convince. They will continue to stand in the way of shoreline development of any kind. But a knowledgeable industry with documented programmes and scientific data in hand will make us more effective and persuasive. Among the public, positive attitudes toward our industry can be advanced by clean marina boater education programmes, by seeing proudly displayed clean marina flags and certifications, and by the very fact that the marina’s operating practices are indeed environmentally sound. Our marine industry associations such as MRA in California and MIA in Sydney, and others, are hard at work presenting our case to regulators and permitting authorities. These organisations should be supported. As small businesses, we don’t normally have the time to fight for our industry. Our industry associations stay on top of regulatory issues and are there when we most need them. If you’re a marina operator, become a member of your regional marina industry association and get accredited by the clean marina programme near you. Take a class and volunteer for a board or committee. The membership fees you pay to support these organisations are well worth it. The more we speak as one, the stronger our voice. Recycling and rubbish bins, such as these at Stockton Marina in California, can be designed to look attractive. www.marinaworld.com - September/October 2017 25

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