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2017 September October Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry

Hazelett Marine

Hazelett Marine Conservation Elastic Mooring Systems For Yachts and Docks Providing independent and bespoke services to clients worldwide Masterplanning Feasibility studies and market research Business planning Marina and Marina Club design Tender and project management Operational management Environmental and legislative advice Legal and property consultancy services 135 West Lakeshore Drive, PO Box 600 Colchester, Vermont 05446-0600 EMAIL: TELEPHONE: (802) 863-6376 FAX: (802) 863-1523 +44 (0)23 9252 6688 +852 3796 3533

Stewards of the environment ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT by Robert Wilkes Here is one view of marinas as stewards of the environment: ‘Marinas are businesses and are all about making money like other businesses. They will cut corners and look the other way where the environment is concerned rather than spend the energy, time and money to proactively protect it. Marina operators don’t have the training or just don’t care enough to put in the hard work of environmental stewardship. Marinas and the boats in them are loaded with noxious chemicals that leach into the water, pollute the environment and kill marine life. Boat owners are ‘one-percenters’ with big gas tanks and large carbon footprints who chuck garbage over the side and are a threat to clean water and sensitive marine life.’ Now that I’ve got your attention and the hair standing up on the back of your neck, we can at least agree these attitudes and beliefs exist. But this dismal picture is not true, not even close. When it comes to sustainability, clean water, habitat development and every other aspect of marine ecology, marinas and boat owners are doing a great job. They are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and competent stewards of the environment. We have a deep and persistent perception problem. These false impressions can and do influence decisions by coastal planning boards and regulatory and permitting authorities, especially when they are under pressure from watchdog environmental groups. Heather Page, principal environmental planner for Anchor QEA, said environmental activists in Washington State travel about looking for violations of the State’s Shoreline Code. Among other things, they look for proper setbacks, view obstruction, public access or development that shouldn’t be where it is. As a result, marinas are difficult to develop in Washington State. If we could convince the public that marinas are a net positive for the environment, more marina developments could be built and the ones that are built could be permitted much faster. How are we doing? Mark Sanders is president of the Marina Recreation Association (MRA), a marina industry association for the Western US and Alaska. He is also the owner of Westpoint Harbor Marina in Redwood City, CA. “Most marinas when we test the water are cleaner than the bay itself,” said Sanders. Westpoint Harbor Marina has a pumpout available to every slip. “Our marina is so clean Stanford University swims its triathlon in our basin. Marinas create marine ecosystems. Studies of concrete docks and concrete or steel pilings show an abundance of sea life similar to when they sink a ship to make a marine sanctuary.” One such study in Naples, FL, by Sacramento Marina in California proudly displays its Clean Marina flag. Concrete docks at Marina at Keppel Bay in Singapore are habitats for various forms of marine life. Turrell, Hall & Associates quantified over 50 different species of marine life as it followed the life of a new marina for three years. “Marinas made of carbonates are artificial reefs,” said Todd Turrell. “Concrete docks, piles, bulkheads and riprap are habitat. They’re colonised by bivalves, tunicates and other filter feeders that remove particulates and pollutants from the water. That allows sunlight to penetrate so photosynthesis can take place, add oxygen to the water and promote plant growth. If your marina has adequate flushing there is a good chance that the water is as clean as before the marina was built.” The ‘reef effect’, i.e. marinas as marine habitats, is happening everywhere, not just in Florida. Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, WA, recently - September/October 2017 21

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