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2017 September October Marina World

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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT completed a ten-year, US5,000 study to compare the before and after effects of installing a marina. The study showed that the basin had 100 times more biological diversity than before the marina went in. Dwight Jones, general manager for Elliott Bay Marina said, “It’s discouraging to realise that we get no credit for that. The focus is all on mitigating negative effects of building a marina - when in fact a marina greatly enhances biological diversity. Also, if our marina is in the vicinity of storm water run-off we get unfairly blamed for pollution that is carried from the streets into the bay.” The fact is it’s almost always better for the environment to build a marina than to leave the bay, river or inlet in its natural state. At one site in the Bahamas, an estuary was anaerobic from lack of circulation and the mangroves were retreating. Once a marina and its infrastructure were installed, circulation was created and the mangroves thrived. Even the highly industrialised Port of Los Angeles is experiencing clean water, grasses and fish again after the efforts of a number of environmental agencies and its 15 marinas. Is boating for the rich? “Another myth about the industry,” said Sanders of the MRA, “is that marinas and boating are for the rich, the onepercenters. The fact is that the average boater in San Francisco Bay has the same level of income as the average person in the bay.” The “boating is for the rich” meme can be turned on its head when the economic impact of the industry is taken into account. The US is half the world market in boats, accounting for 1 billion in economic benefit and 650,000 jobs. Boating is great for the economy and helps everyone. Boaters’ commitment Boater sensitivity to environmental issues is high and getting sharper all the time. Sanders related a simple analogy. “When smoking was banned in public buildings some office workers resisted and people looked the other way. Today there is zero tolerance for smoking in buildings. The same thing happened in boating. If someone pollutes the water, ten people will report it.” Phil Purcell, CEO/president of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, said, “Boaters are the best stewards of the environment. The fees they pay for boat registration and fishing licences support environmental programmes on the water. The Tunicate worms colonised on concrete docks in Florida. environment is better cared for when protected by people who are fully engaged.” Clean Marina programmes If boaters aren’t the problem, how about marinas? Operators with marketing savvy understand they are not selling 400ft² (37m²) of water space; they’re selling a great boating experience. As the Baby Boomers retire, Millennials will own the boats, and they are a generation acutely sensitive to the environment. Soy-milk macchiatosipping Millennials will not put up with an unclean marina. Operators know that. Incubated by marina operators in industry associations, clean marina programmes have been developed around the world. One of the earliest began as part of the Marina Recreation Association (MRA) in California but is now independent and non-profit. Kathy O’Brien, marina manager at Sun Harbor Marina in San Diego, is one of the leaders of the California programme. “We have 25% to 30% of the marinas in California in the programme,” said O’Brien, “which is a lot of marinas. But we have more work to do. While the percentage of the total is not as high In May this year, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Resort Marina became the first marina in the UAE to earn a Fish Friendly Marina accreditation from the Marina Industries Association (MIA). The marina is actively involved with the Dubai Ministry for Climate Change and Environment to establish opportunities to support healthy fish habitats. Port Denarau Marina in Fiji also earned an accreditation – a first for the South Pacific. 22 - September/October 2017

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