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May Jun 2015 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


BLUE STAR MARINA 5 Blue Star Marina, Warnemünde, Baltic Sea Y ACHTHAFENRESIDENZ H OHE D ÜNE The transparent certification system indicating the quality level of marinas ® INTERNATIONAL MARINE CERTIFICATION INSTITUTE

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT Mature mangroves (left) transform the environment. New plants at the same site (below). Esteban Biondi Designing for the environment by Esteban L. Biondi The discussion of environmental issues with regard to marinas is commonly focused on regulatory aspects of environmental impacts and environmental management, i.e. the requirements of the permitting authorities. But what happens when environmental issues are seen as a design opportunity as opposed to a restriction, nuisance or headache? Can a marina design proactively embrace environmental features to add value to a project? Even recognising that the environmental permitting process and impact studies requirements are very different depending on the country, and can be very demanding, it is surprising how few marina developers and consultants consider proactive environmental design, as opposed to what can be called ‘compliance-only’ approaches. Design with nature A number of initiatives by renowned organisations are presently focused on early consideration of environmental issues for port and large navigation projects. ‘Building with Nature’, ‘Working with Nature’, ‘Engineering with Nature’ ultimately encourage a design process that incorporates environmental analysis before the design is advanced. These are proposed as an improvement of the traditional sequential approach. In other words, if you first design the project and then do the environmental impact studies, there are incentives to reduce the changes required by those studies. In marina projects, this problem is more easily avoidable because of scale issues. Additionally, well integrated consulting organisations naturally prevent compartmentalisation and linear sequential thinking. Ultimately, good practice shows that an experienced, cohesive and flexible team can simultaneously evaluate environmental, engineering, business and operational issues to seek a balanced marina design solution before a plan is set. For example, I always tell developers and planners that “the master plan is not complete” until we can advance our environmental studies (and market and business feasibility, for that matter) to a point where we feel that the plan is validated. The analysis of environmental impacts is an integral part of the design process. Another significant benefit of an integrated approach for marina planning is that many basic studies (such as surveys, wave studies, etc.) can be scoped to fulfil the requirements of both basic design and environmental regulatory requirements. When I - May/June 2015 41

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