USA - Association of Marina Industries to Develop a National Clean Marina Program
On February 18, the Association of Marina Industries (AMI) announced its plan to develop a national Clean Marina program.
The thinking behind putting clean marina on a national platform had been ongoing for years, but with much discussion, financial backing, and finding the perfect person to lead the effort, the thoughts are finally becoming reality.
Clean Marina has been a staple on the shelves of many U.S. states since the late 1990s when it became apparent marinas’ reputation for being polluting menaces was not doing any favors for the industry and for boating overall. It was a reputation built on the backs of few facilities, but it was enough to raise the suspicions of regulators who imagined more rules would solve the problem.
The marina industry took a proactive view and decided starting a voluntary program where marinas could implement best management practices, as well as adhere to regulations, was a better solution than more rules. Spurred on by the availability of funding from Coastal Zone Management programs, states created clean marina initiatives.
Over the years the program migrated from just coastal states, inland, and hundreds of facilities have become certified clean marinas. The heyday of the program however has passed, and many state programs are struggling trying to find funding to support not just the program, but the staff, leaving many states with just one employee to do it all. Some states have simply closed the door on the clean marina.
A Plan Comes Together
Recognizing the struggle AMI’s plan is to alter the approach from certifying marinas to certifying people and to work on a coordinated national program instead of state by state. They plan to run regular training programs under their International Marina Institute umbrella, whereby individuals will be trained on what encompasses a clean marina program, how to run a program at their own facility, and how to pay it back by working with other marinas to implement clean marina practices.