Four Lake Erie marinas were recently honored as Certified Ohio Clean Marinas, having put into practice voluntary best management actions designed to protect Lake Erie and the coastal environment. A ceremony recognizing these marinas took place January 21 at the Cleveland Boat & Waterfront Lifestyle Expo being held through Sunday at the I-X Center.
Marinas receiving this distinction were:
- Valley Harbor Marina, Vermilion
- Catawba Landing, Port Clinton
- Castaway Bay Marina, Sandusky
- Port Clinton Yacht Club, Port Clinton
A total of 40 Lake Erie marinas in Ohio have been certified since the program began in 2005, and 20 more have pledged to implement the changes that will earn certification. Pledged marinas must conduct a self-assessment to identify opportunities and make changes to control pollution, ideally within a year. A site review team then verifies that a facility has complied with 100% of the management practices required for certification, which include:
- conducting maintenance activities in a designated, contained area
- winterizing only with less toxic propylene glycol
- making available and promoting the use of oil absorbent materials
- providing clean, 24-hour restrooms to dockers, and
- prohibiting discharge of head waste as a condition of lease agreements
In addition, 50% of the program’s recommended practices must be implemented, among them:
- offering spill-proof oil changes
- planting vegetated buffers
- reducing the amount of impervious areas
- posting signs informing boaters of environmental policies
- providing information to boaters about best boating practices
"These marinas have demonstrated a proactive commitment toward protecting the environment," says Colleen Wellington, Coordinator of the Ohio Clean Marinas Program. "Each has attended at least one Clean Marinas workshop, received recommendations on improvements, and taken the initiative to implement the necessary changes. Their dedication is commendable."
The Ohio Clean Marinas Program is a partnership among the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.