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Green Marinas

Mar 30th 10
By Louisa Cowan

Marinas all over the world are keen to be green. With initiatives such as the Clean Marinas Program, which according to their website, “encourages marina operators to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures.” Promoted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it is an award all U.S. marinas should aspire to. The prestigious Blue Flag Award, which was launched by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), is another global program which sets high standards of eco-awareness and environmental preservation criteria.

In December 2008, Dockwalk published an article called "Clean Marinas." Scott Salomon, Dockmaster at the Hall of Fame Marina in Fort Lauderdale, spoke with pride about the effort he made, and still makes, to keep his marina clean. Today, Scott is just as proud to be striving towards environmental friendliness at his marina.


He says, “Hall of Fame Marina was the first marina in Florida to receive official 'clean marina' status. Not only do we still have our recycling center, but we now use recycled garbage liners in all our bins.” Scott believes that the marina has a responsibility to help educate boat users on how to preserve the marine and global environment. He goes on to say, “We provide literature for boaters on being environmentally friendly and we have posted signs around the marina giving tips on going green.”

Another Florida marina that wears its clean marinas status with pride is Rybovich Marina in West Palm Beach. They have gone all out to meet the stringent criteria set in order to become a clean marina. As well as having a comprehensive recycling center they have a storm water pollution protection program which Eric Hruska says “includes quarterly laboratory testing of run off for heavy metals etc.” He goes on to say,  “We have a drain system that captures almost all water in our service yard, which is then filtered and reused to pressure wash boats, and at times water plants, and all our garbage collection points on piers are covered and protected from spills in the water.”

Owning the Caribbean’s first eco-friendly marina, the Turks and Caicos Yacht Club inspired Island Global Yachting (IGY) to publicly declare their goal of working toward meeting Blue Flag Standards at all of their marinas. “IGY continues its commitment to best practices as it relates to ecological awareness and conservation initiatives at its marinas. This includes, among other things, utilization of approved eco-friendly cleaners and products for use at facilities and the promotion of sustainable materials and renewable energy,” says an IGY representative.

As part of one of the world's yachting hubs, marinas in the Caribbean seem determined to keep up with times when it comes to being green. The Errol Flyn Marina in Jamaica remains an inspiration when it comes to environmental detail with even their light bulbs being energy efficient. The Atlantis Marina in The Bahamas was awarded Blue Flag status for its conservation efforts and all marina guests receive a Clean, Green Boating Principles booklet on arrival.


Although they have not yet received Blue Flag status, St. Maarten’s marinas are currently working closely with the organization in a new pilot scheme to improve their green standards and become more eco-friendly.

If you are heading over to Europe this summer, spotting some green initiatives shouldn’t be too difficult. Port Gocek in Turkey provides containers for yachts to discharge all waste oil and dirty water; the famous Marina di Porto Cervo, Sardinia, boasts oil waste deposits around the marina. Port Vauban, France, not only flies the Blue Flag, but also was the first in the Alpes Maritimes to join the French Charter of the Environment, which strives to introduce best practice in all areas of eco-preservation.

The Scandinavians are famous for their rigorous recycling schemes and strong environmental conscience, so you won’t be surprised to discover that the Rosendal Hamn Marina in Norway has some fantastic green initiatives. Marina Chairman, Øyvind Lernes, says, “We are extremely concerned about how we affect the environment. Our anchoring systems are specially designed so that they do not affect the seabed. We use solar lighting for all markup light and low-energy lights for other lighting.” He goes on to describe a strict recycling system, waste disposal facilities, the fact all the electricity is generated by hydropower and the offer of biodiesel as alternative to ordinary fuel. On top of all this, visiting yachts with fresh water straight from the glacier which has melted naturally. It doesn’t get much greener than this!

So with all of these green marinas out there, they provide the facilities, it’s now up to crew to do our bit for the environment and use them.


Related Topics:

Think Globally, Act Locally

The Green Button

Eco-Friendly from Bow to Stern

Rating  Average 0 out of 5

  • I was recently in Olbia di Marina, Sardinia and was impressed with this new buid marina. As the chef I used the plastic and glass recycling facility they had in purpose-built huts. I'm eco, I don't mind saying it and yes, I do think it matters to recycle whenever and wherever you can. I was impressed how the marina was built into the environment with a boardwalk that nestled into the huge natural boulders and little beaches and scrubland areas where little birds, that looked like swallows darted about. The place looked functional for visiting yachts but sympathetic to the environment and pleasing to the eye by its design. Whether it will look the same in 10 years will depend on how visitors react to it and how staff maintain it.
    Posted by Yacht_Chef 02/07/2011 18:56:22

  • the "clean marina" concept is nothing more than a feel good marketing scam inspired by algorish hypocrisy...

    looks are how many marinas do not have working and usable pump outs? those cute little blue recylcle bins make no difference when marinas make no effort to even pick up the trash that floats in or accidentlally falls overboard.
    it's cool to act green... it sells...

    do you want to hear how impossible it is to dispose of used oil in one of America's yachting capital (Newport RI)?
    Posted by Pascal_3 08/04/2010 20:50:49

  • "the famous Marina di Porto Cervo, Sardinia, boasts oil waste deposits around the marina."
    Simply by conforming to the law and installing MARPOL waste oil containers, or reducing solid waste disposal by segregating garbage , is no reason to be jumping for joy.
    I see nothing environmentally friendly when I look at the sea surface in every marina and see the iridescent glow of waste oil pumped out of yacht generator exhausts and bilge pumps. I have never, any where in the world, stayed at a marina with a serious environmental officer employed to fine offenders or force polluting vessels out of the marina.
    Imagine the lunacy of a marina with low energy street lighting illuminating a marina full of energy consuming beasts, lit up like Las Vegas, shinning underwater lights.
    As for Clean Marina status...again...these laws were initiated in 1993 ! Took a very long time to conform.
    Posted by junior_1 02/04/2010 06:58:35

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