Five marinas were certified under the Clean Marina program at the New Zealand Marina Operators Association in Wellington this month, reflecting a sea-change in the way the industry approaches environmental care.
“Environmentally responsible practices are now becoming an accepted part of marina operations,” says NZMOA Chairperson, Darryl Smith, of an industry that has needed to make a significant investment in both knowledge and infrastructure in order to enact environmental improvement.
“As marina operators we work in a complex operational environment where our decisions have a direct impact on water quality and harbour health. The increasing uptake by New Zealand marinas in the Clean Marinas program demonstrates the concern and care that our industry has for the environment we operate in.”
NZMOA now has eight New Zealand marinas certified as Clean Marinas, and a number of additional facilities have taken the Clean Marina pledge, which means they are actively working towards certification within the next twelve months.
With Tairua Marina joining Whitianga and Whangamata marinas in the program, all Coromandel marinas are now certified Clean Marinas.
The three marinas operated in the Marlborough region by Ports of Marlborough are now also certified. These are Waikawa, Picton, and Havelock marinas.
Others that are certified are Westhaven, Tauranga Bridge, Opua and Seaview.
“Areas like the Coromandel and Marlborough are regarded as pristine environments that need to be cared for,” says Darryl Smith.
“We recognise the impact that marina operations can have on the environment, especially for those with boat yards, and also the opportunity that we have to enact environmental improvements, and that is what the Clean Marina program is about.”
“Relative to international standards New Zealand’s marina industry is well ahead. All of our marinas have the potential to be certified Clean Marinas, within the next few years,” says Darryl Smith.
Westhaven Marina, which is the largest marina in New Zealand and home to more than 2,000 boats, also had its Clean Marina certification renewed for the fifth year in a row.
Westhaven has recently introduced a user pays approach to power and water, which has been shown internationally to reduce consumption by up to 40%, and has also moved to LED lighting on its piers.
In order to receive certification, marinas are audited on factors such as the provision and promotion of recycling facilities, no discharge policies and enforcement of these policies, provisions for boat owners to facilitate regular hull cleaning, and the use of sustainable materials and maintenance and building of infrastructure, and re-use of dredging materials. A focus on marina policies and procedures rounds out the criteria for becoming a certified Clean Marina.
Key challenges for marinas include the spread of pests and other biofoul such as fanworm, which travel from infested areas on the hulls of infected boats that have not maintained a hull cleaning routine
“Involvement in programs like Clean Marina has provided Westhaven with clear guidelines and a disciplined framework that our team can follow,” says Westhaven spokesperson Tom Warren, manager of marina development for Panuku Development Auckland. “We recognise the importance of this thinking, and we congratulate the marinas that have now received certification on their investment and long-term thinking.”
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