go green: clean marinas

Saturday July 22, 2017

Clean Marina Flag

Watch for the Lake Wylie Marine Commission
Clean Marina flags at marinas around Lake Wylie! 

And say thanks to the marina operators for protecting Lake Wylie!


Commodore Yacht Club
Lake Club Marina
River Hills Marina
Tega Cay Marina

Tailrace Marina

Two of the Lake Wylie Marine Commission's primary goals are to protect and preserve the waters and shoreline of Lake Wylie and to educate the public on issues concerning Lake Wylie.  The Commission initiated the Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina Program as one effort to accomplish both of those goals.

Why a Clean Marina Program for Lake Wylie?

The Catawba River was named the most endangered river in the United States in 2008.  Since Lake Wylie is part of Duke Energy's chain of lakes on the Catawba River, it is directly impacted by the condition of the Catawba River.

  • There are two primary sources of Lake Wylie's pollution:
    • Point source pollution – from discreet points of discharge such as sewage treatment plants, industrial sites,  etc.
    • Non-Point Source Pollution – from diffuse sources such as plain old dirt, the primary pollutant from rain run-off from paved areas, construction or farming and logging sites that carries soil into water bodies along with the accompanying wastes such as agricultural chemicals and wastes.
  • Sediment carried by stormwater runoff from construction sites in North Carolina has been documented as the leading source of non-point pollution to rivers throughout the state.   According to the Environmental Protection Agency, non-point source pollution is the leading cause of water quality impairment in the United States.
What is the Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina Initiative?

The Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina Program is a voluntary program for Lake Wylie marinas that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect the lake's water quality by practicing environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures to reduce or prevent pollution of the water.  

The LWMC Clean Marina Program is modeled after a national program developed by the National Marine Environmental Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to keep waterways clean for a healthy environment and better recreational boating.   The Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  encourage states to adapt Clean Marina principles to fit their own needs so programs vary somewhat from state to state.  North Carolina and South Carolina join 22 other states and territories with Clean Marina programs in place.

All Clean Marina programs offer information, guidance, and technical assistance to marina operators, local governments, and recreational boaters on Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can be used to prevent or reduce pollution.
The Clean Marina program allows marina operators to certify they are environmentally conscious and are attempting to go above and beyond what is required by law and regulations.  

  • Marina operators who choose to participate must complete an evaluation form about their use of specific best management practices.  These criteria include sewage management; fuel control; solid waste; petroleum recycling & disposal; vessel operation, maintenance, and repair; marina siting, design, and maintenance; storm water management and erosion control, and public education.
  • The self evaluation is followed by a certification visit to verify that Clean Marina standards are met.
  • If a marina meets LWMC Clean Marina criteria, it will be designated as a LWMC Clean Marina.
  •  Marinas that do not meet the standards will be able to learn about improvements needed, and they can reapply after making the necessary changes.  
  • Marinas that qualify are recognized for their environmental stewardship and receive ongoing public recognition from the Lake Wylie Marine Commission.  They are also qualified to fly the LWMC Clean Marina flag and use the logo in their advertising. 

The South Carolina Clean Marina Program provides a unique opportunity for marina owners and operators to improve their customer services, protect water quality and be recognized for their efforts. The River Hills Marina is the only marina on Lake Wylie that is already certified as a South Carolina Clean Marina.


The North Carolina Clean Marina Program began in 2000 and is "designed to show that marina operators can help safeguard the environment by using management and operations techniques that go above and beyond regulatory requirements."

Why is the Clean Marina Initiative Important?

Marinas and recreational boating are increasingly popular. There are 50,000 boats registered in the counties surrounding Lake Wylie.  Because marinas are located right along the water's edge, pollutants created by marina activities are released directly into the water.  Although not one of the leading sources of polluted runoff, pollution from marinas can have a significant impact on local water quality. Therefore, is it important to promote operation and maintenance practices that will prevent pollution from entering waterways.

  • Recreational boating activities at marinas and the various activities associated with fueling and maintaining boats can result in significant impact to water quality.
    • Petroleum hydrocarbons from fuel, oil drippings, and solvents
    • Nutrients and pathogens from sewage discharge and pet waste
    • Toxic metals from anti-foulants and boat maintenance debris
    • Liquid and solid waste from engine and hull maintenance
    • Sediments from parking lot run-off and shoreline erosion
    • Fish waste from dockside fish cleaning

Watch for the Lake Wylie Marine Commission
Clean Marina flags at marinas around Lake Wylie!

And say thanks to the marina operators for protecting Lake Wylie!