Congratulations to Our Clean Marinas!
Watch for the Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina flags at marinas around Lake Wylie, and be sure to thank the marina operators for protecting Lake Wylie!
About the Clean Marina Program
The primary goals of the LWMC are to protect and preserve the waters and shoreline of Lake Wylie, to educate the public on issues concerning Lake Wylie, and to ensure the safety of all who enjoy the lake. The Commission initiated the Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina Program as one effort toward accomplishing those goals.
What is the Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina Initiative?
The Lake Wylie Marine Commission Clean Marina Program is a voluntary program geared to the Lake Wylie marinas. It 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 meet the expectations of 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, particularly with respect to electrical safety around marinas.
- The self-evaluation is followed by a certification visit to verify that Clean Marina standards are met every two years.
- 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.
Though voluntary state run clean marina programs were available, they were geared primarily toward coastal marinas; only one of Lake Wylie’s marinas was in a state program. The LWMC filled the void.
North & South Carolina Clean Marina Programs
North Carolina 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 meet state regulatory requirements.” In 2018, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission appointed a representative to inspect and confirm that the marinas are meeting the state requirements. Those that do are eligible to fly the state Clean Marina flag. Because Lake Wylie marinas in North Carolina previously enrolled in the LWMC Clean Marina program are shifting to the reinvigorated state program, the LWMC Clean Marina has been discontinued in North Carolina.
South Carolina 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. This program is similarly designed to safeguard the environment. Because no Lake Wylie marinas in South Carolina have volunteered to participate in the state program, the LWMC Clean Marina program serves as a viable option to those marinas. Those meeting the requirements of the LWMC program are qualified to fly the LWMC Clean Marina flag and use the logo in their advertising.
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