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Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

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Make hull repairs on land, in dry dock, so any residues can be collected and any spilled material cleaned up and kept out of the water. © Robert Queen
Make hull repairs on land, in dry dock, so any residues can be collected and any spilled material cleaned up and kept out of the water.
© Robert Queen

August 2002

Tips for a cleaner marina

How to keep a marina in trim.

Natasha Kassulke

  • Restrict boat maintenance to impervious surfaces and designated work areas with a roof when possible.
  • Store boats and conduct maintenance work out of the water, where feasible, to better control runoff.
  • Contain dust from sanding and debris from blasting. Restrict or prohibit sanding on the water and uncontained blasting as much as possible. Have tarps available to capture debris.
  • Minimize impacts of painting operations. Paint in a well-ventilated area or spray booth.
  • Recommend that customers use bottom coatings and paints that contain the minimal amount of toxic compounds. Use water-based paints when practical.
  • Prohibit spray painting on the water. Limit in-water painting to small jobs. Mix only the amount of paint needed for the job. Use spray painting equipment that has high transfer efficiency.
  • Avoid using hazardous materials. Dispose of the waste in accordance with federal and state regulations.
  • Minimize impacts of pressure washing hulls to remove bottom growth. Allow contaminants to settle out of the collected wastewater.
  • Prohibit underwater hull cleaning in marina waters.
  • Offer spill-proof oil changes and provide an oil/water separation service to filter bilge water.
  • Use environmentally safe petroleum storage.
  • Locate fuel docks, when possible, away from wave action and boat wakes. For safety reasons, fueling station should be accessible by boat without entering or passing through the main berthing area.
  • Provide a stable platform for fueling. Install automatic back pressure shut off nozzles on pump.
  • Supply oil absorbent pads and pillows at the fuel dock to mop up spills.
  • Place plastic or nonferrous drip trays lined with an oil absorbent material beneath fuel connections at the dock to prevent fuel leakage from reaching the water.
  • Attach a container to the external vent fitting to collect overflow.
  • Offer services to install fuel/air separators on boats.
  • Inspect/repair fuel lines and nozzles regularly.
  • Have trained staff at the fuel dock to oversee or assist with fueling and promote environmental precautions.
  • Report spills. Federal regulation requires that any sheen upon the navigable waters of the United States be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Keep a well-maintained pumpout system and offer it to your clients.
  • Have a dump station for clients to empty portable toilets.
  • Have a clean and functional restroom open to clients.
  • Reduce waste and litter in daily operations. Conduct trash pickups within the marina and along the shoreline.
  • Control disposal of fish scraps to areas/methods that will not impair water quality.
  • Provide trash bins and dumpsters that offer recycling options and are covered, well marked and conveniently located.
  • Have a stormwater management system including cultivating planted areas, limiting paved areas and training staff about what they can do to prevent runoff during maintenance and operations.
  • Employ shoreland erosion control measures.
  • Practice water conservation.
  • Use upland and inland areas for storage and maintenance.
  • Avoid using toxic lawn and garden chemicals wherever possible.
  • Promote the use of biodegradable chemical counterparts to traditional chemicals by ensuring that the marina store carries "green" products.

Natasha Kassulke is Associate Editor of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.