Clean Marina Programs

Clean Marina and Clean Boating programs are in place across the country, with many states recently joining the movement. Clean Marina certification involves a rigorous and comprehensive process, including training about laws, regulations and best practices, and a site visit to each facility designated a Clean Marina. Clean Boating programs focus on how boaters and marinas may be better stewards of our waterways. For details about these programs, see below.

Clean Marina Certification Programs – Great Lakes Region

IL Clean Marina Logo

Illinois Clean Marina Program

The Illinois Clean Marina Program gives marinas, harbors, and recreational boaters the information and support they need to safeguard the state’s rivers and lakes. The voluntary program encourages participants to adopt practices that protect nearby habitats and reduce pollution common in boating and marina activities. The program is a collaborative effort between Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Chicago Park District, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, other state and local organizations, marinas, and recreational boaters.

Participating marinas become officially certified by completing training, a self-evaluation checklist and a site visit. The program kicked off when 31st Street Harbor in Chicago received the first certification in 2013.

Kim Kreiling
Clean Marina Coordinator
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Coastal Management Program
160 N. LaSalle St., S-703
Chicago, IL 60601

(312) 814-6260

See: Program Website

Indiana Clean Marina Logo

Indiana Clean Marina Program

The Indiana Clean Marina Program provides information, technical assistance and guidance to marinas and recreational boaters in an effort to reduce the environmental impacts associated with marinas and recreational boating. The program is voluntary and participating marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs, and recreational boaters are recognized for their environmental stewardship.

The Indiana Clean Marina Program is a collaborative effort by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, marinas and recreational boaters. Development of the Indiana Clean Marina Program was made possible with financial assistance awarded to the Lake Michigan Coastal Program by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) under a Section 310 grant.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Clean Marina Program
Nicole Messacar

Northwest Regional Office
330 W. US Hwy 30, Suite F
Valparaiso, IN 46385

(219) 742-3750

See: Program Website

Michigan Clean Marina-logo

Michigan Clean Marina Program

As participants in the Michigan Clean Marina Program, marinas voluntarily pledge to maintain and improve Michigan’s waterways by reducing or eliminating releases of harmful substances and phasing out practices that can damage aquatic environments.

To date, there are more than 80 total program participants — more than 45 marinas have pledged to work toward certification and 43 marinas have been awarded certification. Since the program began in 2005, 30 marinas have been recertified, showing continued commitment to keeping Michigan waters clean.

The Michigan Clean Marina Program is a cooperative effort of the Michigan Boating Industry Association, the state of Michigan and the Michigan Sea Grant College Program (University of Michigan and Michigan State University). The Clean Marina Program is supported by the Michigan Clean Marina Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.

Mark Breederland
Extension Educator, Northwest District
Michigan Sea Grant
520 West Front Street, Suite A
Traverse City, MI 49684-2208

(231) 92246278

See: Program Website

Minnesota Clean Marina Logo Minnesota Clean Marina Program

The Clean Marina Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect the water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures. The Minnesota program is relatively new with certification beginning in 2012. Seven marinas have been certified to date.

The Minnesota Clean Marina Program is sponsored by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, North Central Marine Association, Midwest Marine Association and the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program.

Jerry Rockvam
President, Minnesota Clean Marina Board of Directors
(952) 471-9515

See: Program Website

Ohio Clean Marinas Program

The Ohio Clean Marinas Program is a proactive partnership designed to encourage marinas and boaters to use simple, innovative solutions to keep Ohio’s coastal and inland waterway resources clean. The program assists these operators in protecting the resources that provide their livelihood — clean water and fresh air.

The basic goal of the program is environmental stewardship by making marinas and boaters more aware of environmental laws, rules and jurisdictions, and to get as many marinas as possible to follow best management practices and to be designated as “Clean Marinas.” There are currently 39 certified marinas with 32 more that have pledged to seek certification.

The program was developed in cooperation among the Ohio Sea Grant College Program, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association and other partners.

Sarah Orlando
Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator
ODNR Office of Coastal Management
105 West Shoreline Drive
Sandusky, OH 44870

(419) 609-4120

See: Program Website

Wisconsin Clean Marina logo

Wisconsin Clean Marina Program

The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program provides guidance and education that enable marina and boatyard operators to protect the resources that sustain their livelihood — clean water, clean air, and healthy fish and wildlife communities. The program promotes and celebrates voluntary adoption of measures to reduce pollution from marinas, boatyards and recreational boats.

There are currently 19 marinas that have been designated under the program, with 11 more that have pledged to seek designation.

The program is administered by the Wisconsin Marina Association with guidance and technical assistance from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute with additional partners including the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Office of Great Lakes, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Development of the Wisconsin Clean Marina Program was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant # NA08NOS4190431.

Victoria Harris
Wisconsin Clean Marina Program, Coordinator
Wisconsin Marine Association
2420 Nicolet Drive MAC 212
Green Bay, WI 54311

(920) 366-3971

Julia Noordyk
Water Quality and Coastal Community Outreach Specialist
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
(920) 465-2795

See: Program Website

Environmental Best Practices and Boater Education Programs

New York Marina Environmental Best Practices

The New York program is part of a national initiative to engage marinas and boatyards in voluntarily best management practices that improve water quality, reduce environmental risk to people and aquatic life, and protect the water resources that sustain the boating industry.

Jay Tanski
New York Sea Grant Coastal Processes and Facilities Specialist
146 Suffolk Hall
Stony Brook, New York 11794-5002

(631) 632-8730

See: Best Practices Website

Pennsylvania Smart Boating, Clean Waters Program

The Smart Boating Clean Waters campaign was started in 2003 to provide recreational water-users information, guidance, and assistance in protecting water quality in the Delaware Estuary and Lake Erie coastal areas. Activities carried out by workgroup include distribution of bildge socks, and recycling of monofilament fishing line and boat shrinkwrap.

Partners include Pennsylvania Coastal Resources Mangement Program, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, Philadelphia Water Department, Delaware, Bucks, and Montgomery County Conservation Districts, Fish and Boat Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Tom Cermak
Pennsylvania Sea Grant
(814) 217-9017

Ann Faulds
Pennsylvania Sea Grant
(215) 806-0894

See: Initiative Page

National Clean Marina Initiative

The Clean Marina Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program promoted by NOAA and others that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures. While Clean Marina Programs vary from state to state, all 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.

NOAA shares responsibility for administering the Coastal Nonpoint Control Program with EPA, and has an important role in protecting coastal waters from polluted runoff. The Clean Marina Initiative helps protect coastal waters from nonpoint source pollution and is a way for states to meet many of the marina management measure requirements under the Coastal Nonpoint Program.


See: Initiative Website