Since it is likely that one point person will be completing the Clean Marina Classroom, it is important to ensure best management practices are relayed to the staff, management, and patrons. This section provides BMPs that will aid in passing this information along as well as training.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you should be able to:

  • Identify opportunities to expand staff training and incorporate additional BMPs in existing training efforts.
  • Work with your managers or management team to facilitate implementation of BMPs among your patrons and contractors.
  • Update contracts to incorporate Clean Marina principles and set a protocol to address infractions or provide clients with a separate Environmental Rules document. See: Resources & Tools: Contracts.

Best Management Practices

Staff Training

A well-trained staff will routinely minimize pollution, answer patron’s questions, and perform their duties efficiently. Proper training will also contribute to a faster and appropriate response time in emergencies.

Provide annual training on the following: check box for Regional Best Management Practice

Familiarize and Engage Staff with Key Plans: check box for Regional Best Management Practice

Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
Use the Stormwater Management Unit to understand how water moves across your marina and how pollutants on the ground may mix with runoff and flow into surrounding waterways via storm drains or surface flow. Keeping your marina grounds clear of debris such as paint chips, sawdust, and chemicals that drip from vehicles will keep the waterways around your marina cleaner.

Teach your employees about the components and goals of your stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP), a requirement of the plan itself. SWPPPs are described in the Stormwater Management Unit: Legal Setting. Training on the plan should be conducted on an ongoing basis and should address the topics listed above as well as:

  • Proper use of stormwater management practices, such as compost socks or storm drain filters.
  • Proper use of equipment, such as dustless sanders and high-volume, low-pressure spray guns.

Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan
Many marinas have storage tanks which are not regulated under 40 CFR 112 (SPCC regulations in the Clean Water Act), but that are regulated at state level by the Bureau of Underground Storage Tanks. Marina’s storage tanks may below the threshold that requires an SPCC plan. However developing an SPCC plan is highly valuable and overlaps significantly with the requirements of a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). 

Emergency Response Plan
During an emergency — when time is of the essence — you will want employees and patrons to know what to do and how to do it.

  • Prepare and maintain a current written emergency response plan which is readily accessible to trained staff provide annual training. The plan should contain phone numbers for appropriate agencies to assist with handling emergencies. check box for Regional Best Management Practice
  • Review plans and response procedures with staff at the beginning of each boating season.
  • Train employees in the use of containment measures.
  • Run emergency response drills at least twice each year.
  • Invite the U.S. Coast Guard, state and local responders (e.g., fire department) to demonstrate emergency response procedures at your marina.

Consider Course or Workshop Offerings

  • Consider enrolling yourself or staff in marina-related courses at community colleges, workshops through county extension programs and presentations by boating industry experts related to environmental protection and best practices.

Sample course offerings

  • A refresher course on hazardous material handling and waste management through Lakeshore Technical College (WI).
  • Marinas and Docks course – coordinated by University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Association of Marina Industries (AMI) course offerings.

Maintain Training Records

Documented training provides a record required by some plans (e.g., stormwater pollution prevention plan) and is helpful in case of insurance claims.

  • Maintain training records and require staff to sign off on all completed training. check box for Regional Best Management Practice
  • Record training dates, topics, and names of employees and instructors.
  • Keep copies of instructional material in a binder or file.

Be Watchful for Pollution Incidents in Your Marina

Involve all employees as well as patrons in keeping a watchful eye for potential pollution incidents. Ask your staff to be absolutely diligent in containing pollution from waterways, boaters and from marina operations. Set a good example for boaters and educate those who seem engaged.

Encourage your staff to look for and immediately halt the following activities:

  • Hull cleaning that results in colored plumes in water.
  • Bilge water discharge with a sheen.
  • Uncontained sanding, painting, varnishing, or cleaning.
  • Maintenance debris being washed into the water.
  • Sewage discharges within the marina.
  • Use of environmentally harmful cleaning products.

Incorporate Best Management Practices into Contracts

In addition to being a legal document, contracts are very effective educational tools. Use the contract to inform boaters and contractors how to minimize their environmental impacts. For examples, see: Resources and Tools: Contracts.

  • Include language requiring the use of best management practices in all of your contracts: slip holders, live-aboards, transients, charters, workers, contractors, and tenants. check box for Regional Best Management Practice
  • Include language specifying the consequences of not using best management practices. For example, failure to use best management practices will result in expulsion from the marina and forfeiture of rental fees.
  • Include information about requirements for Marine Sanitation Devices (MSD). See: Sewage Handling Unit.

Approach Polluters

  • Develop a procedure and provide training to employees to approach boaters or contractors who are not following best management practices. check box for Regional Best Management Practice

Specifically, determine who will address boaters and contractors who are polluting, and let your staff know whether they should handle polluters themselves or report pollution incidents to the manager. Except in an emergency, this is usually a job for the manager.

Report oil, gas, and diesel spills to authorities. Call the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Center at (800) 424-8802 and the responsible state agency.

  • Politely inform boaters and contractors why their actions are harmful. Describe a more environmentally sensitive method and ask that the work stop until it can be done with less environmental impact. It may be easier to get cooperation if you require boaters and contractors to practice pollution prevention as a condition of their contracts. Create and distribute your marina’s environmental policies to boaters.

If the problem persists, take these additional steps:

  1. Talk to the boater or contractor again.
  2. Mail a written notice asking that the harmful practice stop. Keep a record of the mailing.
  3. If you are able to, remove the pollutant problem from the dock. Charge the boater or contractor for the cost of removal and cleanup.
  4. Ask the boater or contractor to leave your marina.

 Consider Fee Language

  • Charge for tangible items such as tarps, vacuum sanders, and protective clothing rather than a flat “environmental surcharge.”
  • Consider donating a portion of rental fees (e.g., for vacuum sanders) to an environmental organization. The boater can feel good about controlling pollution and about the fact that a portion of his or her money is going to help conserve nature.

Next: Section 2: Boater Education and Public Relations