Use the lessons learned from this Classroom to show others your commitment as a certified Clean Marina. Signage, informational materials, and public outreach will send a clear message that your business is dedicated to sustainability — as a member of the business community as well as environmentally. 

Learning Objectives 

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

  • Evaluate existing signage and consider installing or updating signage and content.
  • Relay Clean Marina principles to your patrons on an ongoing basis and during special events.
  • Contact media outlets to tell your Clean Marina story.
  • Understand and prepare to exercise benefits of Clean Marina certification.

Best Management Practices

Post Signs Describing Best Management Practices

  • Post clearly visible signs regarding your best management practices throughout the marina. check box for Regional Best Management Practice
  • Post signs at fuel docks and pump-out stations, along piers, in boat maintenance areas, and at dumpsters and recycling stations. See Resources and Tools: Suggested Signage.
  • Be sure the signs are visible, durable, eye-catching, and appropriately sized.
  • Post your facility’s environmental policy for public viewing.
  • Post signs reminding boaters how they can help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Distribute Clean Boating Information to Boaters

  • Provide information (brochures, fact sheets, workshops, tours, direct mail, billing inserts) promoting environmentally friendly marina and boating practices to boaters. check box for Regional Best Management Practice
  • If available, promote your state’s Clean Boater program. 

Information sources:

  • Copy and distribute clean boater tip sheets or create your own. Boater tip sheets for boat maintenance, petroleum control, boat sewage, and waste disposal can be found in the Resources and Tools: Tip Sheets.
  • Get free copies of clean boating materials from as BoatU.S.
  • Contact the U.S. Coast Guard for publications that summarize federal boating requirements. For example, refer to the Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats and Safety Tips (USCG). Power Squadrons and the Coast Guard Auxiliary also have recreational boater education materials that you can use. Your state agency will likely have additional materials.


  • Send tip sheets with monthly mailings or place in dock boxes or on vessels. Make sure they do not end up in the water (e.g., encourage boaters to return unused tip sheets to marina staff for re-use or recycling).
  • Include articles about best management practices in your newsletter.
  • Convey pollution prevention information in conversations with patrons and contractors.
  • Post information about best management practices on a marina bulletin board, marina website and via social media.

Offer Environmental Reviews and Safety Checks for Boaters

  • Expand your business by offering environmental reviews. Engage your boaters in a conversation about what they can do to continuously improve and safeguard water quality.
  • Inspect engines, bilges, fuel systems, and holding tanks.
  • Provide oil-absorbent pads, bilge pillows or socks, air-fuel separators, etc.
  • Work with Coast Guard Auxiliary or Power Squadron to offer vessel safety checks.

Host a Workshop on Clean Boating Practices

  • Arrange a workshop on green boating practices; include a walking tour of the facility to demonstrate best management practices.
  • Schedule the workshop to coincide with an existing marina function that is traditionally well attended.
  • Offer incentives such as door prizes, discounts, product samples, and food to increase attendance.
  • Invite the community as well as the media.

Recognize Boaters 

  • Use public relations and customer recognition to demonstrate and promote best management practices. check box for Regional Best Management Practice
  • Publicly recognize boaters who are making an effort to control pollution.
  • Include a feature in your newsletter, post a flyer with the boater’s picture on a public bulletin board, or give an award.

Publicize Your Good Deeds

  • Work with the Clean Marina program in your state (if applicable) to coordinate publicity.
  • Seek free publicity with local press, magazines, television, and radio outlets.
  • Prepare news releases to highlight your innovative practices, new equipment or services, available literature, or a workshop you are sponsoring.
  • Plan news releases to coincide with seasonal activities. For example, send information on engine maintenance and winterization in October or recycling shrink-wrap in March.
  • Start news releases with a contact person’s name and phone number, the date, and a headline. The first paragraph should contain vital information: who, what, when, and where. Fill in with secondary information and support data. Conclude with a “call to action” (e.g., visit the marina for a demonstration of the new plastic media blasting system). The news release should be no longer than two pages. (One page is best.) Refer to the Associated Press Stylebook for additional formatting information.
  • Learn media deadlines and send releases in time to meet them.
  • Send news releases to the editor of the publication, and be sure you have his/her name spelled accurately.
  • Use the Clean Marina brand, including logos, flags, etc. See sample media kit at Michigan Clean Marina: Media Kit (Michigan Sea Grant).
  • Ask for press kits from manufacturers of environmentally sensitive products and use their photographs and product information.
  • Participate in Association of Marina Industries (AMI) National Marina Day. More information and event resources are available at: National Marina Day.

Become a Certified Clean Marina

You are already on your way! Working through the Classroom and implementing best management practices are significant steps on the road to certification, however, making sure you follow through on obtaining official certification is important.

  • Apply for recognition as a Clean Marina through your state’s Clean Marina program. Once you have satisfied the selection criteria, you may use the Clean Marina logo in your advertising and correspondence, fly a Clean Marina flag, and enjoy promotion by the Clean Marina program in publications, on boating websites and at community events.
  • Use your certification as an opportunity to prepare a news release.

 Next: Unit Review