Unit Review

Section 1: Siting Considerations

In this section, you covered:

The option to redevelop existing sites versus disturbing undeveloped land:
Things to consider about redevelopment include:

  • Place new facilities in previously developed waterfront sites or brownfields.
  • Permit reviewers often favor expansion of existing marinas over development of new facilities.
  • Proper shoreline planning encourages placement of boating facilities in developed areas.
  • Brownfield redevelopment restores property to productive uses.

Characterizing project site and identifying rare and endangered species:
Identify habitat types and seasonal use of the site by fish, waterfowl and other organisms. Ensure that any previous environmental contamination (e.g., underground tanks or contaminated sediments) has been cleaned up. Remember: Rare and endangered species may not be disturbed (Federal Endangered Species Act).

The majority of marina development and expansion projects, including dredging, will require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) must assess all proposed development, and state natural resource agencies must asses for endangered and threatened species and habitat protection areas.

Minimizing the disturbance to habitat, fish, and wildlife:

  • Preserve nesting trees and other natural habitats where possible. Avoid waterfowl nesting and staging areas.
  • Avoid or mitigate any disturbances to aquatic vegetation, wetlands and native vegetation in coastal or shoreline areas.
  • Schedule construction to avoid critical migration, nesting, and spawning periods of important species of fish and wildlife. Consult with your state natural resources agency for site-specific determinations of the potential effects of activities on wildlife populations.

Capitalizing on natural channels and bottom configurations:
Marina basin flushing is essential for maintaining water quality within your marina. Any new or expanding marinas should be constructed to enhance or maintain proper water movement. This will also minimize the need for dredging.

Evaluating upland impacts:
Investigate runoff drainage through the proposed site, avoid steep slopes and identify and avoid areas with high groundwater during wet periods.

Section 2: Designing Marina Facilities and Structures

In this section, you covered:

Using open design fixed or floating piers to enhance water circulation:
While being mindful of the need for pier or dock systems to provide access during routine operations and under emergency circumstances (e.g., evacuation preceding or during a storm), piers and other structures should be placed to enhance, rather than to obstruct, water circulation.

Using environmentally neutral materials:
Use natural materials or materials that will not leach hazardous chemicals into the water and which will not break down (e.g., reinforced concrete, coated steel, recycled plastic, vinyl sheet piling, or plastic reinforced with fiberglass) when possible. When designing and constructing marina facilities, consider incorporating green building practices, for example, using LEED guidelines.

Limiting shaded areas over the water:
Limit the number of completely covered slips and choose docking systems that minimize light blockage.

Minimizing need for dredging:
New marinas must be located in areas where deep water can be reached with a minimum of excavation, filling, and dredging. Existing marinas that require maintenance dredging more frequently than once every four years should investigate practical options to increase circulation or reduce sediment accumulation.

Minimizing the impacts of dredging:
Dredging has the potential to impact fish spawning and juvenile fish survival. The majority of marina development and expansion projects along the Great Lakes, including dredging, will require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps (USACE) of Engineers and the responsible state agency.

Employing nonstructural shore erosion control measures:
While traditional hard structures continue to be installed or maintained around the Great Lakes, rising awareness of their detrimental effects are leading to a call for “soft” engineering to protect the shore.

Conserving water:
Water is often used faster than it can be naturally replenished. Conserving water and other natural resources saves energy, helps the environment (by taking some of the stress off the resource), and saves money.

Anticipating recycling needs:
When designing a marina, anticipate the recycling needs.