Green Marina Education and Outreach Project

Project Summary

The Green Marina Education and Outreach project was designed to help reduce or eliminate pollution from entering the Great Lakes through boating and marina activities. Project groups focused on creating a uniform guide to best management practices for marinas, development of a shared training system, and creation of a regional outreach network.

The project provided a strategic collaboration between Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs to support education and outreach efforts across the Great Lakes states. The effort was supported by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Great Lakes Clean Marina Programs

Several Great Lakes states, including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, have active Clean Marina programs. Since each state program evolved separately, best practices have varied from state-to-state. A central focus of the Green Marina Education and Outreach project was to develop a guide to best management practices for marinas that can be consistently applied throughout the Great Lakes region. The project also facilitated development of the Great lakes Clean Marina Network to provide a forum and ongoing community for representative from each of the Great Lakes states Clean Marina programs.

For more information, see: Clean Marina Programs

Project Outcomes

  • Developed Great Lakes Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guide to facilitate development of regional training resource
  • Fully revised and published the Clean Marina Classroom, developed by Michigan Sea Grant
  • Engaged more than 1,500 marina and boatyard stakeholders in events and an additional 384 in a series of educational webinars
  • Certified or recertified an additional 67 marinas in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin
  • Implementation of almost 5,000 best management practices, recognized through the Clean Marina certification process in Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin
  • Provided a suite of outreach materials to support Clean Marina program development and recruitment
  • Marina operators and others became more aware of the sources and impacts of marine-related pollutants, marine best management practices, and Clean Marina programs.

Project Activities, Key Products and Tools

Team members worked with technical experts and outreach professionals to find common ground on best practices and certification criteria for marinas. Project activities supported and improved existing Clean Marina programs, and helped increase participation in education efforts that lead toward certification. Education methods included in-person workshops, as well as online training and webinars for marina operators.

For an archive of educational webinars, see: Presentations

Clean Marina Classroom

Clean Marina Resource Guide 2020 logoMarina experts from the Great Lakes region assisted in enhancing and expanding the web-based Clean Marina Classroom originally developed by Michigan Sea Grant. The Classroom was expanded for use regionally, based on a set of commonly agreed upon best practices. By developing a regionally applicable, web-based training environment, this product eliminates the need for individual programs to develop similar training tools and allows operators to access training materials anytime, from any computer. This educational tool has nine units with best management practices, sample forms and boater tip sheets.

Clean Marina Classroom – Existing Training Units:

  • Siting Considerations and Marina Design
  • Marina Facilities and Habitat
  • Storm Water Management
  • Boat Maintenance and Repair
  • Petroleum Control
  • Sewage Handling
  • Waste Containment and Disposal
  • Marina Management
  • Laws and Regulations

For more information, see: Clean Marina Classroom

Great Lakes Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guide

This BMP Guide provides a compilation of best management practices for marinas and boatyards that have achieved or are working toward Clean Marina certification. It was developed to provide suggested standards for Clean Marina certification requirements in the Great Lakes region. Additionally, the guide provided direction in development of the Clean Marina Classroom (see description above).

The BMP Guide is organized by eight themes, including 120 BMPs, examples of BMP implementation and state requirements, as well as links to additional resources. This publication is a living document, subject to regular review and revision. Within the guide, BMPs are labeled as mandatory, program required or recommended. Marina operators are directed to their respective state programs for clarification on all BMPs, as well as regulatory requirements that vary from state-to-state.

For more information, see: Great Lakes Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guide

Great Lakes Clean Marina Network

The Network was developed to provide a forum for collaboration among representatives from Clean Marina programs, regulatory agencies, industry, media, and other stakeholder groups. The group was initially established with a core membership and has now expanded to include more than 50 individuals from across the eight Great Lakes states.


Project collaborators included universities, state agencies and marina industries, such as the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Michigan Boating Industry Association; the Indiana and Wisconsin Coastal Management programs; the Wisconsin Marine Association, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; the Lake Erie Marine Trades Association; the Midwest Marina Association; and the National Association of Marina Industries.

Additional collaborators included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan Forum, Coastal Zone Management Programs and non-government organizations.