State Programs

Many states in the Great Lakes region host a Clean Marina program. Program structure and administration varies, but all programs share the mission to help reduce pollution to coastal waters by encouraging environmentally friendly marina and boating practices. Programs are often administered through public-private partnerships, including state environmental protection or natural resources agency, industry association, and Sea Grant.


Six of the eight Great Lakes states offer Clean Marina certification programs, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Visit the online map online for additional information (names, location, websites), see: Great Lakes Clean Marinas Map.

Great Lakes Clean Marina Certification Programs

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. This is a newly formed program with 31st Street Harbor in Chicago scheduled to receive the first certification on June 8, 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 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 (IDEM)
Northwest Regional Office
330 W. US Hwy 30, Suite F
Valparaiso, IN 46385

(219) 464-0233

See: Program Website

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.

Liz Szlaga
Clean Marina Program Coordinator
Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA)
32398 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
(734) 261-0123

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 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 Clean Marina Program offers 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.

Jerry Rockvam

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

See: Program Website, Facebook page

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
Clean Marina Program Manager
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 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 Marine 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
2420 Nicolet Dr. MAC 212
Green Bay, WI 54311

(920) 465-2795

See: Program Website


Clean Boating Programs in the Great Lakes

Both the states of New York and Pennsylvania support programs that engage both marinas and boaters in stewardship.  While they do not certify marinas in the adoption of best practices, these states promote many of the same best practices supported by other state Clean Marina Certification programs in the Great Lakes region.

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.

Dave White
Recreation Specialist
New York Sea Grant
SUNY College at Oswego
Oswego, NY 13126-3599

(315) 312-3042

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