Andy Gregory, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, 206-297-7002, email@example.com
This year, one local business solidified its commitment to the environment as the fall salmon began to return. On October 11, Managing Director Ronald Roark and General Manager Hartwell Champagne of Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard were awarded the 81st Clean Marina certification for their work protecting water quality and their commitment to communicating environmental best management practices to boaters.
“We are very pleased to gain certification as a Clean Marina,” said Roark. “It is a recognition of our commitment to ensuring that everything we do in our business is compatible with the best and most environmentally sensitive practices possible.”
Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard achieved their certification by improving oil spill response, reducing and properly managing hazardous waste, and providing a free sewage pumpout service to boaters. In addition, they adopted the Clean Marina best management practices (BMPs), and have committed to educating boaters about how to prevent oil, sewage, debris and soap from going into the water.
“We found that much of what we were already doing was aligned with the requirements of Clean Marina certification,” said Champagne. “However, through the Clean Marina application and certification process we learned how we can improve our business practices to provide a safer and more environmentally friendly marina to our tenants and community.”
In May of 2018, Puget Sound was designated as a No Discharge Zone for vessel sewage. Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard provides moorage for Terry and Sons Free Mobile Pumpout Service, and has helped to secure matching funds to ensure that this service is available at no charge for Gig Harbor boaters. Thanks to services like this, boaters have more options than ever to hold their onboard waste and keep it out of local waterways.
“Gig Harbor has a rich maritime history and it’s great to see leaders like Ronald Roark and Hartwell Champagne guiding this vital community business into the 21st century,” said Andy Gregory, Pollution Prevention Director for Puget Soundkeeper and Manager of the Clean Marina Program. “Puget Sound provides a bounty of economic opportunity, but only if we do what is needed to protect wildlife and water quality, to ensure these resources are here for future generations.”
One of the core elements of the Clean Marina program is community outreach and education. In addition to teaching boaters to prevent pollution, Gig Harbor Marina and Boatyard partners with local non-profit Harbor WildWatch to promote youth education. According to Executive Director Lindsey Stover, “Harbor WildWatch is thrilled that the Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard is now a certified Clean Marina. By going through this voluntary process, Ron and his team are showing their commitment to preserving Gig Harbor Bay and the surrounding marine environment. They are setting the example for all marinas to put in place best management practices that reduce pollution so that we can continue to enjoy our beautiful harbor.”
Clean Marina Washington was created in 2005, and is an incentive-based certification program in which marinas assess their operations and implement improvements to better protect the environment. When they reach the qualification standards of Clean Marina Washington they earn the right to fly the Clean Marina flag.
Clean Marina Washington is a partnership of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, EnviroStars Cooperative, Northwest Marine Trade Association, Washington Sea Grant, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Department of Natural Resources and Washington State Parks and Recreation.
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the U.S. EPA under assistance agreement PC-01J18001 to Washington State Department of Health. The contents of this piece do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the EPA nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.