Watch Hill Boat Yard, Newport Yacht Club and Safe Harbor Wickford Cove were designated as clean marinas under the Rhode Island Clean Marina program, adopted by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) in 2007, and reorganized and streamlined through to a public-private program. partnership in 2020.
This effort was one between the CRMC, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association (RIMTA), Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), industry representatives, the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant. The voluntary program was designed to protect the state’s coastal waters and benefit the marinas industry.
“The program was very popular when it was first introduced and we are delighted from a regulatory perspective that we can now provide an even more useful version to stakeholders,” said Dan Goulet, Marine Infrastructure Coordinator for the CRMC. “The CRMC will retain its regulatory role and perform final inspections, but thanks to RIMTA, we hope this program will be even more successful. “
Partners made the program more user-friendly and forward-looking, designating RIMTA as the industry point of contact and CRMC as the certification agent. The groups also revised the cumbersome certification process, reducing the amount of paperwork required to a checklist. Since its inception, five marinas have undertaken the program: Allen Harbor Marina, Point Judith Marina, Ram Point Marina, Conanicut Marine Services, Inc. and New England Boatworks.
“Clean Marina programs around the world have been effective because the link between science and real practical solutions and the bottom line for clean marina environments has always been essential,” said Pam Rubinoff, Coastal Manager for CRC and Rhode Island Sea Grant. “What we’ve done for the update is efficient work for practices, while supporting learning with easy-to-use tools and information. ”
The CMP provides training and cohort support to participants who learn basic science relating to coastal environments, engage with experts who lead discussions and dialogue on pollution issues specific to the marine industry and share information with their own members and stakeholders. Although the program focuses on the policy and practice of a clean marina, participating businesses will also have access to information on other key issues, including climate change and building resilience.
“We are delighted to deliver this new and improved version of the Clean Marina program,” said Even Ridley, RIMTA’s Director of Environmental Programs. “We know more than ever that the economic success of the marinas and yachting community is linked to environmental health, and this program addresses that need. ”
The response from the industry has been overwhelmingly positive; in the first nine months of 2021, the three new clean marinas were certified. Five are slated for Clean Marina status in 2022. Check out the CRMC website here http://www.crmc.ri.gov/marinas.html for updates and information on certified marinas.