NJDEP Clean Marina Program Protects State’s Coastal Waterways

“A HEALTHY COAST”: The Department of Environmental Protection created its Clean Marina program to help preserve NJ’s waters and surrounding environments. MarineMax in Brant Beach (above) was certified this year. (Photo by Ryan Morrill)

In the years since the New Jersey Clean Marina Program was established in 2005 by the state Department of Environmental Protection, a number of facilities on Long Beach Island and on the nearby mainland have took part in this initiative to help preserve our vital coastal waterways. As the DEP explains, “the program provides marinas with free assistance and advice to reduce and eliminate pollution resulting from daily operations and human practices.”

MarineMax sites across the state, including MarineMax LBI – with a sales office in Ship Bottom and service, parts and a marina located in Brant Beach – were recently Certified Clean Marinas, with similar designations for sites of the company in other states.

As Mike Aiello, National Marina Manager for MarineMax, pointed out, “We’re not just participating to be a clean marina. We are committed to improving the environment and wildlife around our stores locally and nationally. As boaters, we know the importance of being sustainable on the water, to help keep our passion alive for future generations to enjoy too.

“Ultimately, we protect the environment because it’s the right thing to do and because our customers want clean waters,” said John Mondelli, MarineMax LBI’s Managing Director. “The majority of our employees are also boaters and they love water and wildlife. We want to keep it intact for those who live and work here and for those who come to visit LBI.

Residents and vacationers alike are drawn to the Jersey Shore, and the Clean Marina program aims to “protect these critical habitat areas that support a variety of species, including algae, plankton, crustaceans and fish. with fins”, explains the DEP. “The program encourages marina owners, yacht clubs, shipyards and recreational boaters to adopt practices that help prevent adverse effects on water quality, sensitive habitats and living resources near marinas. “

The program helps prevent harmful environmental practices through education and outreach to boaters and marina owners, and provides assistance and advice to reduce the sources and impacts of non-point source pollution, including facility management. sewers, refueling operations, fish and solid waste management and boat cleaning.

“The NJDEP Clean Marina program is extremely important because it provides concrete steps that marinas can take to ensure that we reduce the impact on our delicate marine environment,” said Joe Hagler, owner of Hagler’s Marina in Brant Beach.

“We have always worked hard to ensure we preserve our waters and its people, but since we became certified over a decade ago it has made it easier for us to track our progress and ensure we are improving. constantly,” added Hagler. “It’s not a ‘one and done’ kind of program. We will continue to monitor and improve our practices to ensure that our beautiful Barnegat Bay remains the best it can be for generations to come.

For MarineMax LBI to gain certification, Mondelli explained, the state first came to inspect the Brant Beach facility. The marina was then tasked with putting in place various environmental procedures, some of which were already in place, he said. After a few months, the state returned for another inspection and issued certification after finding that the site had met all prescribed guidelines.

When the Clean Marina program was first launched in 2005 – with a handful of participating marinas, including Leamings Marina and Spencer’s Bayside Marina, both in Waretown – then acting governor Richard J. Codey said said: Boaters, we work together to protect the water on which New Jersey’s marine community depends.

The non-profit Alliance for a Living Ocean fully supports the state initiative and encourages all marinas, yacht clubs and shipyards to consider best practices for a healthy coast. As ALO President Casey Courts Deacon has noted, “Educating and ultimately reducing non-point source pollution of our local waterways is one more important step towards safeguarding our coasts for generations. future.”

For more information on New Jersey’s Clean Marina program, including a list of certified and committed marinas statewide, visit njcleanmarina.org. —JK-H.

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