In recognition of National Marina Day, The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Office of Sustainable Initiatives today hosted a designation ceremony at Bluewater Bay Marina Complex in Niceville.
On National Marina Day, marinas statewide and around the world highlight the marine industry as a family-friendly gateway to rivers, lakes and oceans, while recognizing the importance of being a steward to the environment.
“Florida’s $16.8 billion boating industry depends on clean water,” said Sustainable Initiatives Director Brad Stombock. “National Marina Day provides an opportunity for marinas to educate boaters and the community about the important environmental practices they can implement to protect Florida’s waters.”
Bluewater Bay Marina was recognized by DEP’s Clean Marina Program as the 258th Clean Marina in Florida. Presenting the marina with a flag and plaque, DEP’s Northwest District Assistant Director Darryl Boudreau and local industry representatives acknowledged Bluewater Bay Marina for addressing critical environmental issues such as sensitive habitat, waste management, stormwater control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness by implementing Best Management Practices.
“Florida Marinas which are open to the public are great examples of a private/public partnership,” said Brett Hinely, Bluewater Bay Marine Complex President. “We at Bluewater Bay Marina agree with the State of Florida in encouraging marina’s to become Clean Marinas to demonstrate that good ecological practices can also be good for business. We have chosen to announce our Clean Marina designation on National Marina Day to help bring attention to these important practices and to demonstrate our stewardship of the public trust.”
Florida has more than 920,000 registered motorized vessels and approximately 2,000 marinas – the largest number of marine facilities in the country. Drawing millions of visitors each year, Florida’s clear waters, world-class beaches and coral reefs support a $67.3 billion tourism industry and a fishing industry that injects more than $8.3 billion a year into Florida’s communities.
Due to the vital role marinas play in Florida, Clean Marinas across the state promote clean boating outreach and information along with events and activities. The Florida Clean Marina Program is a collaborative effort between businesses and government to promote the sustainable use of materials and marina resources.
Hundreds of marinas all over the country are hosting events for National Marina Day. Activities include: Children’s activities, boat rides, paddle board and kayak rides, Sea Scouts skill and event training, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel safety checks and Fire Department fire boat demonstrations.
For details on participating marinas throughout the state, please visit http://www.nationalmarinaday.org/about/participating-marinas/.