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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 14, 2001
Local operators first to be designated "Virginia Clean Marinas"
(Williamsburg) - Five local marinas have become the first in the state to earn designation as a Virginia Clean Marina. The designation is part of a new voluntary program seeking to reduce pollution in Virginia's coastal waters by helping marinas and recreational boaters become more environmentally sensitive.
Marinas receiving the designation today in a ceremony at Two Rivers Yacht Club in Williamsburg were Ginny Point Marina, Cobbs Creek; Hampton Public Piers, Hampton; Salt Ponds Marina Resort, Hampton; Severn River Marina, Hayes; and Two Rivers Yacht Club. The awards were presented by Virginia Assistant Secretary of Natural Resources Elwyn Darden and David G. Brickley, director, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The marinas are also recognized with "Environmental Enterprise" status in the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program, which offers incentives to encourage the adoption of environmental management systems and pollution prevention efforts.
The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science have worked with the Tidewater Marine Trades Association, the Virginia Association of Marine Industries and others in the private sector to develop the Virginia Clean Marina Program. It provides technical assistance and voluntary recognition for marinas and other boating access points.
"We're pleased to recognize these marinas for being the first to meet the requirements of clean marina designation," said Darden. "Their voluntary efforts will help ensure Virginians will always be able to enjoy our waterways." Approximately 1,000 marinas in Virginia are eligible to vie for recognition as a "Virginia Clean Marina."
"These marina operators have backed up their pledges to participate by meeting the stringent criteria set forth by this new program," said Brickley. "This shows their commitment to the future of Virginia's water quality. But hopefully promoting themselves as a Virginia Clean Marina will also have tangible results for their business today." Studies of similar programs in other states have shown that marinas recognized as environmentally friendly have lower vacancy rates.
The Virginia Coastal Program at DEQ funds the program through a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. A Marina Technical and Environmental Advisory Committee made up of representatives from state agencies, the marine trade industry, and the recreational boating and environmental communities has developed a Virginia Clean Marina Guidebook that provides steps marina operators and recreational boaters can take to protect and improve Virginia's coastal waters. The committee also assists in the program's marina designation process.
Marinas seeking designation can complete a self-assessment checklist followed by a site visit by members of the advisory committee. The Marina Technical Assistance Program at VIMS will work with the marina to meet minimum program requirements. Marina operators seeking more information on the program can visit the Clean Marina website at http://web.vims.edu/adv/cleanmarina/index.html.-30-