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Causes and Control of Water Pollution - Boating and Marinas

Causes and Control of Water Pollution
Marinas and Recreational Boating

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Marinas are located right at the waters edge, and often there is no buffering of pollutants coming from boats or transported by runoff from parking lots and hull maintenance areas. Documented adverse environmental impacts include dissolved oxygen deficiencies and high concentrations of toxic metals in aquatic organisms. In addition, construction activities can lead to the physical destruction of sensitive ecosystems and bottom-dwelling aquatic communities.


MARINA FLUSHING -- The measure requires that marina siting and design allow for maximum flushing of the water supply for the site. Adequate flushing reduces the potential for the stagnation of water in a marina and helps to maintain the biological productivity and reduce the potential for toxic accumulation in bottom sediment.

WATER QUALITY ASSESSMENT -- This measure specifies that water quality be considered in the siting and design of both new and expanding marinas.

HABITAT ASSESSMENT -- Marinas should be designed and located so as to protect against adverse impacts on shellfish resources, wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, and other important habitat areas as designated by local, state, or federal governments.

SHORELINE STABILIZATION -- Where shoreline erosion is a nonpoint source pollution problem, shorelines should be stabilized. Vegetative methods are strongly preferred unless structural methods are cost-effective.

STORMWATER RUNOFF -- This measure, which applies to runoff from the marina site only, specifies implementation of runoff control strategies which include the use of pollution prevention activities and the proper design of hull maintenance areas. At least 80% of suspended solids must be removed from stormwater runoff coming from the hull maintenance areas. Marinas which obtain a NPDES permit for their hull maintenance areas are not required to conform to this hull maintenance area provision.

FUELING STATION DESIGN -- This measure specifies that fueling stations should be located and designed so that, in the case of an accident, spill contaminants can be contained in a limited area. Fueling stations should have fuel containment equipment as well as a spill contingency plan

SEWAGE FACILITIES -- To prevent the discharge of sewage directly to coastal waters, new and expanding marinas are to install pumpout, pump station, and restroom facilities where needed.

SOLID WASTE -- This measure specifies that solid wastes produced by the operation, cleaning, maintenance, and repair of boats should be properly disposed of to limit their entry to surface waters.

FISH WASTES -- In sufficient quantity, fish wastes can result in the depletion of dissolved oxygen and odor problems. To address this concern, the measure requires that sound fish waste management be promoted through a combination of fish cleaning restrictions, public education, and proper disposal.

LIQUID MATERIAL -- This management measure provides for appropriate storage, transfer, containment, and disposal facilities for liquid materials commonly used in boat maintenance and encourages the recycling of these materials.

PETROLEUM CONTROL -- This measure addresses the problem of fuel and oil leaks, which often occur during the refueling and operation of boats. The amount of fuel and oil leakage from fuel tank air vents should be reduced.

BOAT CLEANING -- This measure minimizes the use of potentially harmful hull cleaners and bottom paints and their release to marinas and coastal waters.

PUBLIC EDUCATION -- Public education/outreach/training programs should be instituted for boaters, as well as marina operators, to prevent improper disposal of polluting materials.

MAINTENANCE OF SEWAGE FACILITIES -- This measure specifies that pumpout facilities be maintained in operational condition and that their use be encouraged to reduce untreated sewage discharges to surface waters.

BOAT OPERATION -- This measure deals with ecological problems resulting from boating operations outside marinas. In shallow areas, intense boating activities may contribute to shoreline erosion. The measure is designed to prevent increased turbidity and physical destruction of shallow-water habitat resulting from boating activities.

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