Madison, WI 5/26/2010 — The traditional kick-off of summer, Memorial Day, means thousands of Wisconsin boaters will enjoy long days on the water. A new Wisconsin Clean Marina Program, http://www.wisconsincleanmarina.org/, means those waterways will see improved quality and habitat protection. Plus, it’s good for business. Participating marinas can reduce waste disposal costs, receive free technical assistance and attract more customers who appreciate patronizing an environmentally friendly operation.
The program will be administered by the newly formed Wisconsin Marina Association (WMA), http://www.wisconsinmarinas.org/, with training and technical assistance from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. Other partners include the UW-Extension Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, U.S. Coast Guard and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Office of Great Lakes.
It involves voluntary participation by the state’s 300 marinas that vow to employ pollution-prevention practices such as washing boats on land with non-polluting cleaners, minimizing use of and recycling hazardous materials, and being prepared for petroleum spills. Marinas and boatyards that go above and beyond the existing state and federal environmental regulations may become certified and promoted by the WMA as “clean marinas.”
“The boating industry in Wisconsin is a large contributor to the economy and will now also help to improve water quality and habitat through the Clean Marina Program and boater education,” said Jon Kukuk, owner of Nestegg Marine and chair the of WMA.
“Wisconsin is blessed with more than 15,000 lakes. In addition, Lakes Michigan and Superior are important destinations for those who enjoy boating. The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program is a voluntary, cooperative effort that will go a long way toward protecting those waters for everyone to enjoy for years to come,” said Victoria Harris, a water quality specialist with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.
The program Web site, which launched today, also provides tips for boaters who want to do their part in protecting Wisconsin’s waters. With this effort, Wisconsin joins 24 other states, and Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands, in instituting a clean marina program.