Belle Maer Harbor: Among the First to Earn Michigan Clean Marina Certification
Belle Maer Harbor was one of the first two marinas in Michigan to be certified under the Clean Marina Program back in 2005.
Under the program, Belle Maer instituted procedures and policies that include:
• Clean, functional restrooms open 24 hours daily that encourage their boaters not to use their heads while in port.
• Pump out facilities provided for boat heads at its gas dock.
• Published Environmental Rules and Regulations made part of its slip rental contracts and outside contractor requirements. These rules specifically cover sanding, painting, spraying, oil disposal, winterization chemicals, disposal of batteries, bilge water, shrink wrap disposal, fuel spill procedures, bottom washing, marine heads and pet and fish waste disposal.
• A collection area within the Marina where used oil, oil filters and batteries can be left for proper disposal by Marina personnel. The oil and batteries are sold to an outside vendor for recycling. The oil filters are crushed to force out the remaining oil and to reduce the volume of the filters. The Marina pays to have these filters removed from the Marina by the barrel.
• The Marina operates a 108 rack in and out storage operation that allows for a greater access to the water using less land and water resources.
• The Marina has substantial surface area planted with grass, trees and flowers. Not only does this give the Marina a park-like setting, but also the landscaping has environmental benefits such as the filtering of runoff from the roadways and parking areas.
• Shrink-wrap, although popular as winter covers for boats, is an environmental hazard around the water. The Marina participates in a program through Mondo Polymers Technologies in Ohio whereby our personnel collect and store the used shrink-wrap for pick up by Mondo. Mondo recycles the shrink-wrap using the material to manufacture guard rail blocks that are used as part of the barrier systems on roadways. This program has diverted hundreds of thousands of pounds of plastic wrap from landfills.
• All of the Marina storm drains are labeled as andquot;No Dumping – Drains to Lakeandquot;.
• Vacuum sanders are available for rent from the Marina office.
• The Marina has made substantial infrastructure changes at the hoist area to eliminate the return of wash water from bottom washing operations to the lake. The wash water is recycled to conserve water. The wash water is filtered through a series of six buried tanks to allow for the settling of all particles. At the end of each haul out season, a licensed waste hauler removes all of the water and sludge in the tanks.
• The Marina maintains spill kits that include absorbent booms and pads. The kits are stored in labeled dock boxes located at the hoist, rack building, gas dock and Marina entrance where they are immediately available in case of a fuel spill.
• All of the restrooms and pump outs are connected to the municipal sewer.
• The Marina has 12 dumpsters that are collected twice per week conveniently located and properly screened throughout the Marina.
• In an effort to solicit support from its boaters and contractors, the Marina uses liberal signage and covers various environmental issues in its newsletter that is produced and emailed throughout the year.
• All of the Marina employees are trained and educated as to the Marina rules and regulations. They are expected to observe and report any violations.
About the Michigan Clean Marina Foundation
The Michigan Clean Marina Foundation ("Foundation") was founded through the collaborative efforts of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Boating Industries Association, the Michigan Sea Grant College Program and the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. The officers and directors of the Foundation include Jim Diana, Foundation President who is Director of Michigan Sea Grant College Program, Van Snider, Foundation Treasurer, who is President of Michigan Boating Industries Association, and Eric Foster, Foundation Secretary who is General Partner of Belle Maer Harbor. The Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) Corporation and as such, all contributions to the Foundation are tax deductible.
The purpose of the Foundation is to develop, administer and run the Michigan Clean Marina Program. The Michigan Clean Marina Program was developed through a public-private partnership involving the marine industry, academic institutions and state government. The Clean Marina Program was developed to assist and to train marinas and boatyard operators about how to protect and conserve the natural resources that provide their livelihood: clean water and fresh air. These natural assets are essential features of the boating industry. Thus, the leaders of the Clean Marina Program encourage marinas and boatyards to improve and maintain Michigan's waterways by reducing and eliminating releases and discharges of harmful pollutants, sediments, nutrients, general refuse and anything else that can damage aquatic environments.
In awarding Belle Maer the Clean Marina Certification on Dec. 8, 2005, Van W. Snider, Jr. said, "The management and staff of these facilities have implemented excellent policies and procedures addressing environmental practices and protections they have in place within their marinas. Belle Maer Harbor (is an) example of how water-front facilities can insure protection of our waters that give hours and hours of pleasure to millions of boaters."
Clean Marina Program objectives include the following:
• Foster communication among the marina industry, state agencies, academic institutions and environmental groups.
• Promote voluntary implementation of pollution prevention strategies, environmental risk reduction and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement in the context of good business practice.
• Promote industry compliance with environmental laws and regulations impacting the marina industry through education and outreach.
• Develop recognition and economic incentives for environmentally proactive marina operations.
• Promote voluntary implementation of energy conservation strategies.
For additional information on the Michigan Clean Marina Program click here.