FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12, 2012
NORTHWEST DISTRICT HOSTS MARINE INDUSTRY WORKSHOP
~Best management practices help area marinas protect water quality~
Marinas can play a key part in keeping Florida’s waterways healthy.
PENSACOLA - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Northwest District today conducted a workshop designed to provide environmental compliance assistance to northwest Florida’s marine industry. Attendees of the workshop included marina and boatyard representatives and marine retailers who conduct business within the district’s 16-county jurisdiction.
“The future of our state’s environment and economy depend on the health of our water resources. By educating and assisting specific industries, we are better able to work together towards the common goal of compliance,” said DEP Northwest District Director Shawn Hamilton. “This free workshop is one of our many efforts to improve compliance through outreach to our regulated community.”
The Department's goal, and a goal of many residents and business owners, is to achieve 100 percent compliance with all environmental regulations to protect the resources that provide safe livelihoods and healthy ways of life.
Several regulatory specialists from the Department addressed industry-specific challenges and suggest Best Management Practices (BMPs) that the marine industry can implement to ensure not only regulatory compliance, but a higher level of environmental protection. For example, by learning proper vessel pressure washing techniques, attendees can protect Florida’s water bodies from contaminants such as oil, grease, paint chips and barnacles.
Other BMPs include:
- Establishing a stormwater pollution prevention plan.
- Establishing a used oil and petroleum management plan.
- Installing pumpout connections at convenient locations and provide clear instructions for operating them.
- Keeping storage units locked except during times when a trained facility employee is available to monitor proper waste segregation, as well as posting signs that indicate wastes can only be put in storage under the supervision of facility personnel.
The Florida Clean Marina Programs are designed to bring awareness to marine facilities and boaters regarding environmentally friendly practices intended to protect and preserve Florida’s natural environment. These marinas exceed the level needed for compliance. Since 2000, the Florida Clean Marina Program has recognized 263 marinas, 38 boatyards and 17 marine retailers for their voluntary dedication to protecting Florida’s aquatic resources.