Blue Community Program Coastal Sustainability Best Practices

Michigan Clean Marina Program


“We enjoy being here because it’s clean, and neat…we all have to do our part to keep Michigan waters beautiful.” —Dave Williams, Walstrom Marine patron


    This is the reason that Michigan Clean Marina Program gave to people on why clean marinas are so important. With the development of nationally and internationally economy, Marina’s construction, operation, development, could beneficially bring the positive effects on economy and society, but also could impact the local environment and ecosystem. It’s like a double-edged sword, local government should find a best-balanced way to protect the environment while they are developing, in order to keep the local sustainability.

    The clean marina program’s management team mentioned, If the marinas are not clean and well-managed, it could destroy the local environment and ecosystem by the following aspects. First, sewage discharge. During the operation of the ship, the distention of discharging, scattering, or removing some pollutants into the ocean, would seriously affect the seabed environment and deep-sea benthic communities. Shipbuilding and ship repairing, scrapping and salvaging, would produce the different degree of oil pollutants. Domestic waste and food waste will be dumped into the water. These will have a special but unignored impact on the local marine environment. In other cases, such as sewage, ship oil spill, dangerous chemicals, can also cause a significant impact on the environment. Second, significant coastal changes. The natural environment, the whole ecosystem, the associated wave, control and so on would be affected by the marinas if the system is bad-managed. The breakwater and other measures will inevitably change the wave and tidal current characteristics of the coastal area and could cause the change of sediment erosion and pollutant migration. Third, the dust, noise, gas and sewage by the operation. The marinas which in the daily operation period, due to the cargo handling operations and other production activities of dust, noise, odor, and emissions would have a significant impact on water quality and air quality. It will bring the bad influence to the human body and the destruction of the ecological environment.

    Michigan as one of the significant well-managed marinas state in the US, highly encourage boaters to keep the marinas clean, in order to keep the local environment and ecosystem balanced and sustainably developed. The Michigan Clean Marinas programs began in 2005, there are more than 30 marinas have been recertified, and keep behaving commitment to keep Michigan waters clean. They have provided the clear steps and training to the society about the importance to keep marina clean and the benefits to get the clean marinas certification. It could conclude as four points:

  1. Reduce the pollution and improving water quality
  2. Economically, Reduce the insurance and waste disposal costs.
  3. Protect the wildlife, include marine animals living habitat
  4. Enhance the public image by promoting environmentally sound practices.

    As they conclude, to prevent things from happening is always more important than solving the problem after things happened. Michigan Clean Marina program give other state government and marina management team a good example.

(Michigan's certified clean marina)

(Promotion by Michigan Clean Marinas Program) 



Zhao, D. (2017). Michigan Clean Marina Program. Retrieved from


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