The Georgia Strait Alliance says its Clean Marine BC program is a chance for boating facilities to show environmental leadership. File photo

Georgia Strait Alliance promoting green marinas program in Campbell River

Clean Marine BC aims to reduce impacts of recreational boating facilities

The Georgia Strait Alliance says it’s visiting marinas in Campbell River to help them curb pollution and other ecological impacts.

It’s part of a 10-day tour of central Vancouver Island that’s meant to promote Clean Marine BC, an eco-certification program run by the group. The program has been in place since 2007, and 52 facilities take part, including 16 on Vancouver Island – but none in the central Vancouver Island area, according to the group.

“This is an important opportunity for the Clean Marine BC program to gauge the awareness of boating facilities from Sayward to Nanaimo about their impacts on the water, ” said Michelle Young, the program coordinator, in a Dec. 11 news release.

The program is focussed on the Strait of Georgia, although it also includes a yacht club in Kelowna. The federal government’s Department of Environment and Climate Change is now funding an effort to bring the program to the Nanaimo-Sayward corridor, Young said.

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Young noted in a message to the Mirror that boating carries inherent risks to the environment, including contamination from pollutant discharge, and that marinas can help reduce environmental risk by taking part in the program.

She added that the group would support marinas in showing leadership on environmental stewardship.

Clean Marine BC involves a “five-anchor rating program that recognizes marinas and other boating facilities for their environmental best practices,” according to the group.

Improvements may include upgrading docks to enclosed flotation – which prevents bits of foam from eroding and entering the water – waste reduction, and greywater recycling systems that repurpose water from sinks, showers and laundry facilities, turning it into water for toilets.

The environmental organization also produces a “Guide to Green Boating” that is available online. The 24-page guide includes tips on how boaters can minimize their ecological impact, including harmful wildlife interactions.

Young plans to be in Campbell River on Thursday and Friday next week, according to the group. Interested marinas can contact her at cmbc@georgiastrait.org.


@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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