Port Of Snow Hill Newest Clean Marina Partner

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The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has certified the Port of Snow Hill (Worcester County) as the newest certified Maryland Clean Marina Partner, bringing the number of Clean Marina Partners to 25. Along with 115 larger Clean Marinas, Maryland now boasts 140 certified facilities.

“I want to congratulate the Port of Snow Hill and its management for their Clean Marina certification,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The Port should serve as an example for other marinas and for all Marylanders, that with only a little extra effort we can all move towards a more sustainable future.”

Partners are small facilities, without many amenities who primarily serve small, trailered boats as opposed to long term slip holders. They are usually public boat ramps or landings, such as Port of Snow Hill, or community marinas, and educational facilities.

The Clean Marina Program is a voluntary program for marine facilities that want to reduce their impact on Maryland’s waterways by implementing “best management practices” outlined in the Maryland Clean Marina Guidebook. Certification also includes passing a site inspection by DNR staff for the initial certification, and again every three years to maintain certification. Approximately 23 percent of marinas in the state are now certified Clean Marinas.

The Port of Snow Hill is comprised of three small public parks, along the Pocomoke River. Each park offers slightly different amenities including fishing areas, two boat ramps, and short term dockage for boats up to 30’ in some areas and up to 40’ in another. The Sturgis Park area has a pump-out station, to remove sewage from vessel holding tanks. The primary thing that Park Manager Rick Merritt did to meet award criteria was to step up their environmental outreach to visitors on issues such as trash, recycling, and sewage.

“Using a bulletin board and materials provided by the Clean Marina Program helped us to increase our outreach to visitors about environmental and safety issues. We also give out oil absorbent pads and tip cards the program provided, which the visitors are happy to receive and use,” said Merritt.

“We are pleased to have another municipal boating facility added to the growing list of Clean Marina Partners. These facilities help us reach the many boaters who launch and retrieve smaller boats, instead of using marinas for long term dockage. Statistically, there are far more trailered boats using ramps, than larger boats kept in the water. It’s important that we connect with the boating facilities they use, to help educate this large group of boaters,” said Clean Marina Program manager Donna Morrow.

Marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs of any size are encouraged to learn more about the voluntary Clean Marina Initiative developed with both industry and government input. Marina operators can visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/boating/cleanmarina/, send an email to dmorrow@dnr.state.md.us or call 410-260-8773.

source: DNR press release

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