ORIENTAL – The 110-slip Oriental Harbor Marina is the newest to be certified a North Carolina Clean Marina, the state Department of Environmental Quality announced Monday.
The marina in Pamlico County, located where Green and Smith creeks flow into the Neuse River, was certified June 14 and now flies the Clean Marina flag.
To earn the Clean Marina certification, participating marina operators must complete an evaluation form about their use of specific best management practices and prepare spill-prevention plans to protect water quality. They must also control boat maintenance activities and incorporate safety and emergency planning for their facilities, according to the Division of Coastal Management, which oversees the voluntary program.
Mark Crowder, dockmaster at the association-owned marina, said that he suggested the certification to his board because he thought it was a good, common-sense idea and the board agreed.
“The reason for this is that boaters that use the water, in general, want to keep the water clean and nice and get out and enjoy it,” Crowder said in a statement.
Meeting qualification standards were not difficult, he said, because most of what was required the marina was already doing. The marina already had a pump-out station. Only a couple of small changes were needed.
“The Clean Marina program is a prime example of a voluntary, non-regulatory effort within state government that helps protect our valuable coastal resources,” said Braxton Davis, director of the Division of Coastal Management. “The program also boosts the economy, as boaters want to use the marinas that have the Clean Marina status because it shows they care about protecting water quality.”
Clean Marina is a nationwide program developed by the nonprofit National Marine Environmental Education Foundation that works to clean up waterways for better recreational boating. The North Carolina program is a partnership between the Division of Coastal Management, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, North Carolina Sea Grant, the U.S. Power Squadron and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
For more information about clean marinas and how to apply for Clean Marina status, visit the Clean Marinas Program website.