As the social focus shifts towards environmentalism, proponents of the green movement never tire from pointing fingers at some rather conspicuous targets. It’s not a short list, either. Cities, pipelines, internal combustion engines, factories, you name it, everyone’s a culprit. That also goes for marinas.
But there’s no shortage of marinas who want to be part of the solution. And in being active towards pursuing greener options, a lot of them have demonstrated that other marinas can do their part to alter the climate change path without much negative impact on their bottom lines. In some cases, taking part in the environmental cause, has been a boon to business, especially when their actions draw public attention which leads to a bigger customer base to tap.
Efforts to go greener from marinas around the world
One international initiative involved a marina based in Turkey that won a bronze medal from the Green World Awards in 2018 for its environmental measures. The IC Cesme Marina, situated on the shore of the Aegean Sea, has created a great deal of global attention for efforts that include planting olive trees close to the beach. Another project saw the marina releasing a large colony of mussels into the sea to filter out water pollution.
A similar campaign in Canada, called Clean Marine BC, grants eco-certification to marinas and boating facilities for putting into effect measures ranging from harbor cleanup to waste management. A similar Canadian west coast campaign encouraged the entire community to clean up plastic refuse washing up on shore as well as getting restaurants, including marina eateries to stop using plastic straws.
Back in June 2018, the same month Ocean Day falls in, Malta’s Grand Harbor Marina facilitated a cleanup campaign to clear the beach and waterfront of any plastic and other debris. Members of local yachting clubs also put their vessels in gear to skim the water surface for any floating trash. Meanwhile in Greece, Sani Marina introduced an education program to make the community aware of the need for more sustainable management of beaches, boats, and marinas. That included everyone with a stake in the marina having to stick to 30 eco-friendly criteria to improve the harbor’s water quality.
Workers at London-based St. Katherine Docks embarked on a clever awareness campaign concerning ocean wildlife. It not only partnered with lobby group The Whale Company for a 17-day Source To Sea cleanup challenge, but paddled along the Thames in vessels made from recycled plastic bottles to the House Parliament where they delivered their mission via a message in a bottle!
All the marina participants said that the measures may sound altruistic, but they also make good business sense. One manager at a Grenada marina commented that 90 percent of its visitors were concerned about how eco-friendly the facilities were, confirming that environmental awareness is one consideration for marketing. Others said it was also a way to further connect with the community that shares the same beach environment as the marina. With many people taking part in eco-friendly campaigns, such an involvement not only puts a marina in a better light; it also demonstrates that businesses share the same concerns as the people they serve.
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