Oriental Harbor Marina joins North Carolina Clean Marina program

Morehead City
Oriental Harbor Marina has something to brag about. It is the newest facility certified as a North Carolina Clean Marina, a designation given to marinas that exceed minimum regulatory requirements.
This 110-slip marina, situated where Green and Smith creeks flow into the Neuse River, received its certification June 14. It now flies the Clean Marina flag signaling to boaters that it cares about the cleanliness of area waterways.
Mark Crowder, dockmaster at the association-owned marina, said he suggested the certification to his board because he thought it was a good, common-sense idea. The association 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.
Meeting qualification standards were not difficult, Crowder said.
“Most of the things that were required we were already doing,” Crowder said. The marina already had a pump-out station. Only a couple of small changes were needed, he said.
Clean Marina is a voluntary program under the Division of Coastal Management in which participating marina operators must complete an evaluation form about their use of specific best management practices to protect water quality. To earn the certification, the marina’s owners control boat maintenance activities and prepare spill prevention plans to protect water quality. Marina operators also incorporate safety and emergency planning for their facilities.

“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 N.C. 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 National Marine Environmental Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to clean up waterways for better recreational boating. The foundation encourages states to adopt Clean Marina principles to fit their own needs.

The North Carolina program is a partnership between the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, N.C. 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, go to http://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-recognition/clean-marinas-program.

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