4.3A – Education and Outreach for Boaters

Management Measure

Implement educational programs to provide greater understanding of watersheds, and to raise awareness about what marinas are doing to control and prevent adverse impacts on ground and surface waters. Public education and outreach programs should involve the community (e.g., waterfront agencies, boat-related service providers, environmental groups, surfers, swimmers, and fisherman).

Management Practices

For Marina Owners and Operators

  • Educate and train marina staff to do their jobs in an environmentally conscious manner and to be good role models for marina visitors.
  • Promote recycling and trash reduction programs. Tell your visitors via signage (in multiple languages as appropriate) what they can recycle and where to put recyclables. Provide information on local waste collection and recycling programs and provide pet waste bags.
  • Provide information on what your marina is doing to prevent pollution. For example, if your marina is Clean Marina Certified, provide signage and information about the program near the flag or pendant.
  • Engage the public to participate in programs such as Citizen Monitoring, Dock Walkers, and Clean Marina Certifications.


  • California Clean Marina Program, is an ongoing endeavor, by a marina industry alliance, determined to provide environmentally clean facilities and protect the state’s coastal and inland waters from pollution through compliance of management practices.

General Resources

  • Boat U.S. Foundation, Boater’s Toolbox provides information about boating safety and includes safe and clean fueling tips, information on marine sanitation devices, and litter prevention laws and requirements.
  • California Clean Boating Network is collaboration of government, environmental, business, boating, and academic organizations working toward clean boating education in California. The Website contains information on the organization’s publication, Changing Tides, and a variety of projects geared toward public education and the promotion of green boating practices.
  • California Coastal Commission, Boating Clean and Green Campaign, The Boat Maintenance Checklist assists persons conducting boat maintenance and repair or contractors in implementing management practices for minimizing the generation of hazardous wastes, discharges of pollutants to inland and coastal waters, and air pollution discharges. The checklist also addresses management practices that include methods for the proper disposal or recycling of hazardous and solid wastes.
  • California Coastal Commission, Boating Clean and Green Campaign, The California Clean Marina Toolkit is designed to help marina operators manage and operate their facility as a "clean marina." The Toolkit includes several components designed to assist marina operators in identifying clean marina practices and resources that will help them to implement those practices. The Toolkit has four sections: The first section, The California Clean Marina Guidebook, provides recommended practices for addressing particular pollution problems. The second section, Educating Boaters at Your Marina, is designed to assist marina operators in educating their customers to be partners in the clean marina effort. The third section, Environmental Strategies: Case Studies, examines a series of diverse marinas in California and what they have done to operate as clean marinas. The last section, Information and Resources, identifies sources for additional information on topics addressed in the Guidebook.
  • Marine Environmental Education Foundation, Bibliography of National Clean Boating and Clean Marina Websites provides links to manuals, pamphlets, action plans, educational materials, and other types of resources pertaining to clean boating and marinas from all over the Web, acting as a clearinghouse for management practices and policies to reduce pollutants from marinas and recreational boating activities.
  • NOAA, Clean Marinas Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally.
  • University of California Cooperative Extension, Marina Pollution Prevention Manual describes important components of pollution prevention at recreational boating facilities. It covers pollution sources, hazardous waste management, spill response, marina staff procedures and training, San Diego County agency and service contacts, and publications for distribution among marina staff, contractors, and boaters.


USEPA. 2001. National Management Measures Guidance to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Marinas and Recreational Boating. EPA 841-B-01-005. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.

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