Clean Marina BMPs

Marina Best Management Practices (BMPs)

BMPs are intended to be practical and affordable actions that can reduce pollution at the source, but they will only work with everyone’s participation. By effectively implementing source control measures now, marinas and marina tenants may be able to avoid more expensive and restrictive measures being placed on the boating public by regulatory agencies in the future. By adopting the following BMPs, we can show our commitment to preserving the surrounding environment in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act.

Commercial Activity

  • Boat hulls with soft or ablative anti-fouling paint shall not be scrubbed or cleaned in the Marina by divers or with underwater scrubbing devices. Approved haul-out facilities must be used for these coatings. Mechanical devices or scrapers, or any process that removes paint underwater may not be used.

  • Divers are not allowed to leave any sort of material in the water including film, debris or zinc.

  • Contractors must dispose of their own waste off site. The marina is not permitted to handle hazardous wastes generated by commercial operators or maintenance contractors.

Engines and Bilges

  • Absolutely no oil, fuel, or anti-freeze is to be discharged into the marina. Use absorbent pads to soak up oil and fuel in bilges.

  • Do not pump contaminated bilge water into the marina. Install a manual bilge pump shutoff switch to avoid discharging contaminated bilge water.

  • Never drain oil, antifreeze or other liquids into the bilge. Use pumps to drain engine oil directly. Recycle all waste oil and antifreeze on shore.

  • Do not dispose of fuel, oil or filters in the dumpsters. Recycle oil, antifreeze and oil filters at appropriate shore-side facilities. Do not mix any other fluid with waste oil when pouring into recycling tanks. Waste oil contaminated with other materials cannot be readily recycled and disposal costs increase dramatically.

  • Do not use detergents or soaps on fuel, oil or otherwise contaminated bilge water. While enzyme-based bilge cleaners are generally safe to use, it may take some time before the oil sheen is gone. It is best to remove contaminated water and dispose of it appropriately at on-shore facilities. The discharge of emulsified oil is a violation of state law. Use absorbent pads.

  • In Washington State, boats that are over 26’ in length are required to display an “Oil Discharge is Prohibited” placard near the bilge pump switch (placards are available at most marine supply stores). Fines for discharging oil from a bilge can amount to as much as $20,000 per day per violation.

Boat Fueling

  • Report oil and fuel spills immediately to Washington State’s hotline at 1(800) OILS-911 and the National Response Center 1-800-424-8802. If you cause a spill, stop it at the source and start to clean it up immediately. Do not pour liquid detergent onto the spill; this is illegal, makes recovery impossible and makes the spill worse under the surface.

  • Do not “top-off” or overfill tanks. Know your fuel tank capacity and don’t wait for fuel to spill out of the overflow vent to indicate full. Place a bucket or an absorbent pad at the fuel vent in case of accidental overflow. Special No-Spill containers are available at marine supply stores for this purpose. Remember warm weather and direct sunlight can cause expansion and a fuel vent spill even after fueling is completed. In-line fuel/air separators and indicator whistles can be installed to reduce fuel vent spills.

  • Do not hose down accidental fuel spills. Do not use detergents or soaps to clean up fuel and oil spills. Use absorbent pads when feasible.

Sewage and Gray Water

  • Do not discharge sewage directly overboard. Discharge within three (3) miles of land is illegal and subject to fines up to $2,000.

  • Y-valves must be safety wired to ensure sewage flows into holding tank only.

  • Store sewage in holding tanks and dispose of properly at a pump-out station or use a pump-out service.

  • Even treated sewage is a threat to the shallow water environments. Do not discharge treated sewage (including Coast Guard approved MSD’s) while in the marina.

  • Minimize detergent usage and oily food waste in on-board sinks and showers. Scrape off table scraps and dispose of in the trash. Use shore side facilities whenever possible.

Vessel Cleaning

  • Scrub and rinse your boat often. A quick rinse after each outing reduces the need to scrub the top-side with harsh cleaners.

  • If cleaners are used, no visible suds or discoloration of the water are permitted. Spot clean or use small amounts of phosphate-free and biodegradable soaps only when necessary. Otherwise, use alternatives such as baking soda or vinegar as all-purpose cleaners. Remember there is no legal discharge of any cleaner to our waters.

Surface Preparation and Refinishing

  • Painting and refinishing of boats (when in the water) is limited to minor touch ups. All work must be contained.  Major work involving more than 25% of the boats above water surface areas must occur on land at a permitted boatyard. Schedule cosmetic work during annual haul-outs.

  • Tarps must be used to capture all dust, drips, and debris. Any discharge to marina waters is a violation of state and federal law. Airborne particles may damage adjacent boats. The open water area between the hull and the dock must be tarped during rail or minor hull work.

  • Do not work from a float or small boat.

  • Limit use of paint, thinners and varnish on board or on the dock to containers of one (1) gallon in size or smaller.

  • All paint mixing must be done on the shore, not the dock or the deck of the vessel. Open cans should be placed inside some type of secondary containment that will catch spills. A five gallon bucket or plastic tote works well for this purpose.

  • Spray painting is not allowed while boats are in the water.

Hazardous Wastes

  • Contact the county to locate an off-site disposal facility. Do not dispose of any liquid paint, solvents or other hazardous wastes in the marina trash receptacles or any solid waste container. Completely dry all paint cans before placing in the trash.

  • All hazardous waste must be disposed of properly. Do not dispose of the following in the marina trash receptacles:

    • Fuel, used oil, used oil filters, antifreeze or transmission fluid

    • Paints, solvents or varnish

    • Batteries

    • Wet shop rags

  • Buy only the amount of materials you need. Use up remaining paint if possible. Take excess paints and chemicals home or dispose of them at the local hazardous waste facility. Do not discard these materials in the sewer or storm drains.

  • Store usable chemicals, coatings and fuels securely on-board to prevent accidental overboard discharge. Do not store any hazardous or flammable materials on the dock, in lockers or elsewhere in the marina.

Solid Waste Disposal

  • Securely store all garbage for shore-side disposal. “If it goes aboard, it comes ashore.”

  • Dispose of all garbage in the marina trash receptacles.

  • Collect all pet waste in plastic bags and dispose of in the marina trash receptacles.

  • Let empty paint cans dry out completely before disposing of them in the marina trash receptacles.

  • Recycle aluminum, cardboard, glass, plastic drink bottles and newspapers.

  • Whenever possible select non-disposable containers for food and other items to minimize waste and chance of losing overboard.

Storm Water and Runoff

  • No pressure washing of any kind is permitted in upland areas except on approved pressure wash pads.

  • No boat or vehicle washing is allowed in marina parking areas.

  • No dumping of any material into storm drains.

Certified Clean Marina

  • Reduce and properly manage hazardous waste
  • Conduct marina operations with the goal of protecting the environment
  • Educate boaters on clean boating practices
  • Demonstrate innovation and environmental leadership