Simple Tips for Healthy and Safe Marinas
Pop Quiz: what’s the most dangerous predator for marine life? Sharks? Nope. Stingrays? Nope. Killer whales? Nope. It’s humans. From discarded trash to oil spills, human waste is quickly polluting and destroying our oceans and coasts.
“Marine debris” or “marine litter” is a type of human-created waste found almost anywhere there is water. Trash and hazardous waste spills can be found in the open ocean, on the seafloor, in rivers and lakes, and along coastal inlets. This affects everyone from the marine life who call the water home to humans who drink that water and even local economies that rely on tourism.
However, even in the most dire situations, like crude oil spills, there are solutions to the problem.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
First things first: stop the plight before it happens. This means using reusable bags and bottles whenever possible, recycling what you can, and avoiding littering.
It’s unfortunate, but humans are lazy. People often toss their trash on the ground (or in the water). We’ve all been guilty of this at least once. But, what if there was always a trash can within reach? That’s the idea Walt Disney had while building Disneyland. He conducted tests and determined that people would dispose of their trash if they could easily find a trash can. That’s why the trash cans at Disney theme parks are never more than 30 feet apart. Installing more trash cans at your marina is an easy way to cut down on pollution.
Avoid Oil Spills
Even small oil spills can wreak havoc on a local ecosystem. Making sure that tenants in your marina are taking simple precautions will benefit everyone. Consider putting up a poster at your marina with these tips:
- Tighten bolts on your engine; they can shake loose with engine use
- Replace worn hydraulic lines before they fail.
- Outfit your engine with an oil tray or drip pan.
- At the pump, avoid overflows by knowing the capacity of your tank and leaving some room for fuel expansion.
- Turn off your bilge pump while refueling.
Prevention is always the most cost-efficient way to keep your marina clean. However, sometimes that simply isn’t an option. Ecological disasters happen every day; some smaller, some larger. If an oil spill is unavoidable or has already occurred, consult an expert like OPG+. Professional companies can provide rapid and safe clean up solutions that will get your marina shipshape in a matter of hours.
Plan a Volunteer Event
Keeping the community involved in the upkeep is key for public and private marinas. Bringing extra hands to help will make the cleanup go faster and instill communal pride that will keep your marina cleaner for longer. You can ask friends, family members, coworkers, and your neighbors to volunteer an hour or two of their time. When officially asked, you may be surprised who’s willing to help. Thanks to social media tools like Facebook, creating events and finding volunteers is easier than ever.
If you are in charge of a volunteer event, make sure to get the necessary access of permission, gather proper supplies (like trash bags, gloves, pickers, and other safety equipment), and make sure there is an easy access point for your volunteers. Cleaning up a marina or other local water area can be a rewarding experience that benefits everyone in the community.