Port of Chestertown Earns Maryland Clean Marina Award

The Port of Chestertown Marina recently passed inspection by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and will earn the Maryland Clean Marina Award. This award brings Maryland’s total number of Clean Marinas and Clean Marina Partners to 147 – about 30% of the marinas in Maryland. In Kent County, 22% of the estimated 31 marinas are certified as Clean Marinas.

As part of their environmental initiatives, Port of Chestertown staff developed spill response plans and installed a response kit, designed their building to capture stormwater and direct it to ‘rain gardens’ for treatment, and the port provides trash bags at their boat launch to encourage boaters to retrieve debris while on the water. The rain gardens were designed and are maintained by the nonprofit ShoreRivers, which has an office at the marina.

“We are very proud of the new marina that is a product of a lot of local and state support,” marina manager Paul Coleman said. “We want to operate and maintain it at the highest standards and that means earning the Clean Marina certification.”

For a boating facility to earn certification as a Clean Marina, program staff evaluate participating marinas, boatyards, or yacht clubs on areas such emergency preparedness, waste containment/disposal and stormwater management. To pass, the marina must score from 75% to 85% in each area of the Award Checklist by implementing practices from the Maryland Clean Marina Guidebook.

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Clean Marinas are re-inspected every three years to ensure they continue to meet the award’s criteria. The program was developed in 1998 by a committee of marina and boatyard operators, state and local government, academics and boating groups with the goal of reducing nonpoint source pollution from marine facilities and recreational boats.

Boaters are encouraged to participate by signing the Maryland Clean Boater Pledge and patronizing certified Clean Marinas. To learn more about the program or to seek certification, contact donna.morrow@maryland.gov or visit the Clean Marina website.