marinas as “clean marinas” after they met a series of environmental criteria this year.
The five marinas earning the designation were: Long Creek Marina, Bent Hook, Indian Point, Table Rock State Park Marina and Chateau on the Lake. Holly Neill, a clean marina program administrator with the Missouri Stream Team Watershed Coalition, said 5 of 12 participants in the program earned the designation in 2014, the pilot year for the program.
Marinas like Long Creek Marina on the southeast end of Table Rock Lake are places where people come and go all day as they soak up the sun on a holiday like Labor Day
weekend. Those exchanges mean big business, but it also means leftover bait, trash and chemical run-off can get left behind.
Long Creek Assistant Manager Aaron Kaylor said Saturday those environmental risks are why his business aimed to get the clean marina designation.
"It’s basically a voluntary program that we're going through that basically educates the public on best management practices and environmental standards for working and playing on the water," Kaylor said.
To get everyone on board, Long Creek's staff is trained on what to do and slip holders have a set of policies they have to follow. These policies govern everything from emergency procedures to how to properly get rid of waste and hazardous materials.
The clean marina application considered how marinas handle emergencies, boat maintenance, marina operations, hazardous materials, petroleum containment, wastewater, solid waste, liquid waste, fish waste, storm water runoff and environmental programs.
The marinas had to meet all the mandatory criteria within each of the categories. Within each category, there were certain practices that could earn the marina additional points. To ultimately receive the clean marina designation, each marina had to meet all the mandatory criteria as well as earn 40 percent or more of the possible additional points.
Neill said although only five of the twelve marinas made the cut in 2014, the marinas recognize the importance of aiming for the designation.
"This allows them to showcase their commitment, Neill said. “A lot of the patrons at the marinas don't really know how the marinas operate or the connection with water quality,
and so the incentives are the marinas really get to showcase how their protecting our waterways that people enjoy across the Ozarks."
Kaylor said clean water is crucial to luring people back not just to Long Creek but to all local lakes.
"We live here, we play here,” Kaylor said. “We need to look at things from that perspective in how we're going to leave it. We need to make sure it’s good and clean for the next generation."
The clean marina program is a pilot on Table Rock this year but Ozarks water watch and the stream team coalition are hoping to extend it to other lakes in the state soon.
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