In March of 2013, the Clean and Resilient Marina Initiative was launched as a Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) project, with partners in the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The program aims to significantly increase regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.
GOMA made it a priority to provide marina operators and owners with strategies and practices to better design, develop and manage their marinas before, during and after a storm.
The Clean and Resilient Marina Program calls for the “promotion and expansion of resilient and environmentally responsible operations and best management practices at marinas.” It builds on the Clean Marina Certification Programs proven throughout the Gulf of Mexico states. This improved program complements Clean Marina practices already in place and provides additional recommendations to strengthen marinas’ ability to withstand natural and human disasters.
Hurricanes are prevalent in Florida, and preparedness is vital to the operation of a successful marina. The very active and costly hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 serve as evidence of the importance of being prepared early and for the worst. Boat owners and marina operators, especially those along the coast, should consider hurricane preparation part of normal boat and marina maintenance. Just a few unprepared boats can inflict incredible damage on a marina, as can unsecured facilities and equipment. Marina managers must begin early in developing a formal, orderly written plan to help them enrich resiliency.
A wealth of information on Clean and Resilient strategies is available through resource programs online. To assist with Clean and Resilient efforts, GOMA created a guidebook, educational brochure and policy guide to promote environmentally responsible operations and best management practices at marinas in the Gulf region.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) additionally distributes resources for hurricane safety and preparedness, which include emergency planning, evacuation and recovery materials.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.