Clean Marina program celebrates 10 years of reducing pollution risks to Great Lakes

Participating marinas implement best stewardship practices, improve water quality.

Marinas that have been certified earn the designation of being a Michigan Clean Marina. Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant
Marinas that have been certified earn the designation of being a Michigan Clean Marina. Photo credit: Michigan Sea Grant

While the boating season is winding down for many, numerous public and private marinas are very busy doing haul-out, winterization and maintenance. Fall is an active season at these harbors and here in Michigan we’re proud that many marinas have chosen to participate in the Michigan Clean Marina Program. By doing so, marinas voluntarily pledge to maintain and improve Michigan’s waterways by reducing or eliminating releases of harmful substances and phasing out practices that can damage aquatic environments. The Michigan program began in 2005 and many marinas are currently in process of certification and/or recertification.

Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Boating Industries Association, and the non-regulatory section of the state Department of Environmental Quality all participate in the Michigan Clean Marina program along with a team of specialists who assist in visiting marinas. This forms a strong partnership and brings value-added tools and information to assist in business and stewardship practices.

Neighboring Great Lakes states also have implemented a Clean Marina program.  Program structure and administration varies, but all programs share the mission to help reduce pollution to coastal waters by encouraging environmentally friendly marina and boating practices.  Six of the 8 Great Lakes states offer Clean Marina certification programs. 

The public-private partnership established over 10 years ago in Michigan is still strong and active. Marinas and boaters have implemented dozens of best stewardship practices at this key interface to our public waters and have helped improve water quality and sustainability.

For more information, contact Erin DeVris, Michigan Sea Grant program coordinator at, or Michigan Sea Grant Extension educator Mark Breederland at

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research, and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 34 university-based programs.

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