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Water: Polluted Runoff

Marinas and Boating

Fact Sheets and Reports | Guidance Documents and Manuals | Special Programs

Geese on marina pier

There is a growing awareness of the potential sources of nonpoint source pollution from marinas and boating. (Photo courtesy of EPA)

Pump out station

Pump out stations at marinas allow boaters to safely dispose of their sanitary system's contents without dumping wastes into the water.

Marinas and recreational boating are very popular uses of coastal waters. The growth of recreational boating, along with the growth of coastal development in general, has led to an increased awareness of the need to protect the environmental quality of our waterways. Because marinas are located right at the water's edge, there is a strong potential for marina waters to become contaminated with pollutants generated from the various activities that occur at marinas—such as boat cleaning, fueling operations and marine head discharge—or from the entry of stormwater runoff from parking lots and hull maintenance and repair areas into marina basins.

The Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990, known as CZARA, require that EPA describe sets of management measures to be used for the control of pollution from various nonpoint sources, including marinas and recreational boating. States will incorporate these measures into their own nonpoint source pollution control programs to help achieve water quality standards.

Fact Sheets and Reports

Guidance Documents and Manuals

Special Programs

  • Clean Marina Initiative
    The Clean Marina Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program promoted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and others that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures.

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