The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and marinas in the state used National Marina Day to underscore the economic importance of the marine industry to the region.
The department’s Office of Sustainable Initiatives hosted a Clean Marina designation ceremony Monday at Bluewater Bay Marina Complex in Niceville, Fla., to highlight the regional impact of the marine industry while stressing the need for healthy, clean waterways.
“Florida’s $16.8 billion boating industry depends on clean water,” Sustainable Initiatives director Brad Stombock said in a statement. “National Marina Day provides an opportunity for marinas to educate boaters and the community about the important environmental practices they can implement to protect Florida’s waters.”
Bluewater Bay Marina was recognized by the department’s Clean Marina Program as the 258th Clean Marina in Florida.
Darryl Boudreau, the department’s Northwest District assistant director, and local industry representatives recognized Bluewater Bay Marina for addressing critical environmental issues such as sensitive habitat, waste management, stormwater control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness.
Florida has more than 920,000 registered motorized boats and about 2,000 marinas — the largest number of marine facilities in the country.
Drawing millions of visitors each year, Florida’s clear waters, world-class beaches and coral reefs support a $67.3 billion tourism industry and a fishing industry that injects more than $8.3 billion a year into Florida’s communities.
The Florida Clean Marina Program is a collaborative effort between businesses and government to promote the sustainable use of materials and marina resources.