Marina of the Year award handed out

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Bill Bird Marina, at Haulover Park in Miami, is the recipient of this year's National Marina Day Marina of the Year award.

The award was announced at the recent International Marina and Boatyard Conference in Tampa, Fla. National Marina Day is managed by the Association of Marina Industries.

Bill Bird Marina celebrated National Marina Day by dedicating the completion of the 10-year marina expansion project, which grew the marina from 39 slips to 150. The marina hosted an all-day event that included tours of the facility, fishing demos, canoe and kayak rides, dragon boat rides and races, safety vessel tours and many other activities.

One of the highlights was when 75 summer camp youth embarked on their first fishing trip courtesy of the marina and two donated drift fishing boats.

"The deciding factor on choosing Bill Bird was their effective use of the media to reach out to the entire community and invite them to the day and then ensure that their visitors were introduced to the marina lifestyle and water recreation," said Wendy Larimer, coordinator of National Marina Day for the AMI, in a statement.

"Their event gave a positive light to what marinas do every day in providing access to our waters and beautiful waterfront vistas and hopefully some new boaters were born from their experience at this event," she added.

Besides receiving a plaque and recognition for their efforts, the marina will also be the site of the opening June 12 event for National Marina Day 2010.