South Florida marina details environmental plan

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Sunset Harbour Yacht Club in Miami Beach, Fla., is instituting sustainable upgrades and new infrastructure designed to further prevent marine pollution and preserve surrounding wildlife, the yacht club said.

As a Florida-designated Clean Marina, Sunset Harbour said it already takes measures to address critical environmental problems such as sensitive habitat, waste management, storm water control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness.

The yacht club recently has taken additional steps:

• It has contracted with a private firm to install a water-quality monitoring device that can track water flow, sediment buildup and chemical and biological factors and alert local agencies if there is a spill.

• It is pursuing wind and water generation devices that would meet the self-sustaining needs of the marina and foster the creation of additional energy.

• It has switched from wood to eco-friendly fiberglass composite pilings made by Pearson Pilings. They are stronger than wood, steel or concrete pilings, have a lifespan of more than 100 years because they don’t rot or rust and contain no chemical preservatives to leach into the water.

• Pressure-treated wood decking is being replaced with marine hybrid deck panels that are composed of 55 percent rice hulls and 45 percent recycled plastic and are fully recyclable.

• Future plans include possibly creating a natural reef under the yacht club’s docks as a wave attenuation device that would benefit Biscayne Bay.

“SHYC is setting a precedent in the marine industry by partnering with several organizations to implement stronger measures to protect the environment,” yacht club general manager Doug Mason said in a statement. “These socially responsible initiatives will not only reduce SHYC’s carbon footprint, but preserve our waterways for future boating generations.”

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