The Association of Marina Industries hosted 20 representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on a tour Tuesday of two marinas in Baltimore.
The intent was to educate those who contract with, regulate, provide grants to or otherwise work with marinas and boatyards about how the marinas are constructed, how they operate and who their customers are.
Anchorage Marina and Tidewater Yachting Center were the tour sites, with managers Jim Ruscoe and Bob Brandon providing overviews of their facilities and operations.
Susan Zellers, executive director of the Marine Trades Association of Maryland, talked about the economic and recreational value of marinas in Maryland. Donna Morrow, coordinator of the state’s Clean Marina program, also gave a presentation.
Zellers emphasized that there is seemingly no connection between a regulation being passed and how that regulation is implemented. She gave the example that pressure-wash wastewater is to be collected and recycled or turned out to public sewers, but public sewage treatment plants in Maryland are refusing to take the waste, leaving marina operators with no options.
The group had questions that ranged from why marinas don't take advantage of grant programs to the environmental best management practices they incorporate and the biggest challenges they face.
“Too often it seems those who work with our industry know nothing about what we do, so we felt this opportunity to see a marina firsthand and ask any questions went a long way in building a better understanding of marinas and a better relationship between federal agencies and marinas,” Wendy Larimer, legislative coordinator of AMI and organizer of the tour, said in a statement.
AMI plans to run more marina tours for federal agencies in the coming months.