CLEAN MARINAS COLORADO Celebrates 2 Years and a New ONLINE CLASSROOM!

Denver, Colorado - September, 2012

The Clean Marinas Colorado program is 2 years old this season and proudly announces the successful certification of nine (9) Clean Colorado Marinas to date.  In addition, the Clean Boating Colorado campaign has launched, with boater-directed brochures and visibility through the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Colorado Lake and Reservoir Management Association and the participating Certified Clean Marinas themselves. 
 
With a solid reputation and traction among some of Colorado’s most prominent marinas and water-conscious audience, the program is now evolving into its second stage of life with a new ONLINE CLASSROOM for marina operators - offering complete Clean Marina training online. Marina owners and operators will now have a resource they can access 24/7 to assist in the certification process: The Clean Marina Classroom.  This self-paced, online course includes details on recommended and mandatory practices of the Clean Marina Program.  It includes photos and videos of best practices, nine classroom units and a review of relevant laws and regulations. Most marina operators complete the course within a few weeks. 
 
“The online Clean Marina Classroom has been developed by Michigan Sea Grant and the Great Lakes Clean Marina Consortium. They have done a great job making this process available in a format that now allows a marina operator to go through the entire process at his own pace, as time allows,” reports Paul Clukies, Executive Director of the Colorado Marina Association. The Online Classroom will be accessible through the Colorado Marina Association web site: (www.coloradomarinas.org ) in the very near future.  While some minor web site customizations to the individual classroom module sections may evolve over time, the intent of the content is consistent throughout all of the Clean Marina Programs in 30 states today.    
 
As participants in the program, marinas voluntarily pledge to maintain and improve Colorado’s waterways by reducing or eliminating releases of harmful substances and phasing out practices that can damage aquatic environments.  In order to receive official certification as a Colorado Clean Marina, participants need to complete a 10-step process <http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/cmp/about.html> , including training, a self-evaluation checklist and a site visit.  Certified marinas strive for continuous improvement in daily environmental stewardship practices.  Benefits of becoming a certified Clean Marina are:
 
• Reducing insurance and waste disposal costs
• Reducing pollution and improving water quality
• Protecting fish and wildlife habitat
• Enhancing public image by promoting environmentally sound practices
 
The new format will allow marina operators to go through the Clean Marina certification process with easy-to-understand instructions and examples.  With the best practice videos and photos, it walks you through the most important parts of the program in an easy format.  “We are excited about the Online Classroom and view it as a step toward further encouraging and facilitating participation from all marinas in the state,” commented Clukies.
 
Clean Marinas Colorado is a voluntary recognition program that targets marinas, boatyards and individual boaters - providing education and outreach activities that help maintain or restore water quality in Colorado’s major waterways.  The program was developed in collaboration with U.S. EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - nonpoint source program.  Key partners include the US Coast Guard Auxiliary - Mile High Flotilla and the Colorado Lake & Reservoir Management Association (CLRMA).