MARINAS PREPARE FOR MARINE OIL SPILLS
Eleven facilities involved in the Clean Marine BC program hone their skills
FUEL SPILLS ARE SOMETHING MARINAS and boaters take great care to avoid because they know that any type of oil spill—even small ones from overfilling fuel tanks by a few drops—are harmful to marine life. The ability of marinas and boaters themselves to be able to promptly execute an effective cleanup plays such an important role in the health and resilience of our waters.
Planning, preparedness and response depends on marinas and their staff having knowledge and training that is up-to-date and readily deployable. Marinas are often the first line of defense for boaters when faced with a spill.
Marinas also help boaters to understand the roles and responsibilities of individuals and agencies involved in spill response measures. They provide clarity on the steps boaters can take when fuel spills happen at the boatyard or marina, and they can help to increase spill response awareness and education at their facilities and throughout their communities.
To support Clean Marine Bc-certified marinas with their spill response programs, Georgia Strait Alliance convened a theoretical and hands-on spill response training session for small spills during the winter at False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf in Vancouver. Participating marinas refreshed their knowledge and honed their preparation and response skills, ensuring they’ll be able to effectively deal with a small-scale marine oil spill if one happens at their facility.
“We’re a busy commercial fishing harbour, and spills can happen,” says Mike Loy, Harbour Manager of False Creek Harbour Authority. “It’s our job to be
ready to react. For me, the practical element of the training was extremely valuable; we’ll be taking some new knowledge and skills back to our harbour.”
Through its Clean Marine BC program, Georgia Strait Alliance provides solutions to the boating community that mitigate harm to the waters along BC’S southern coast. In the case of its new training session for marinas, the organization is supporting increased spill awareness and better response planning and execution so that the cleanup of any small amounts of oil that end up in our water is as quick and effective as possible.
Michelle Young is Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC Program Coordinator. She would be happy to speak with your marina, yacht club, or harbour authority about joining the 30 members of Clean Marine BC, a voluntary eco-certification program. Additional boating resources available include the Guide to Green Boating and the Marina Best Practices Handbook | firstname.lastname@example.org | 250-753-3459.