Four honored with First Watch awards

WASHINGTON – Four people who influenced and implemented the blueprint for successful Clean Boating and Clean Marina programs recently received “First Watch” Clean Boating awards from Dometic Sanitation Corp., the company said in a recent release.

Presented at the eighth annual National Clean Boating Campaign Celebration, June 17, at James Creek Marina, Washington, DC, the awards were given to:

  • Larry Innis, current chairman of the Marine Environmental Education Foundation
  • Neil Ross of Neil Ross Consultants, Kingston, R.I.
  • E. Steuart Chaney, managing owner, Herrington Harbour Marinas, Friendship, Md.
  • David Gohsman, manager, Gangplank Marina, Washington, D.C.
  • “Successful Clean Boating programs don’t just happen,” said Ed McKiernan, president of Dometic Sanitation Corp., based in Big Prairie, Ohio. “It takes special people to make them happen. Throughout their careers, these four individuals have devoted their resources and expertise to make Clean Boating and Clean Marina programs a truly positive achievement at local, state and national levels.”

    McKiernan said Innis was instrumental in crafting the legislative language leading to the Clean Vessel Act in 1992 while serving as an aide to Congressman Earl Hutto of Florida. As a result of the Clean Vessel Act, there are over 5,000 dockside pumps in operation nationwide today.

    “Innis’ roles in vital marine industry organizations such as MEEF, the National Safe Boating Council, and the Marine Retailers Association of America further underscore his continuing devotion to the cause of clean boating,” McKiernan said.

    McKiernan cited Ross’ history of “over 30 years researching, writing, and educating the boating public and marina operators about the mutual benefits of clean boating and a clean environment. Most notably, he successfully led the campaign to make Clean Vessel Act grant funds available both to privately owned as well as state operated marinas for the installation of dockside pumpout equipment. He is also a past president of MEEF.”

    Chaney was one of the first marina operators to realize the economic value of environmental stewardship as part of service operations, McKiernan said. In the late 1970s, he began transforming outdated marina waterfronts into Herrington Harbour Marinas, a dazzling marina showcase that sets the highest standards for boating accommodations and environmental responsibility on Chesapeake Bay.

    Herrington Harbour Marinas are among first marinas on the Chesapeake Bay to apply for and be granted status as a No Discharge Zone prohibiting the discharge of sewage into their waters.

    McKiernan cited Gohsman’s involvement on the Maryland Clean Marina Committee, and his track record of upgrading marinas in part by demanding no-discharge compliance and providing convenient pump-out services, when presenting him his award.

    Gohsman currently manages Gangplank Marina in Washington, DC, which now pumps out over 126,000 gallons (452,000 liters) of boat sewage annually. Gohsman has especially contributed to the development of best practices for marina operations that have become the basis of Maryland’s Clean Marina program.

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