EPA honors two marina industry reps

BOSTON – Marina industry representatives Neil W. Ross and Susan Swanton were recently honored with 2004 Environmental Merit Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s New England office at an April 22 Earth Day ceremony in Boston’s Faneuil Hall, according to an EPA press release.

The EPA said its merit awards honor individuals who have shown “particular ingenuity and commitment in their efforts to preserve the region’s environment.”

“Neil Ross and Susan Swanton deserve our thanks for extraordinary contributions in protecting the boating environment,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England Office. “Each has shown us that anyone can make a big difference, whether at work, at home, or in their neighborhood.”

Ross is cofounder of the International Marina Institute and the Marine Environmental Educational Foundation, and also helped craft the federal Clean Vessel Act of 1992, providing funding to marinas for the installation and maintenance of pumpout facilities, according to the release.

“Neil has been a tireless proponent of clean marina programs and clean boating programs across the country,” said Ann Rodney, EPA award sponsor. “Among his successes are the National Clean Boating Campaign and state clean marina programs across the country, with efforts underway in all five coastal New England states.”

Swanton is executive director of the Maine Marine Trades Association, and has shown “enormous leadership” in making marinas in Maine and the rest of New England more environmentally friendly, according to Rodney.

Rodney said Swanton has certified marinas and boatyards under the Maine Clean Marina Program, helped Maine conduct a study of the environmental effects of pressure washing which will serve as a basis for permits across New England, and overseen MMTA workshops that trained over 100 marina and boatyard owners in environmental regulations and best practices.

“Everyone of these efforts is among the first in the region and many are being used as models in other New England states and across the country,” Rodney said.

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