SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. — In a series of briefings at last week’s Marina Recreation Association 38th annual Educational Conference and Trade Show, MRA members were unified in opposition to a proposed coastal marina permit regulation being developed by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), according to a release from the group.
The proposed permit mandates periodic analysis of water and bottom sediment for coastal marinas with more than ten slips and is primarily designed to target copper in marine sediment.
According to the MRA, the permit regulations now under consideration stipulate violations if anything unidentified drifts into a marina. These objects must then be reported and tested, and fines can result.
“The permit places the cost of monitoring water quality and bottom sediment pollution onto the marina owners and operators,” MRA reported in the release. “It also ignores the fact that marinas in operation over many years (and there are many of them) may have accumulated metals in their sediments completely unrelated to bottom paints, and the evidence linking these metals to the marina and to effects on local biology is scarce. Finally, the permit suggests the state could actively limit the occupancy of a marina as a remediation method.”
Randy Short, president of ALMAR Marinas and a past president of MRA, said the proposed regulation is the greatest threat to the industry in the last 20 years.
“It will have a serious detrimental effect on an industry that already is a leader in environmental responsibility and pro-active clean-water management,” Short said in the release. “If we don’t have clean water, we don’t have boating, and we know it.”
As currently drafted, the regulation applies to coastal marinas. Short said inland and fresh water marinas would likely be next.
“We educate and police ourselves at no expense to the state and the results are evident everywhere there are marinas and boaters,” MRA President Jim Hayes said in the release. “The Clean Marinas Program, administered by the MRA, is an ongoing example of the initiative of this industry in respect to water quality. This regulation appears to have no other purpose than to place the boating community in the crosshairs of ideologues with no appreciation for the importance of boating to the economy or the quality of life in California.”
To read the group’s complete release, click here.