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Illinois Clean Marinas

What is the Clean Marina Initiative? 

The Clean Marina Initiative is a voluntary, incentive-based program that encourages marina operators and recreational boaters to protect coastal water quality by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures. The Illinois Clean Marina Program offers information, guidance, and technical assistance to marina operators, local governments, and recreational boaters on Best Management Practices (BMPs) that can be used to prevent or reduce pollution. Marinas that participate in the Clean Marina Program are recognized for their environmental stewardship.

Check out our Clean Marina Video

Why is the Clean Marina Initiative Important?

Marinas and recreational boating are increasingly popular uses of coastal areas. The U.S. Coast Guard reported more than 17 million registered recreational boats in 2004. Because marinas are located right along the water's edge, pollutants created by marina activities are released directly into the water. Although not one of the leading sources of polluted runoff, pollution from marinas can have a significant impact on local water quality. Therefore, it is important to promote operation and maintenance practices that will prevent pollution from entering coastal waterways.

Benefits for Marina Operators and Owners

  • Reduce waste disposal costs:  Best Management Practices (BMPs) will reduce the amount of wastes produced so disposal costs will be less.
  • Generate new sources of revenue:  Studies have shown that clean marinas can charge slightly higher slip fees and have fewer vacancies.
  • Receive free technical assistance:  Best Management Practices guidebooks, training workshops and on-site visits are available to marina operators.
  • Reduce legal liabilities:  By participating in the Clean Marina Program, marinas can ensure they are meeting all regulatory requirements, thus avoiding fines.
  • Enjoy free publicity:  Illinois recognizes clean marinas through press releases, newsletters, and boating guides, etc.
  • Attract knowledgeable customers:  clean marinas are aesthetically pleasing facilities that can attract responsible clientele that will follow good boating practices.
  • Improve water quality and habitat for living resources:  The marina and boating industry depends on clean waters and a healthy coastal environment for their continued success.
  • Demonstrate the marina is a good steward of the environment:  Illinois will distribute special burgees and signs for clean marinas to display. Clean marinas are also allowed to use the Illinois Clean Marina logo on all letterhead.

Program Description

The Illinois Clean Marina Program is a collaborative effort of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Chicago Park District, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Friends of the Parks, Westrec Marinas, Chicago Yachting Association, Chicago Yacht Clubs, Crowley’s Yacht Yard, and Lincoln Park Advisory Council to promote and encourage voluntary adoption of measures to reduce pollution from marinas, boatyards, and recreational boats. This program works to ensure clean water to protect fish, plant, and wildlife habitats.   The Illinois Clean Marina Program provides marinas with a best practices guidebook, expands outreach and education and implements a formal certification and training process.

To start the certification process, contact the Clean Marina Coordinator and see materials below.

Kim Kreiling
Clean Marina Coordinator
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Coastal Management Program
160 N. LaSalle St., S-703
Chicago, IL 60601

(312) 814-6260​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​