What are Best Management Practices?

Best Management Practices (BMP's) are basic low cost, low technology ways of protecting the environment.

In general Best Management Practice's are pollution control activities designed to prevent or reduce the discharge of contaminants into the environment. Achieving pollution reduction through initiating simple management practices is simply good sound business. To be successful, BMP's must fit the needs of the business using them and be incorporated into routine activities.

Best Management Practices help solve the environmental pollution problems that result from marina activities, such as boat maintenance and cleaning, vessel fuelling, and waste management and disposal.

Best Management Practices use one or more basic methods to control this pollution, such as preventing accidental spills or leaks, capturing pollutants as they are produced, containing the spread of spills or debris, reducing the use of a potentially harmful material, and filtering or trapping out pollutants.

Best Management Practices fall into two categories:

Source Control and Treatment

Source Control Best Management Practices are measures which prevent pollutants from entering the adjoining waterways. Typical source control measures for marinas include the use of tarpaulins when boaters are doing maintenance and painting, berms for hazardous wastes and storage areas, covers, sweeping and/or vacuuming, drip pans, and waste segregation. Source Control BMP's rely heavily on the diligence and cooperation of operators and boaters in following management practices. Source Control BMP's need to be especially monitored when allowing independent contractors and boat owners to work on their own boats. Most Best Management Practice's at marinas are source control.

Treatment Best Management Practices at marina's are measures that reduce toxicity or volume of a waste after it has been generated. Examples include oil/water separators and other storm water treatment devices for boatyard facilities. In general most treatment BMP's are more expensive and labour intensive than source control measures.

The Best Management Practices Guidebook contains numerous Best Management Practices; do not feel limited to this list. If you have a better way to control a potential pollutant, use it. Because marina operators, by the nature of their business, are creative problem solvers, NZMOA encourages innovative solutions to be developed and used.

The bottom line is that clean, non-polluted water for boating is essential to the health of your business. Polluted water is not conducive to activities associated with pleasure boating. We can expect our customers to find other sources of recreation if we allow pollutants from our marinas to degrade water quality.

Use the Best Management Practice Guidebook to tailor a solution for marina

There is often site-specific variability in the selection of appropriate Best Management Practices, as well as design constraints and pollution control effectiveness of practices. Each marina owner or operator must evaluate pollution potential associated with his facility design and activities. Then you must choose among BMP alternatives considering practicality and the facility budget.

The guidebook describes Best Management Practices found effective, or at least in place, at many marinas. Each BMP is by no means applicable to every marina, nor is it necessarily the "final word". As technology and products improve, better management practices are sure to evolve.

The Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guidebook has been divided into the following sections:

  • Marina Design, Operation & Management
  • Fuelling Operations
  • Boatyard Operations & Vessel Maintenance
  • Emergency Response Planning

Note: It is almost always less expensive to prevent pollution from occurring than it is to clean it up later. Consider pollution prevention BMP's when prioritising implementation.

Education Is the Key

Boater education is one of the most effective ways to prevent and reduce pollution in and around marinas and to keep both marinas and boats shipshape. Because the measures and best management practices recommended in the guidebook ultimately rely on individual actions, it's important that marina managers, their customers, and employees become educated on the causes and effects of water pollution in marina waters.

Be Watchful

Involve all employees in policing your marina for waste. Encourage your staff to look for and immediately halt the following activities…

  • Coloured plumes in the water where a hull is being cleaned.
  • Bilge water discharge with a sheen.
  • Uncontained sanding, painting, varnishing, or cleaning.
  • Maintenance debris being washed into the water.
  • Sewage discharges within the marina.
  • The use of environmentally harmful cleaning products.

About Pollution Prevention

Pollution prevention is a series of techniques used to reduce or eliminate pollution generated. In contrast to most pollution control strategies that manage a pollutant's effect on the environment after it is generated, pollution prevention seeks to increase the efficiency of a process to reduce or eliminate the pollutant before it becomes waste to be managed. Pollution prevention can be practiced not only by industries, but also individuals.

Pollution Prevention Methods

Design. Products, buildings and manufacturing systems can be made resource-efficient throughout their life cycle by incorporating environmental considerations into their design. Process Changes. Rethinking work practices can create ways to reduce waste, cutting both pollution and costs.

Materials Substitution. Alternative materials for cleaning, coating, lubrication and other production processes can provide equivalent results while preventing costly hazardous waste generation, air emissions, and worker health risks.

Materials Reuse. Find another way to reuse materials on site; for example, distillation of used solvents.

Resource Efficiency. Using energy, water and other maintenance processes more efficiently helps keep air and water clean, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, cuts operating costs, and improves productivity.

Improved Work Practices. Rethinking day-to-day operations and maintenance activities can help managers root out wasteful management practices that drive up costs and cause pollution.

To obtain your free copy of the New Zealand Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guidebook or for more information or to apply to become a New Zealand Clean Marina, please  Email: info@cleanmarinas.org.nz