Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently signed a proclamation honoring Saturday, Aug. 8, as National Marina Day 2009 Celebrating America's Gateway to Boating. Designated marinas in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Clean Marina Program are hosting special events statewide throughout the day to highlight the importance of protecting Florida's waterways.
"With more than 1,350 miles of coastline and 50,000 miles of inland and coastal rivers supporting a $14 billion marine industry, Florida's water resources are crucial to the state's economy and our environment," said DEP Director of Sustainable Initiatives Deas Bohn. "Celebrating National Marina Day is a great way to highlight the importance of green maritime practices and to recognize our Clean Marinas for their role in protecting Florida's waterways. "
Since 2001, the second Saturday in August has been recognized as National Marina Day by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Association of Marine Industries. With the primary mission being public education, National Marina Day emphasizes the importance of the marine industry as a family-friendly gateway to rivers, lakes and oceans, and highlights the importance of being a steward of the environment.
Recognizing the importance of waterways, designated Clean Marinas throughout the state will provide clean boating outreach and information along with events and activities. Some events taking place on National Marina Day include:
Hamilton Harbor Yacht Club, Naples
Kids Fishing Clinic 11:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.
Florida Fish & Wildlife and Collier County Sherriff Marine Patrol will host kids fishing clinic at the fuel dock. Hamilton Harbor will provide the bait and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a limited number of kids fishing poles available. Local law enforcement officers will be teaching how to remove hooks correctly, casting and basic fishing knowledge. Free hot dogs, soft drinks and ice cream will also be provided. For more information call 239.417.6717.
City of Hollywood Marina, Hollywood
Cardboard Boat Races 7:00 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
From 7:00 a.m. to noon participants will construct cardboard boats. Races and awards will take place at 1:00 p.m. and from noon to 1:00 p.m. free hot dogs and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit: www.hollywoodmarina.org
Camachee Cove Marina, St. Augustine
Assorted Events 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Brothers of the Coasts Pirates will raid the harbor hourly on their pirate ship, with cannon fire, black powder, sword fights and lovely wenches singing shanty songs. Free food and refreshments will be provided by Kingfish Grill and Fish Tales Market & Grill. Activities include, blindfolded dingy race, kids' homemade sailboat race in the swimming pool, rod and reel casting contest, lasso the piling, kids pirate costume contest, golf putting game and dunking booth.
Tampa Cruis-A-Cade Boating Club, Tampa
National Marina Day Celebration, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Participants in the public arts and crafts market along with local merchants displaying the latest in marine ware for purchase will receive a complimentary site location.
Event activities include, an all-American cookout and live music, youth boating activity center, kid amusement area including a dunk tank, moon walk and cotton candy, education and safety zone, fishing safety, youth arts and crafts market, kids coloring contest, hourly raffles and demonstrations and discussions on boating, fishing, safety, youth and the environment.
Naval Air Station Sigsbee Marina and Boca Chica Marina, Key West
Waterfront Cleanup 10:00 a.m.
Participants will be gives trash bags for the waterfront cleanup. The first participants with full bags will receive prizes. Free food and beverages will be provided for all participants and clean boating information will be distributed. For more information, visit www.mybaseguide.com/navy/key-west/facilities.aspx
To view more National Marina Day events, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/cleanmarina/marina_day.htm.
"National Marina Day is an excellent time to recognize the hard work of Florida's Clean Marinas in protecting the environment," said Clean Boating Partnership Chair Mark Leslie. "Members of DEP's Clean Marina Program stand out as environmental leaders."
In conjunction with DEP, the Clean Boating Partnership developed Florida's Clean Marina, Clean Boatyard, Clean Marine Retailer and Clean Boater Programs in 1996 to protect Florida's waterways. The Florida Clean Marina Program designated its first member in 2000 and now has 198 Clean Marinas, 30 Clean Boatyards and nine Clean Marine Retailers.
The Clean Boating Partnership is a consortium of industry leaders who contribute time and input to the Clean Marina, Clean Boatyard, Clean Marine Retailer and Clean Boater programs, which DEP's Office of Sustainable Initiatives administers, to protect Florida's waterways. The partnership includes DEP, Marine Industries Association of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, University of Florida Sea Grant Program, United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary. Through sponsored workshops, technical assistance, conferences and dedication ceremonies, the partnership educates the boating community about pollution prevention and protecting Florida's waterways.
With more than one million registered motorized vessels in Florida, environmental education within marine industries is the first step toward safeguarding the state's natural resources. By providing "green" education and alternatives the Florida Clean Marina Program helps ensure a sustainable future for the environment and a billion dollar marine industry. For more information about the Florida Clean Marina Program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/cleanmarina.
DEP's Office of Sustainable Initiatives is comprised of three voluntary, non-regulatory programs that assist Florida industry and citizens in protecting the environment. The Clean Marina Program, the Clean Vessel Act grant program and the Florida Green Lodging Program offer a variety of services including consultations, speakers and workshops, all at no cost to citizens or organizations. The goal of the Sustainable Initiatives programs is to meet the needs of the present population without compromising resources for future generations. To learn more about DEP's Sustainable Initiatives, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/green.
To view the Governor's proclamation, visit http://www.dep.state.fl.us/cleanmarina/files/marina_day_proclamation_2009.pdf.