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F. Public Education Management Measure

Public education/outreach/training programs should be instituted for boaters, as well as marina owners and operators, to prevent improper disposal of polluting material.

1. Applicability

This management measure is intended to be applied by States to all environmental control authorities in areas where marinas are located. Under the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments of 1990, States are subject to a number of requirements as they develop coastal nonpoint source programs in conformity with this measure and will have some flexibility in doing so. The application of management measures by States is described more fully in Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program: Program Development and Approval Guidance, published jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

2. Description

The best method of preventing pollution from marinas and boating activities is to educate the public about the causes and effects of pollution and methods to prevent it. One of the primary reasons for the success of existing programs is the widespread support for these efforts. Measuring the efficiency of the separate practices of public education and outreach programs can be extremely difficult. Programs need to be examined in terms of long-term impacts.

Creating a public education program should involve user groups and the community in all phases of program development and implementation. The program should be suited to a specific area and should use creative promotional material to spread its message. General information on how to educate and involve the public can be found in Managing Nonpoint Pollution: An Action Plan Handbook for Puget Sound Watersheds (PSWQA, 1989) and Dealing with Annex V - Reference Guide for Ports (NOAA, 1988).

3. Management Measure Selection

Measure selection is based on low cost, proven effectiveness, availability, and widespread use by many States (Appendix 5A).

4. Practices

As discussed more fully at the beginning of this chapter, the following practices are described for illustrative purposes only. State programs need not require implementation of these practices. However, as a practical matter, EPA anticipates that the management measure set forth above generally will be implemented by applying one or more management practices appropriate to the source, location, and climate. The practices set forth below have been found by EPA to be representative of the types of practices that can be applied successfully to achieve the management measure described above.

  • a. Signage

    Interpretive and instructional signs placed at marinas and boat-launching sites are a key method of disseminating information to the boating public. The Chesapeake Bay Commission recommended that Bay States develop and implement programs to educate the boating public to stimulate increased use of pumpout facilities (CBC, 1989). The commission found that "boater education on this issue can be substantially expanded at modest expense."

    Appropriate signage to direct boaters to the nearest pumpout facility to alert boaters to its presence would very likely stimulate increased used of pumpout facilities. Signs can be provided to marinas and posted in areas where recreational boats are concentrated. Ten-inch-square aluminum signs are available commercially for approximately $12 each (Lab Safety, 1991).

  • b. Recycling/Trash Reduction Programs

    A New Jersey marina issued reusable tote bags with the marina's name printed on the side. The bags were used repeatedly to transport groceries and to store recyclable materials for proper disposal (Bleier, 1991). Newport, Oregon, instituted a recycling program that was not immediately successful but has since achieved increased boater compliance (Bleier, 1991). The Louisiana and New Hampshire Sea Grant Programs both instituted successful public education programs designed to reduce the amount of marine debris discarded into surface waters (Doyle and Barnaby, 1990). The $17,000 cost of the New Hampshire demonstration program included project organization, distribution of a season's supply of trash bags, advertising material, and project monitoring. More than 90 percent of the 91 participating boats indicated that they had made a commitment to reducing marine pollution.

  • c. Pamphlets or Flyers, Newsletters, Inserts in Billings

    The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission designed a multABAceted public education program and is working with local governments and boating groups to implement the program and evaluate its effectiveness. The program encourages the use of MSDs and pumpout facilities, discourages impacts to shellfish areas, and provides information to boaters and marina operators about environmentally sound operation and maintenance activities. The Commission has prepared written materials, given talks to boating groups, participated in events such as boat shows, and developed signs for placement at marinas and boat launches. Printed material includes a map of pumpout facilities, a booklet on boat pollution, a pamphlet on plastic debris, and articles on the effects of boating activities. Written material can be made available at marinas, supply stores, or other places frequently visited by boaters. Approximate costs of some educational and promotional materials used in a Newport, Oregon, program are presented in Table 5-5 (NOAA, 1988). Written material describing the importance of boater cooperation in solving the problems associated with marine discharges could be included with annual boat registration forms, and cooperative programs involving State environmental agencies and boaters' organizations could be established.

  • d. Meetings/Presentations

    Presentations at local marinas or other locations are a good way to discuss issues with boaters and marina owners and operators. The New Moon Project in Puget Sound is a public education program that is attempting to increase use of portable sewage pumpouts. This effort has included workshops and seminars for boaters, marina operators, and harbor masters. The presentations have produced interest from marina operators who want to participate and boaters who want additional material (NYBA, 1990). Presentations can also present the positive aspects of marinas and successful case studies of pollution prevention and control.

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