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Clean Marina a feather in city's cap

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By The Staff

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), together with the Clean Boating Partnership, today recognized Cedar Key Marina as a designated member of the Florida Clean Marina Program. The facility is the 149th in the state to become a member of the Florida Clean Marina Program.

"Clean water is vital to Florida's environment and economy. Clean Marinas and Clean Boatyards such as the City of Cedar Key lead the way in protecting this precious resource," said DEP Northeast District Assistant Director Bill Green. "Receiving designation as a Clean Marina verifies that marinas are taking the necessary steps to protect our waterways."

Florida Clean Marina Program facilities are required to meet a variety of best management practices to receive designation. These practices include, but are not limited to, properly storing and disposing of used oil, using fertilizers and pesticides according to directions and using cleaning methods that prevent the release of pollutants. In addition to implementing best management practices, the City of Cedar Key Marina has implemented a "safety island" with fire extinguishers and booming material, has stenciled storm drains and uses native plants in their landscaping. The marina also displays maps of the channel which helps boaters to stay within the channel boundaries rather than potentially harming seagrass outside of the channel.

"This island city, with the help of DEP, has taken the steps towards protecting Florida's waterways and will continue to protect and improve our surrounding water bodies and the natural environment" said City of Cedar Key Commissioner, Sue Colson. "Our designation as a Clean Marina will provide an educational component to our visiting boaters and hopefully their commitment to our cause - Boat Clean, Boat Safe."

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 administers, to protect Florida's waterways. The partnership includes DEP, Marine Industries Association of Florida, Florida Sea Grant Program, United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary.

"The Clean Boating Partnership commends the City of Cedar Key Marina for its commitment to protecting Florida's environment," said the Partnership's Chair John Naybor. "Becoming a designated Clean Marina is an accomplishment this facility can be proud of and we welcome them to our Clean Marina family."

With more than one million registered motorized vessels in Florida, environmental education within marine industries is the first step towards 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 the billion-dollar marine industry.

For more information about the Florida Clean Marina Program, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/cleanmarina.