Wisonconsin Clean Marina Wisconsin Clean Marina UW Sea Grant Institute

Wisconsin Clean Marina Program

NEW!  Watch a short video about the program and hear from marina managers why they chose to become certified "Clean Marinas".

The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program provides guidance and education that enable marina and boatyard operators to protect the resources that sustain their livelihood — clean water, clean air, and healthy fish and wildlife communities. These natural assets are essential features of the boating industry. After all, many boaters are drawn to the water by nature's glory. Boaters want to ply clean waters, catch and eat healthy fish and enjoy water sports without fear of water-borne diseases.

The maintenance, operation, and storage of recreational vessels have the potential to release pollutants to lakes and rivers. The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program promotes and celebrates voluntary adoption of measures to reduce pollution from marinas, boatyards and recreational boats. The purpose is to ensure clean water and protect fish and wildlife. A Clean Marina Guidebook and educational materials are available on this website. Workshops and technical assistance on best management practices are provided to facility operators. Marinas and boatyards are invited to participate in the program and demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship. Facilities that adopt the program recommended practices may become certified as Wisconsin Clean Marinas and receive free publicity as environmentally responsible businesses.

Participating marinas and boatyards benefit in many ways, including cost savings from reduced hazardous waste disposal, fewer pollutant clean-ups, and lower insurance rates. Through improved understanding of and voluntary compliance with environmental regulations, you lessen the potential for violations and fines. Your facility will be a safer, healthier place for your employees, contractors and patrons. Moreover, designated Clean Marinas will be in a better position to attract boaters who prefer businesses that protect the environment. "Green" consumers are one of the fastest growing market segments today. 

The Clean Marina Program is administered by the Wisconsin Marine Association with guidance and technical assistance from the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.  Additional partners include the University of Wisconsin-Extension's Solid and Hazardous Waste Education Center, the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Office of Great Lakes, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Development of the Wisconsin Clean Marina Program was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management under the Coastal Zone Management Act, Grant # NA08NOS4190431.

News and Events

Wisconsin Clean Marina Best Management Practices Guidebook Update Now Available!
All guidebook chapters have been updated to address changes in regulations and include the most current best management practices and photos.  The updated guidebook is available on-line. 


Clean Marina Webinar Presentations Now Available!
Stormwater management at Great Lakes Marinas (March 2013)
Aquatic Invasive Species: Management at Great Lakes Marinas (Novemver 2012)
Boat Wash Water Management: Options for Great Lakes Marinas (March 2012) 
International Marina and Boatyard Conference Clean Marina Workshop (February 2012)
 click here to access presentations


There are now a total of nineteen Wisconsin certified Clean Marinas!  All Wisconsin certified marinas, ranging from docks only to full service businesses with fueling, storage and maintenance services, have voluntarily adopted best management practices (BMPs) to protect water quality, prevent pollution and protect fish, wildlife and public health.  Owners and managers of these Clean Marinas recognize that a cleaner environment is important to their boating clientele, their livelihood and Wisconsin's coastal communities.

For a full list of Wisconsin's Clean Marinas, please click here

Steps to Becoming a Clean Marina

  1. Sign a Clean Marina Pledge; Attend a Workshop
  2. Conduct a Marina Self-Evaluation Using the Clean Marina Checklist and Best Practices Guidebook
  3. Schedule a Conference Call or Informal Site Visit
  4. Incorporate Recommended Best Management Practices
  5. Submit Compiled Checklist for Team Review
  6. Schedule Final Site Visit
  7. Receive Wisconsin Clean Marina Certification (certification approval process)
  8. Once Approved, Maintain Clean Marina Status 

Once you have pledged, please download the Site Visit Preparation Document for instructions on the next steps in the process and additional information you will need for certification.

For more information on these steps and for additional guidance, please refer to the guidebook and resources webpage.