The largest lake within the Trent Severn waterway, Lake Simcoe is a true boater’s haven. Home to dozens of marinas, recreational boating and fishing are popular pastimes that embody Lake Simcoe’s rich heritage. Since 2001, marinas have been signing on to the Ontario Clean Marine program, a cornerstone of Lake Simcoe’s story.
Established by the joint efforts of Boating Ontario, Environment Canada and Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the voluntary Clean Marine eco-rating program assesses marinas based on over 200 environmental practices – – from fueling to shrinkwrap recycling, environmental education and energy conservation.
Marinas must pass a third-party environmental audit to ensure compliance to program standards. The results are converted to a five-point rating system ranging from a single green leaf anchor to platinum level designation. The Ontario Clean Marine program of environmental best practices is recognized as a marine industry leader in protecting our waterways. It’s been so successful in fact, that both British Columbia and the east coast have adopted the program for their marinas sector.
At the core of Lake Simcoe’s boating culture lies the value of keeping our waters clean. As Jeff Stovold, Lefroy Harbour Resorts owner and past Boating Ontario President explains, “We’ve been in operation for 50 years, and the only way businesses [marinas] will be here for another 50 is if we protect it [Lake Simcoe].”
With a commitment to environmental preservation three generations strong, family-owned and operated, Lefroy Harbour Resorts has been involved with Clean Marine since its inception in 1999. It currently holds a Diamond rating with plans to achieve Platinum, the highest eco-rating, in 2016.
Lefroy Harbour requires boaters sign a pledge expressing their commitment to comply with Clean Marine practices, such as taking steps to avoid fuel and chemical spillage, recycling and proper waste disposal.
Mr. Stovold’s advice for operators that might be hesitant to pursue Clean Marine certification: “Although it may seem like a daunting task to implement, it’s quite easy and you’re likely already doing it.”
It can’t be denied that to some environmentalists recreational boating carries a stigma. However, as many marina operators will tell you, it’s in the nature of the sport to take care of its product: the waters it relies on. A marina’s participation in the Clean Marine program demonstrates its commitment to protecting our waterways for our enjoyment today and generations to come.
Lefroy Harbour Resorts offers two locations, Kon Tiki Marina and Lefroy Harbour Marina, both found in Cook’s Bay on the western shore of Lake Simcoe. With over 300 covered slips amidst 86 acres of well-kept grounds that include a salt-water pool, Harbour House Grill, live music and family events, you’ll be sure feel at home both in the water and out.
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To learn more about the Clean Marine program please visit Boating Ontario