The City of Barrie Marina & Tiffin Boat Launch has earned both Clean Marine and Blue Flag certification for environmental efforts. In an effort to protect Lake Simcoe water quality, the marina operates under the environmental criteria set by both programs, and renews the certification annually after the results of an independent audit. For 10 years, The City of Barrie Marina has met requirements to earn level 5 anchor Clean Marine certification. The marina earned Blue Flag certification in 2015.
Boaters with a slip at a Clean Marine and/or Blue Flag certified marina agree to an environmental code of conduct. The City of Barrie Marina reinforces these codes with information distributed in the member newsletter. In addition, individual boaters have the opportunity to fly a Blue Flag on their boat if they agree to 13 expectations related to proper disposal of waste, use of cleaning and boating materials, respect for wildlife and other elements of responsible boating.
Above and beyond the requirements for these two certifications, the following practices at the City of Barrie Marina contribute to water quality protection in Lake Simcoe.
Boaters will find a state-of-the-art wash station at the Barrie Marina boat launch. Since recreational boating is a risk factor for the transfer of invasive species between waterways, boaters must wash their boats thoroughly when moving vessels between water bodies. The boat wash is an excellent place to do so and thus stop the spread of invasive species. Suggestions about how to properly clean a boat can be found here. Ideally, it is best to wash a boat while it is still wet. Lake Simcoe boaters (not just Barrie Marina residents) can use the wash station at no charge, with the assurance that rinse water and other waste water will be treated properly.
The Barrie Marina chooses to mechanically remove aquatic plants. This process—carried out by Inland Aquatics —ensures there is no need for chemical control of weed growth. Plants removed from the water are put to good use. At one point, these aquatic plants were composted at the facility at the city landfill, however, they are now used to accelerate the decomposition of organic material within the landfill itself.
About The Author – Aileen MacMillan holds an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Waterloo, and has worked as an independent consultant on environmental projects related to waste management, water quality protection, and environmental education. She has many years of experience working in small business and working collaboratively with teams and individual stakeholders.