Well-designed and maintained marinas can add significant value to coastal areas, but a long-term vision needs to incorporate a great many key factors. The nature of “value” can be considered not just in terms of short-term economic wealth, but also the role played by the marina as viewed in traditional sustainable terms: as a part of a process that benefits its wider society, improving their standard of living, and setting in place systems to protect and conserve its natural and cultural capital.
A successful boating area is contingent on clean and healthy waters, which in turn, depend in part on careful policies that work to reduce contaminants generated by the marina and its users. Attractively prepared informative material and educational programmes serve to ensure that staff, residents, and boaters are made aware of nearby sensitive areas and how more conscious and informed practices can mitigate environmental impact.
Developing a sustainable strategy is now an inescapable reality for marina operators and should become an integral part of an authentic brand, based on the characteristics of a location, a recognition and respect for its natural qualities, cultural integrity and idiosyncrasies, and a keen desire to contribute actively to a better understanding, use and stewardship of its natural resources.