Program Manual Introduction

BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES OR BMPs are: All activities and devices that help prevent or reduce water pollution. Pollution may be carried to the water by storm drains, seeping through the ground, by falling from the air, or by direct spills or dumping. Some BMP examples would be: Good Boat-Keeping Practices, Education, Signs, Notices, Marina Rules and Regulations, Waste Receptacles, Spill Prevention and Rapid Clean-Up plans, exchanged used oil absorbents to name a few.

This Clean Marinas Program is an excellent guide to BMPs that can be used throughout Marinas and Yacht Clubs to keep boating waters clean and healthy.

Clean Marinas Review

Marina or yacht club review will be conducted by an experienced impartial industry review team comprised of a cross section of professionals in the marina industry and related activities. These review members must have experience in past reviews. They must have demonstrated a fairness and consistency of understanding in the scoring process. The goal of all teams is to provide uniformity in all reviews. For example; the review process can take from 2 to 3 hours or more and a consistent amount of time must be spent during the outdoor portion of the inspection as allocated to the indoor portion of the review. It is important to verify that all items exist in accordance to the answers on the score sheets. At least 1 reviewer must be from a certified clean marina or yacht club, and must have experience in the mentoring and review process.

  • Points required by regulation are in red. 100% of the points are required for designation.
  • Additional BMP points are in black and 75% of the total additional points are needed to gain the clean marina designation.
  • The inspection fee is $750 for each review whether you pass or fail.
  • A flag, burgee, and window decals with the Clean Marinas Program logo will be given to each marina or yacht club that becomes designated as a clean marina, after the impartial team’s review.
  • A certificate will also be awarded to each designated clean marina or yacht club.
  • The Clean Marinas logo(s) will be available to be used by any clean marinas designated facility for marketing or other materials.

To schedule a review contact:
Diane Isley
Clean Marinas
2726 Shelter Island Dr #194
San Diego CA 92106
510.428.0505 or 405.607.WAVE

Review Team

Reviewers are trained to award points only if earned. There is no awarding of partial credit of points in this process. This rule exists to encourage total implementation of each BMP. While there may be few marinas and yacht clubs receiving 100%, or perfect scores, the program is designed to encourage future improvements along with a culture that rewards future improvements. Currently our Clean Marinas program requires a minimum of 75% to achieve certification. It is the highest percent requirement of any program within the United States.


When a marina or yacht club decides to look into becoming certified, they contact the Marina Recreation Association where someone with past experience will be assigned to mentor them through the process of getting ready for review. The mentoring process can take months, but this effort has proven most successful. Not all reviews have resulted in certification. Some simply were not prepared and are mentored further until they make it. The Clean Marinas program and those that administer it will not allow for anyone to gain certification without a consistent review. In addition team members are trained to point out areas for future improvements. Please contact us for a Mentor or Reviewer in your region.


The certification process is for a period of 5 years. Near the end of this period a copy of the original score sheets are sent to the marina or yacht club. A review date is determined and one review team member will complete the review. A grace period of 90 days will be given at the end of the 5 year certification date to obtain recertification. If the marina or yacht club does not gain recertification during that time then they must start all over again from the beginning to become certified again. Emphasis is made for the marina or yacht club to improve its original score while implementing as many new BMP’s that have been added since their first certification. The recertification process so far has shown that the vast majority of reviews have used the past 5 years to steadily improve their scores by implementing additional BMP’s.

Procedures to follow for certification and re-certification

  1. Go on line to Read the manual and then print out a copy of the score sheets and outside check list.
  2. Immediately score your facility to determine the areas that need improvement. Keep this score sheet and outside check list and turn them in at the time of your actual certification. This information is vital to track the progress and improvements made during the mentoring period.
  3. Contact Diane Isley, Clean Marina Secretary at 510.428.0505 and inform her that you would like to have a mentor assigned to you to help you through the process.
  4. Once you are ready for certification email and get a date assigned. The coordinator will select a three person review team and have them do the review.
  5. It has become tradition that the facility being reviewed will provide lunch for the review team.
  6. The CMP will send you an invoice for the cost of the review for $500 whether you pass or not. You must score a minimum of 75% in order to become certified.
  7. Once payment is received your flag, burgee, decals and certificate will be mailed to you
  8. After the review process, keep a running list of Clean Marina improvements made to your facility during the next 5 years. This will give you time to improve your score for the re-certification, which is mandatory every 5 years.
  9. Pledge to volunteer to work with others as a mentor to help them get ready for their reviews. The mentoring process is easy and fun, and it gives you a chance to observe other facilities and brainstorm, which benefits both marinas.
  10. Every 5 years you will be sent a copy of your last original score sheet. This score sheet will help you prepare for your re-certification. During preparation, be sure to fill out the comment section for each Best Management Practice showing where that specific requirement can be found in your paperwork. (Example): Under comments, write the document and page number it can be found. This is very helpful and speeds up the review process.
  11. The clean marina secretary will assign a single reviewer to do the re-certification on a date that works both of you. Recertification uses the latest scoresheets as obtained from the website.
  12. All other costs, requirements and traditions are the same as the original review.

Additional Environmental Subjects

Boater Education

Boater Education is the most important and successful part of the Clean Marinas program. Getting educational materials into the hands of the boaters is what the review team focuses on. Making the materials available through new boater bags which contain these educational materials has proven most successful. Posting information on bulletin boards, writing best management practice tips in newsletters & flyers as well as conducting seminars have shown positive results. The most successful part of the education of marina and yacht club tenants is the enforcement of the marina or yacht club rules and regulations which insures that BMP’s are being followed.

Education to the General Public

All of the educational information contained in the Clean Marinas program is available to the general public through the program’s website:

Score Sheets

The score sheets used by Clean Marinas are intended to be “living documents.” As the program evolves and as regulations change, the methods used to evaluate a marina’s or yacht club’s performance will need to be revised.

Those elements of marina or yacht club operations that are mandatory under Federal, State, City or Port regulations will be scored under the expectation that one hundred percent compliance is required. Other elements of marina operations will be scored with the expectation that seventy-five percent compliance is expected. The target of 75% is derived because various components of each of the scoring elements will not be applicable to every marina. Thus, marinas will not be able to score 100% on Additional elements in some areas.

If a certain BMP or function is not applicable to a particular marina or yacht club then you score it N/A (not applicable), you then subtract the point amount assigned to that BMP from the total Additional points at the bottom of the score card. Then divide the actual score by the possible Additional point total (less the N/A’s) to derive your percentage score.

The target rate of seventy-five percent was chosen based upon similar programs that are operational around the United States. As the program matures, this target may be revised upward so that it conforms to actual results observed after marina or yacht club reviews are completed.

Because the score sheets are “living documents” they must be retained before and after a marina’s or yacht club’s designation to serve as a record of the efforts to achieve designation and to keep the designation current. Good faith effort is demonstrated by active and continual progress in achieving the criteria of the Clean Marinas program.

Sidebars represent changes incorporated in CMP Manual_revised 2_28_12.