Ontario Marine Operators Association

Ontario Marine Operators Association

April 16, 2007 15:17 ET

Ontario Marine Operators Association: World Leading Clean Marine and Clean Boater Environmental Programs on the Verge of Cancellation Due To Lack of Government Funding

PENETANGUISHENE, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 16, 2007) - The Ontario Marine Operators Association (OMOA) has announced the suspension of the Clean Marine and Clean Boater Programs due to lack of government funding from the Federal and Provincial levels of government. "These are terrific marine environmental programs", said Al Donaldson, the Executive Director of the OMOA. "With all the focus on the environment, I just don't understand why the governments won't support cleaner lakes and cleaner rivers in Ontario".

The programs were operated by the OMOA with funding from OMOA member contributions and other grants, in addition to funding from Environment Canada and Ontario's Ministry of the Environment. The current contract with both governments expired at the end of 2006. To date, no funding has been committed from either government. The Clean Marine and Clean Boater program were seeking $120,000 per year from each of the provincial and federal governments over a 3-year period.

"Both the Clean Marine and Clean Boater are educating the entire Ontario marine community in the use of environmentally responsible products and practices", said Donaldson. "The programs have contributed significantly to the recycling of shrink-wrap, used oil, antifreeze and garbage. The programs have also resulted in significant reduction of energy resources including water, fuel, and hydro."

Clean Marine and Clean Boater

While marinas, boats and boaters are responsible for only a small portion of water quality problems, the Clean Marine and Clean Boater Programs have been instrumental in reducing environmental impact from this recreational sector.

The Clean Marine Eco-Rating program has been recognized as the best Environmental Best Management Practices marina program in the world. The Clean Marine Program has recently been licensed to Quebec, is about to be expanded to British Columbia and is generating interest in the Atlantic Provinces.

The Clean Marine program has over 250 Eco-Rated marinas in Ontario. Many States in the US have similar programs that are entirely government funded, staffed and operated. The most successful of the US programs have achieved just half of the enrollment numbers of the OMOA Clean Marine program in Ontario. The Ontario program is also the only one that practices continuous quality improvement for member marinas and has an independent third party complete the audits.

Ontario Marine Operators Association

The Ontario Marine Operators Association is the largest, non-profit, recreational marine trade association in Canada. Members consist of yacht clubs, water-based and dryland marinas (privately and municipally owned), as well as trade members who supply products and services to the marine industry. The Association offers assistance and information regarding Ontario's marinas to marina operators and boaters across the Province.

For further information, visit the OMOA website at www.marinasontario.com or www.cleanboater.com.

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