“Extract of city marina sites setting an example”
Sydney marinas are demonstrating how boating in the city can go hand-in-hand with protecting the environment.
As an industry which sells itself on having access to beautiful, clean, healthy waterways, the boating industry has a vested interest in protecting the environment. Nobody wants to be steering their boat through a dirty, polluted, lifeless environment. Aside from any social or environmental imperative, unhealthy waterways are just bad for business.
At the same time, nobody would dispute that, in the past, the industry’s track record in looking after its greatest asset – our coastal and inland waterways – has not been good. Dodgy work practices, destructive boating activities and the use of toxic materials have all had an impact on the marine environment, and while the boating industry is not the only culprit, it is often the most visible because of its daily presence and interaction with the marine environment.
Thankfully such casual disregard for local habitats and eco-systems is a thing of the past – or should be – although its effects still linger. One of the interesting aspects of the draft NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment (TARA) report issued earlier this year was the manner in which it repeated concerns about the environmental impact of boating, many of which have already been addressed by the industry. It seems that in some people’s eyes, boating will always be an environmental baddie.
In truth, in the best practice cases of which there are many, the industry is an environmental leader. Time and again it has shown its willingness and propensity to take on new work practices and processes that ensure boating not only minimises its environmental impact but can also be a positive force for protecting our natural assets.