More Texas marinas participating in Clean Marina Program

September 20, 2006

By Dewayne Hollin

COLLEGE STATION — Marinas in Texas are demonstrating their commitment to keeping Texas waterways clean as their participation in the Clean Texas Marina Program reaches 100.

Twenty-eight percent of the state’s 356 inland and coastal marinas are participating, with 59 certified as Clean Texas Marinas and another 41 pledging to do their part to keep Texas waterways free of harmful chemicals, excess nutrients and debris as they prepare for certification. The participants include municipal and privately owned marinas.

“Clean water enhances the quality of the boaters’ experience on Texas waterways, and marinas are keenly aware that many coastal and inland waters are seriously impacted by water pollution,” said Dewayne Hollin, marine business management specialist at the Texas Sea Grant College Program and director of the Clean Texas Marina Program.

“Working together through the Clean Texas Marina Program, we can find solutions to these environmental concerns. Environmental protection is part of the cost of doing business, and clean water means good business for marina owners and operators.” The Clean Texas Marina Program is a co-sponsor of the 2006 Texas Marina Facilities and Services Directory, a comprehensive guide to the state’s marinas, grouped by body of water.

“It’s important to know how waterways are being used by recreational boaters,” Hollin said. “This Marine Directory shows all services and facilities available on a statewide basis, both on inland lakes and coastal waters.”

The directory is based on data Hollin collects in his annual survey of Texas marinas. It includes location and contact information for the marinas and lists the facilities and services that each provides. Hollin said the publication is a good reference for marina planners, developers, and those who provide some type of marina services, and also helps to identify growth areas.

Since the information was first collected in 1986, the number of marinas in Texas has risen by 47, from 309 to 356, which is a 15 percent increase. During that time, the number of coastal marinas has actually decreased from 125 to 104, or 16 percent, while the number of inland marinas has more than made up for the deficit, increasing from 184 to 252, or 37 percent.

“In coastal areas like South Padre Island and Galveston Island, condos and other waterfront development may have replaced some of the boat access,” Hollin said.

Texas marinas have spaces for 58,459 boats, which includes 43,359 wet slips and 15,100 slots in dry storage. Ranked by total boat storage capacity, the Clear Lake/Galveston area is first with 10,174 spaces; Clear Lake alone has 7,535 spaces, followed by Lake Travis with 6,300, Lake Conroe with 4,803, Lake Texoma with 4,536 and Lake Ray Hubbard with 3,869. The area with the largest number of marinas is Lake Travis with 40, followed by 37 at Clear Lake/Galveston Bay; Clear Lake alone has 22 marinas. The next highest number of marinas is in the Corpus Christi/Port Aransas/Aransas Pass/Rockport area, where there are 31 marinas.

From the survey of services offered, in only three areas — sewer pump out service, boat rentals/charter services and lodging/RV park — has the percentage of marinas offering them increased since 1986. In all other areas, including haul-out facilities, retail sales of boats and equipment, boat repairs and fuel docks, the number of marinas offering these services and the percentage of total marinas offering them has fallen.

The number of marinas offering pump out services, which has increased significantly since 1986, decreased by 12 since last year. Hollin noted that, while the long-term increase might be attributable to regulations in Texas, which prohibit boaters from discharging anything into public water within three miles of shore, “without the proper service, pump out stations are difficult to maintain, and they are not used very often in some places.”

The directory, which is co-sponsored by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Sea Grant College Program and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, is available free of charge for single copies for the first time this year because of additional funding.

For more information or to request a copy, contact Hollin at (409) 845-3857 or dhollin@ tamu.edu.

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Texas Sea Grant is a unique partnership that unites the resources of the federal government, the State of Texas and universities across the state to create knowledge, tools, products and services that benefit the economy, the environment and the citizens of Texas. It is administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and is one of 33 university-based Sea Grant Programs around the country. Texas Sea Grant is a non-academic research center in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. The program’s mission is to improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas coastal and marine resources.