Manager Kathy Lammers has been with Trent Port Marina since 2018. Along with Assistant Manager Andrew Belej and staff, she is passionate about ensuring the marina meets the highest standards of safety, cleanliness and environmental responsibility.
From the moment the first shovel hit the ground in 2012, Trent Port Marina embraced the expectation of being an accessible, clean, efficient, environmentally friendly facility. Fast forward nine years, and the Marina finds itself being awarded the Blue Flag Certification for the fourth consecutive year. Boaters and environmentalists know what this award means, and for those who don’t: it is the highest ranked award for environmental excellence that exists for beaches and marinas across the globe. In 2021 Trent Port Marina is one of only 10 marina facilities in Canada to receive the Blue Flag, administered by the organization Swim Drink Fish. Here at the marina, we take our Blue Flag responsibility of excellence very seriously, and work around the clock to maintain the criteria for this award. So what exactly does it mean to be Blue Flag certified? Let us tell you.
Water quality is of the utmost importance to us at Trent Port Marina. This means the marina facilities are cleaned often, the water is kept clear and surrounding areas are kept exceptionally tidy. No littering is tolerated from boaters or visitors. Our staff diligently empty trash cans, while constantly on the lookout for loose garbage on marina property and the surrounding area. Aware of Trent Port Marina’s environmental responsibility, Boating Ontario recommended that we be invited to participate in the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Project. As part of this project, the marina installed a Seabin in the water and two LittaTraps in our storm drains. The LittaTraps divert trash and microplastics that would otherwise end up in the water and the Seabin collects any items that manage to reach the water. The cost of the equipment was subsidized by the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Project but considerable costs were incurred by the marina to install the equipment and for ongoing upkeep and maintenance.
However, being involved in the project was an easy decision for us to make. Staff work tirelessly to stay on top of removing debris, floating weeds, trash, styrofoam and other materials from the water on a daily basis, and these additional installations help clean up the smaller objects and particles that staff may be unable to remove. At night, when the staff return home and boats settle into their slips, the Seabins and LittaTraps continue to cycle trash and help keep the water clean. The importance of maintaining this water quality is at the forefront of our minds here at Trent Port Marina, and it is just one of the many ways we go above and beyond to uphold the Blue Flag status.
Trent Port Marina places a rigorous focus on environmental sustainability; we are committed to maintaining a healthy setting for both people and wildlife. Staff work daily to maintain a natural shoreline, with all native plant species allowed to flourish throughout the boating season. An environmentally conscious bubbling system is located underwater near the docks, and helps combat aquatic weed issues by reducing weed growth without destroying fish habitats. The marina has a shallow area along the waterfront with rocks that protrude above the water’s surface, providing a natural sanctuary for turtles. The shallow areas are marked with floating buoys to keep boating traffic out, providing a protected habitat for turtles and fish. On shore, the marina acts as a thriving environment for birds, groundhogs, squirrels and other animals along the trail.
Social responsibility and community involvement
Beyond ensuring the quality of the environment for both animals and boaters, we think it is crucial to be involved in the success of the Quinte West community. This community consists of employees, boaters, visitors, waterfront lovers and local residents. We provide our visitors with exceptional customer service and an inclusive, accessible space for everyone who visits.
Trent Port Marina hosts and participates in many environmental education events each year that are designed for the boating community, staff and the community at large. Examples of events held previously include Quinte Trash Bash, Canadian Power & Sail Squadron (CPSS) recreational vehicle safety checks and an eco-wisdom shoreline education seminar in collaboration with Lower Trent Conservation, Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. The marina also works with the Ministry of Natural Resources on its annual fisheries studies.
All marina staff are provided with an extensive training program that focuses on customer service, health and safety and environmental sustainability. They are educated on the Blue Flag program and trained to promote and enforce the marina and Blue Flag Code of Conduct.
Having worked in partnership with local conservation authorities, business organizations and the City of Quinte West, the marina assists with hosting several charitable events in its gathering hall. This includes fundraisers, community exhibitions and boating association rendezvous. A prime example of community involvement is the annual donation of marina golf carts for the Santa Claus parade in Downtown Trenton, which provide transportation for parade participants. Trent Port Marina prides itself in contributing significantly to economic and social development within the Bay of Quinte Region. This is important when considering what it means to be a Blue Flag marina, because the Blue Flag responsibility extends far beyond the confines of the marina itself.
The high level of cleanliness would not exist without the dedication of our seasonal and transient boaters. Their willingness to comply with our marina and Blue Flag standards has been exceptional. Boaters understand and have a mutual respect for the water, the land and the surrounding area. Trent Port Marina has a Blue Flag information board on display, with details regarding local ecosystems, and the Blue Flag code of conduct. This code of conduct is explicitly communicated to our seasonal and transient boaters, and it is seldom that they have to be reminded of the associated expectations. Trent Port Marina is a Canada Customs Port of Entry, making it an ideal place for boaters to both begin and end their Trent-Severn Waterway exploration. This means we welcome boaters from all over North America and the world, and they all are trusted in ensuring our standard of quality is upheld. They have yet to disappoint.
Seeing and understanding the big picture impacts of these implementations regarding water quality and the environment is necessary to the success of the marina, but what are some of the smaller things we do at the marina every day to ensure our Blue Flag Certification is being upheld? It’s as simple as the reusable bath mats, the environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, LED & timed motion sensor lighting, solar lighting where possible, paperless moorage agreements and electronic booking, to our herb garden and providing exceptional customer service to our visitors.
Proper disposal of waste may seem to be a given but marina staff work tirelessly to ensure that nothing goes into that landfill that can be more appropriately diverted elsewhere. That includes proper separation of recyclables and ensuring that items such as plastic cutlery and straws that cannot be recycled are placed in the appropriate dumpster.
A designated hazardous waste disposal storage container is provided at the marina where boaters can store their hazardous waste until it is transported to the community’s hazardous waste disposal site. This container is kept under lock and key at all times to ensure the safety of the entire community.
Built on the expectation of excellence, our staff here at Trent Port Marina have worked hard to uphold this reputation. The Blue Flag Certification is something we hold with great pride. It is more than having a well-kept landscape and aesthetically pleasing waterfront (although, we strive for those things, too!). It is our ongoing commitment to the community, and to visitors from all over the world. Trent Port Marina wants visitors to know: we care. That’s what it means to be a Blue Flag Marina. It means quality in every sense of the word. The very thing Trent Port Marina was built on.