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March April 2019 Marina World

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The magazine for the marina industry


ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTS & INITIATIVES Photo: Esteban Biondi, associate principal ATM and chairman PIANC RecCom. Marinas: working with – and not against – nature The Jupiter Yacht Club Marina in south Florida was built maintaining a significant mangrove forest. by Gosse de Boer Yachting facilities such as marinas are, by definition, built in or directly adjacent to bodies of water. An obvious statement - that has significant meaning. Transition between land and water, whether coastal, riverine or beside a lake, is very valuable environmentally and socio-economically. Around 65% of the world’s population currently lives in coastal areas and this percentage is growing, putting increased pressure on nature and available space. Marinas, big or small, also have an impact on nature and consideration of the relationship between a marina and nature is required in the conception and early design stages, as well as in the construction and operation phases. The relationship between a marina and its natural environment is not necessarily negative. There are multiple measures applicable by which a marina could actually contribute to nature and lead to direct benefits to the marina and its users. Clear, clean waters, increased biodiversity, natural shelter, reduced dredging and maintenance costs and even reduced efforts in obtaining (environmental) licences are examples of potential benefits. Obtaining an environmental licence is challenging in many coastal areas, where increased coastal zone management measures have been introduced but an approach focused on working with nature can achieve win-win solutions. I performed a research study in 2016 to establish a framework for sustainable marina development, with a view to the successful integration of a marina in nature by guiding early development and design decisions. The selection of locations and design options is assisted by assessing the interrelations with local and regional nature and the identification of potential synergies; opportunities to develop a marina structure whilst at the same time enhancing nature – by working with nature. A theoretical case study for a marina development on the island of Mauritius showcased how the ecosystem-based framework highlighted synergies and guided the design process towards a sustainable marina. An important element in this framework is the concept of ecosystem services; a rather new concept, which currently is subject to many research studies globally. PIANC (The World Association for Waterborne Navigation Infrastructure) set up a working group to develop guidance on how to apply ecosystem services in maritime works (the final report is expected to be published this year) in addition to the overarching Working with Nature philosophy. The Recreational Navigation Commission (RecCom) of PIANC, which develops guidelines for marina design, construction, maintenance and operation, is also developing specific guidelines for sustainable recreational navigation infrastructure. PIANC promotes sustainability and signals the need for more sustainable approaches to marina development. To conclude, both the need and reason for a sustainable approach to marina development are clear. It is time to adopt the science in everyday marina work and reap the benefits. In times of increasingly pressed nature, together with a continuously increasing demand for coastal recreation, a sustainably developed and operated marina may be exactly what is needed. PIANC offers a ‘Working with Nature Certificate of Recognition’ to projects that can show they are compatible with this philosophy. For more information, go to www.pianc. info or e: Gosse de Boer, in association with Royal HaskoningDHV, developed the framework for sustainable marina development during his graduation research at the Delft University of Technology. He is an active member of the PIANC working group on ecosystem services. E: 38 - March/April 2019

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