Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune has first DoD facility to receive the honor
One of the goals at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Gottschalk Marina is to always do its best.
The 64-ship marina at MCB Camp Lejeune exclusively serves those connected with the military.
“These men and women go out every day and do their best for us, and I figure the least we can do is do the best for them and their families while we help protect the environment,” said Sammy Landrum, marina manager at Gottschalk Marina.
In keeping with that motto, Gottschalk Marina has set the bar for other marinas by becoming the first Department of Defense facility in North Carolina to receive certification as a Clean Marina, no small feat considering the state’s large military population.
“This recognition, and going through the rules and doing it right, was our way of showing the military community that we’re doing the best for them,” Landrum said.
North Carolina Clean Marina is a voluntary program under the N.C. Division of Coastal Management in which participating marina operators use management practices to protect water quality. To earn the certification, the marina’s owners control boat maintenance activities and prepare spill prevention plans to protect water quality. Marina operators also incorporate safety and emergency planning for their facilities.
“This is a voluntary, non-regulatory program within state government that helps protect valuable coastal resources, and it’s a great opportunity for the state to partner with other government entities, such as Camp Lejeune,” said Braxton Davis, director of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management.
Marina staff began researching the N.C. Clean Marina Program about two years ago after attending an environmental symposium. As a facility on a military base, the marina was already subject to safety and environmental inspections and had adopted a spill plan, but staff felt they wanted to take an extra step to make sure the facility had as little environmental impact as practicable.
The marina added a pump-out facility and a recycling station, but just as the paperwork began Hurricane Florence hit and delayed completion of the certification project for several months.
The state’s Clean Marina program is part of a nationwide program developed by the National Marine Environmental Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to clean up waterways for better recreational boating.
With the process completed, Landrum believes Gottschalk Marina has set the standard for marinas on military bases all over the world.
“Now that we have it, everybody should have it,” Landrum said.