News: Mitchell Creek Marina achieves 'Clean Marina' status
Story by Leon Roberts
Allons, Tenn. – Mitchell Creek Marina here on Dale Hollow Lake raised the “Clean Marina” flag, June 3, during a dedication ceremony recognizing the marina’s voluntary efforts to reduce water pollution and erosion in the Cumberland River watershed, and for promoting environmentally responsible marina and boating practices.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District implemented the Cumberland River Basin Clean Marina Partnership with its watershed partners, which include the Tennessee Valley Authority, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Cumberland River Compact. The program is modeled after the Tennessee Valley Clean Marina initiative, which currently has 81 participating marinas and supports the National Clean Boating Campaign.
At the ceremony on the dock by the water, Maj. Bill Judson, deputy district engineer of the Nashville District, said, “None of what we are celebrating today would be possible without the leadership and dedication of Doug Smith and his daughter April. Their dedication to clean water and becoming a ‘Clean Marina’ is very commendable. Mitchell Creek Marina on Dale Hollow Lake serves as a model for other marinas in the Cumberland River Basin in the certification process.”
Michael Detwiler, field representative for Congresswoman Diane Black, also attended and praised the work to improve the facilities at Mitchell Creek Marina.
“This place is beautiful isn’t it?” Detwiler said. “Today is an important and historic day for Mitchell Creek. It’s an important and historic day for the Smiths and their staff to achieve the ‘Clean Marina’ status. If I have my facts right they are only the fifth or sixth marina in this district to achieve this status. That means a lot because there are several levels and stair steps they have to go through. I encourage you all if you haven’t done it to read the 52-page report on what they have to do to achieve that.”
During the process of achieving “Clean Marina” status, Mitchell Creek Marina’s owners signed a pledge card committing to the ideals of controlling pollution and erosion. Then the facility had to complete a clean marina checklist and develop an action plan to meet their goals.
The checklist is extensive, and contains specific requirements for sewage management; fuel management; solid waste and petroleum recycling and disposal; vessel operation, maintenance and repair; marina siting, design and maintenance; storm water management and erosion control; and public education and water safety.
According to Park Ranger Sondra Carmen, the marina has accomplished all checklist items and demonstrated a willingness to protect and preserve the water and environment at Dale Hollow Lake.
“Mitchell Creek has completed all the necessary requirements and excelled in proactive clean boating outreach with marina patrons and visitors,” Carmen said.
Dale Hollow Lake Resource Manager Stephen Beason thanked the Smiths for taking the initiative to achieve “Clean Marina” status.
“I know they did a lot of work out here at Mitchell Creek Marina,” Beason said. “They’ve come a long ways. A lot of you in the group today can probably remember the marina… what it was a few years ago… what it is today. You guys are to be commended for the work you’ve done in reaching this status.”
After raising the “Clean Marina” flag at the end of the dedication ceremony, April Smith commented with her father standing by her side that they are proud of the effort of their entire staff to get the work done over the past few months to be certified and honored during the ceremony.
“We’ve taken a pledge to put together an environmental action plan and implement that into the marina, and we’re going to continue to go above and beyond what is expected of us to continue to keep this lake as clean as possible and to continue to encourage everybody to keep it clean as well as we can,” she said. “We could not have done this without our staff and our crewmembers. They have worked extra hard to make every one of these requirements possible. We put in overtime. We put in extra hours and concern. They have just been excited. They’ve been pushing our eco-friendly products. They’ve been pushing… hey recycle. They’ve been pushing it so every one of my crewmembers are to be commended.”
Mitchell Creek Marina is the third marina at Dale Hollow Lake to achieve this designation. The other two marinas that have already achieved “Clean Marina” status are Willow Grove and Sunset Marinas.
(Editor’s Note: Mitchell Creek Marina can be reached at 866-533-1842 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is http://www.mitchellcreekmarina.com and their Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/mitchellcreekmarina.)