Celebrating Blue Flag
“We are pleased to announce that the International Jury has awarded the Blue Flag to Westhaven Marina for the 2017-2018 season” - words that the Westhaven Marina team and Panuku Development Auckland were very excited to hear last week. Securing Blue Flag, and maintaining it, is testament to our high level of commitment to reducing impact on the natural world around us, and continuous efforts to improve environmental outcomes.
Westhaven Marina entered into Blue Flag twelve years ago, and has maintained it ever since.
The program requires the marina to document, oversee and actively manage a wide range of activities that impact the environment and this has been overseen by staff member Heidi Clarke since she started working at Westhaven in 2010.
While all new projects are designed to achieve best practice or better in terms of environmental outcomes, as a marina nearing eighty years in age being an environmental guardian often means looking for innovative ways to improve historic infrastructure.
For example, the upgraded floating dock service where boats can be cleaned and maintained now sees all of its waste sent with other sewage for treatment. Under the marina’s carparks are Stormwater 360 devices, Enviropods and pits that absorb and filter out nasties, including run off from the motorway, before it enters the sea. Additionally, Panuku Development Auckland, the marina’s custodian, is working closely with Auckland Council to develop solutions to infrastructure issues in neighbouring suburbs that are impacting on the marina.
Westhaven has high standards for its customers, asking all to act as good environmental citizens and has provided and upgraded 44 sewage removal facilities in locations throughout the marina, as well as extensive waste and recycling facilities.
Panuku is also supporting researchers and biosecurity experts to help with the biosecurity problem of Mediterranean fanworm, for which there are no known solutions, and to ensure the industry as a whole is ready for emerging marine pest threats in the future.
Antifoul and zinc anodes are two causes of toxins in marina waters and Panuku is assisting with trials of emerging alternatives to antifouling vessels.
An education programme is designed to inform marina users and the wider community of ways they can reduce their impact on the environment.
“Westhaven’s environmental initiatives are excellent,” says Panuku Development Auckland’s Marinas Manager Tom Warren. “Thanks to the work done by the team I can put my hand on my heart and say we do everything we can to ensure the marina environment is in good shape for future generations.”
“Keep New Zealand Beautiful would like to congratulate the team at Westhaven Marina for the high quality of your application and your great work and commitment to the Blue Flag Programme over the past twelve years,” said Christine White of Keep New Zealand Beautiful.
Pictured: Marina Manager Kevin Lidgard with Marina Services & Implementation Manager Sabine Seabrook. The Blue Flag Programme is overseen by Heidi Clarke, who is not pictured in this photo.