How to make a difference..

We spend much of our time consulting to various waterway managers about keeping their respective marine environments clean. Interestingly, no matter the many variables there are to consider with different river systems and marinas, the solution always comes down to a few basics…

Waterway Management Plan

There is one thing you can be sure of when trying to maintain a clean marine environment – there is seldom, if ever, a magic bullet that provides a simple one-off solution. Waterway management requires a planned and methodical approach, and so the need for a Waterway Management Plan [WMP]. Key elements of the plan include;

  • Wind direction - impact on inflow/outflow of floating debris
  • Tidal movement - impact on inflow/outflow of floating debris
  • Boating and general recreational activity around the area [trying to identify how much of floating debris is generated locally as opposed to that which inflows from other sources
  • Identify the make-up of floating debris, eg sea grass/weed, plastics, straws, fauna, flora..
  • Natural and man-made water inlets into the area, eg drainage systems, tributaries, wash-off areas etc
  • Natural collection/trap points in the waterway

Once we have a broader understanding of why, where and how floating debris collects in the waterway we have a much better chance of implementing a solution that will work – in the long term as well as the short term.

Reporting Regime

We have found that a robust regime of daily weekly and monthly reports provides invaluable information about the impact of our cleaning and maintenance solutions and to provide feeback to our clients. We track key daily data to identify trends and subtle changes to rubbish flow ;

  • Who [captures staffing – start and finish times]
  • Wind and tide direction and consequent location of floating debris
  • A breakdown of the type of floating debris collected for the day
  • Water temperature [effects the levels of sea grass, algae and weed]
  • Amount of debris collected [generally estimated so that we can track the overall effectiveness of our cleaning program]
  • Performance of Refuse Collection Devices [RCD’s] – the location of the RCD’s is critical to their effectiveness and should be closely monitored
  • General comments on refuse collected and status of the waterway

General trends are identified and summarised in a monthly report so that we can amend our waterway management plan as required.

 Refuse Collection Devices and Directional Booms

A key tenant of what we do is, collect floating debris that comes into the waterway. Redirecting flow in/out of a waterway of itself does not address the broader issue of removing rubbish from our waterways. Inevitably, all the plastic and junk that we allow to flow out of our inland waterways eventually find its way to the centralised ocean gyres – or ocean dumping grounds. So ‘redirection’ of floating debris is not a solution, its simply Avoidance.

Cleanamarina has designed bespoke floating devices [Rubbish Collection Device – RCD] which work with the wind and tide to trap floating debris. Placed strategically in a waterway they will direct the debris into its central collecting hub with its float-gates allowing refuse in but not out. Used in conjunction with floating directional booms the RCDs are a very effective way in which to trap floating rubbish. Removal of the rubbish can be by scoop net from the jetty or river bank or by using a small vessel.

A comprehensive Waterway Management Plan will identify the strategic locations for best placement of RCD’s and Directional Booms. Getting that right is a big step toward maintaining a clean waterway.

 So there you have it. Its not rocket science but more an accumulated learning from many years of marine life experiences. Our Operations Director, Mark Loader has lived and breathed all things ‘marine and clean’ for over fifty years. Our crew reflect an eclectic mix of skills and knowledge marked by a passion to make a difference.

And here is our way of making that real difference. We have put together a Cleanamarina Starters Kit so that anyone, with real intent, can manage the cleaning of a waterway. The irony of waterway management is that the process is fairly simply – what is most often missing is some basic tools and uncomplicated instruction/guidance to make it happen. We can’t visit every waterway and implement cleaning plans for every marina and river system, but we can provide you with those tools and information. You can make a difference.

The Cleanamarina Starters Kit can be used in a number of ways – from environmental entrepreneurs wanting a start-up business kit to marina managers looking to maintain their commercial asset. It doesn’t matter… Once you have the basic tools and understanding of good process then the remaining ingredient is simply, your intent. Its that simple.

There is no smoke or mirrors with the starters kit. There are some additional options for those who want to take it to the next level but importantly; If you’re genuine about making a difference to your little corner of the world, send us an email now and we’ll get started!


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