Marine Recreation Association – 46th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show

August 29, 2017
For Immediate Release
Robert Wilkes to Speak at the 46th Annual MRA Conference and Trade Show on How We are Doing as an Industry to Protect the Environment
Robert Wilkes writes about the marina industry for Marina Dock Age and Marina World magazines and has been following the industry’s environmental progress for the last 20 years. “By every measure, it’s an enormous success,” said Wilkes. “The original problems, such as creosote piles and TBT and copper-based bottom paints, are long gone. There are excellent Clean Marina programs throughout the US and the world. They periodically test our marinas to exacting criteria and show that our practices meet and exceed rigorous standards. Boater sensitivity to the environment is as high as it’s ever been, and getting higher. If someone is not following the rules or has a boat that’s leaking fuel or oil, it will be reported in a heartbeat by other boaters.”
Wilkes aims to dispel the myth that marinas are bad for the environment. “It’s just not true,” said Wilkes, “but it’s a hard sell to people who oppose coastal development of any kind. Marinas improve biodiversity, create habitat, oxygenate anaerobic dead spots in bays and inlets, and make the water cleaner and clearer. Unfortunately, either we are not getting the word out or the anti-development people refuse to listen. We have work to do as an industry communicating our message. We are good stewards of the environment, and we need to get more credit for the job we’re doing.”
Wilkes will discuss the effects of a floating concrete dock marina on the environment as compared to the bay or inlet with no marina. He will describe some success stories in recovering environmentally stressed areas through good environmental management. “Despite the excellent job our operators are doing,” said Wilkes, “we still have a lot of work to do convincing the public and the agencies that regulate us and permit our projects.” Some ideas for communicating our clean-environment story and changing attitudes will be discussed in Wilkes’ talk, scheduled for Wednesday, October 25 at the 46th Annual MRA Educational Conference and Trade Show. For more information visit  
The Marine Recreation Association is a professional organization that represents marina owners, operators, and industry professionals located throughout the western United States with additional members in Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Created more than 46 years ago, the MRA actively promotes and represents recreational boating interests while providing educational, management, and operations seminars and information for marine industry owners, operators, and staff.
For additional information about the MRA, and all of its activities and interests, please contact Mariann Timms by phone at (209) 334-0661, email at or go online at
Marine Recreation Association, 14900 West Highway 12 #30, Lodi, CA 95242