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Lost Creek Lake marina gets clean bill of health

The marina at Joseph Stewart County Park designated a ‘Clean Marina’

Just in time for summer, the Oregon State Marine Board has designated the Joseph Stewart County Park marina a “Clean Marina.”

The marina at Lost Creek Lake joins 63 other marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs and floating home moorages that fly the Oregon Clean Marina flag since the Oregon State Marine Board program began in 2005.

The Oregon Clean Marina program is a voluntary environmental certification program that carries a goal of improving local water quality through best practices, according to an overview on the Oregon State Marine Board website. Only about a third of approximately 180 eligible marinas participate in the program.

When the Marine Board identifies an environmental issue — whether it relates to petroleum pollution, aquatic invasive species or fish waste — officials find solutions “through a partnership, not an enforcement action,” according to the Marine Board.

According to the 132-page guidebook, becoming part of the Clean Marina program starts with an 83-point inspection covering topics such as boater education and signage, waste disposal, painting and fiberglass repair protocols and emergency planning.

The Marine Board conducts follow-up inspections every three years. When the state flags environmental issues through the Clean Marina inspections, the state program implements solutions in a partnership or “nonregulatory” manner because the Marine Board is not an environmental enforcement agency.

Boatyards that commit to the voluntary program do receive tangible benefits that go beyond free inspections. Boaters at the marina may be eligible to get free environmental safety items and resources from the state such as oil absorbent pads or oil bilge socks, according to the Marine Board.

In a Friday statement about the certification, Jackson County Roads and Parks Director Steve Lambert said park management is “committed to responsible stewardship of the facility.”

Further, Jackson County Parks potentially could see discounts on environmental liability insurance and environmental technical assistance free of charge from the state.

The county says late spring precipitation has improved Lost Creek Lake’s levels to 96% full, so Jackson County Parks anticipates a busy summer season for rentals of pontoon boats, fishing boats, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks and space for boat moorage. For reservations, call Jackson County Parks at 541-774-8183.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com.