Kelowna Yacht Club is the first freshwater marina in the province to achieve a five-anchor rating from Clean Marine BC, and the first to be certified in the interior by the voluntary eco-certification program for marinas, harbour authorities, yacht clubs, and boatyards.
Clean Marine BC is run by Georgia Strait Alliance, a non-profit marine conservation organization. Boating facilities undergo an independent audit to determine their eligibility for certification and are awarded a rating ranging from a minimum of one-anchor to the top five-anchors. These anchor ratings reflect operational practices and initiatives that help to reduce the impact of recreational boating in British Columbia.
Sustainability and environmental stewardship have been core values for Kelowna Yacht Club (KYC), first achieving a 4- anchor Clean Marine BC certification in 2019. Since then, KYC has concentrated on improving numerous areas of operations to ensure continued growth within these priorities.
Highlights of the Kelowna Yacht Club’s five-anchor certification include:
- Docks that are clean and well maintained, with ongoing phaseout of foam flotation, and creosote pilings being replaced with steel;
- Spill protection kits that are visible and well placed;
- Mandatory holding tanks, with a complimentary sewage pump out facility available;
- Clubhouse restaurant, cafe and overall operations follow environmentally sound practices; and
- Extensive onsite waste management system and recycling collection.
Kelowna Yacht Club has also brought on an Environmental & Sustainability Coordinator, Brenda Cortes, who focuses on working with each individual department to improve their environmental practices, finding opportunities for growth and increasing overall awareness with the Club membership.
“Since our initial audit in 2019, the Club has come a long way with our environmental practices,” says Thom Killingsworth, Executive Director of Kelowna Yacht Club. “We are proud to be recognized for these continued efforts, and to have achieved the top certification within the Clean Marine BC program. This is an important initiative and we encourage other clubs, marinas and operations within our community to strive for environmental excellence.”
“We are happy to see the Kelowna Yacht Club embrace Clean Marine BC’s philosophy of continual improvement, and to move forward on recommendations coming out of their first certification to become a top rated marina in our program,” says Georgia Strait Alliance’s Executive Director Christianne Wilhelmson.
In addition to the Clean Marine BC certification, Kelowna Yacht Club is a part of the TOTA Biosphere Program and was awarded with the 2021 Eco-Efficiency award. Out of the 75 facilities enrolled in the Clean Marine BC program, Kelowna Yacht Club is just one of 18 who have achieved the top 5-anchor rating.
About the Clean Marine BC (CMBC) program
CMBC is a voluntary eco-certification program that recognizes marinas and other boating facilities for environmental best practices, and assists them in making improvements to minimize the negative impacts of recreational boating. There are now 44 Clean Marine BC certified marinas, yacht club facilities, boatyards and harbour authority wharfs, and another 30 facilities which have adopted the Clean Marine BC policy and are working towards certification.
About Kelowna Yacht Club
Located lakefront in the heart of downtown Kelowna, the Kelowna Yacht Club provides our members with top-quality moorage in Canada’s largest fresh-water basin, excellent variety of food and beverage service, social events and many opportunities to volunteer as a part of the community. Being a not-for-profit organization, Kelowna Yacht Club has been supporting boater education and safe, responsible enjoyment of Okanagan Lake since 1945. Our facility is a resource for community partners such as the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron and Adaptive Sailing Association. www.kelownayachtclub.com
About Georgia Strait Alliance
Grounded in environmental justice, Georgia Strait Alliance mobilizes and supports collective action to protect the Salish Sea region and beyond. We envision a Salish Sea teaming with life where thriving and just communities live in balance with the environment.
Photo: Chris Boulsbee