Environmental Programs for R.I. Marine Businesses

The business of boating depends on a healthy ocean. RIMTA has created programs and partnered with leading environmental organizations to give marine businesses clear guidelines on steps they can take to run a greener operation.

Read on for an overview of environmental programs for R.I. marine businesses.


Did you know that eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year? At this rate, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050.

The R.I. Department of Environmental Management in partnership with RIMTA and marina operators launched a local initiative in 2018 to keep plastics out of Narragansett Bay and off our coastlines. The Zero Plastics Marina Initiative is a voluntary effort where marinas will prevent pollution, encourage recycling, educate and clean the coastline by keeping plastics out of the ocean.

Click here for a list of 10 pollution-prevention steps you can take to be a Zero Plastics Marina. This initiative is a great first step toward running a greener operation.

If you’d like to learn more about marine debris and how the RI-based organization Clean Ocean Access has worked with marine companies on this issue, read our story here.


The Clean Marina Program is a voluntary initiative designed to reward marinas that go beyond regulatory requirements by applying innovative best management practices for pollution prevention to their regular operations. The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council developed the program with RIMTA, RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Sea Grant, and Save The Bay.

A Clean Marina Guidebook and self-assessment checklist have been developed to help marinas achieve the designation. Click here to learn more.

Read a story here about how RIMTA member New England Boatworks earned the Clean Marina distinction.


Every year in the U.S. an increasing number of recreational fiberglass boats reach their end of life without a sustainable option for disposal. Some will be crushed and buried in landfills, where they will persist for many years, while others may be abandoned by their owners on land or in coastal areas where they can potentially harm the marine environment.

This is a serious challenge facing boat owners, state governments, and the national marine-trades industry – and the Ocean State has taken the lead in searching for a solution.

Launched by Rhode Island Sea Grant and RIMTA, the Rhode Island Fiberglass Vessel Recycling (RIFVR) Pilot Project will explore solutions for the sustainable disposal of fiberglass boats, by dismantling and re-processing of fiberglass hulls into cement as an alternative to landfill.

This pilot is a collaboration among local, regional and national partners, who are working toward the material-collection phase of the pilot. If you are a RIMTA member interested in nominating an end-of-life vessel for use in the pilot, please fill out this form.

Learn more about the project in this background sheet, or contact project manager Evan Ridley ([email protected] / 401-396-9619).


RIMTA was among the first in the country to begin a recycling program for shrink wrap. This has saved RIMTA member marinas thousands of dollars in landfill tipping fees while supporting a healthier environment. RIMTA members should contact Jen Huber at RIMTA (email / 401-396-919) for more information.

READ MORE at rimta.org