Clean City

Posted on: May 25, 2017

Hampton Clean & Green Business Award Winner - Dandy Haven Marina

Hampton Clean City Commission Andy Gurkin Teresa Schmidt Debbie Blanton

Congratulations to Dandy Haven Marina for winning the Hampton Clean & Green Businesses Award! The award was presented by Councilwoman Teresa Schmidt and Clean City Coordinator Debbie Blanton at the Hampton Waterways Restoration Project meeting, Fort Monroe Community Center, on May 11.

Dandy Haven Marina was established in 1964, by Lesley Gurkin and has been family owned since then.  Their environmental creed has been that recreational and commercial fishing are the two industries that are most affected by clean or dirty waterways.  Therefore, they need to do as much as possible to ensure and promote clean waterways. 

The marina has supported environmentally friendly activities, including Chesapeake Bay Foundation, since 1984, and Hampton watershed restoration efforts, for many years.  Dandy Haven Marina hosts two shoreline clean-ups each year (weather permitting) oyster restoration efforts for volunteers without access to suitable waterways.  Subaquatic grass transplantation / restoration (in association with The National Aquarium in Baltimore), seahorse habitat surveys, underwater bomb detection validations, and donation of concrete drainage pipe to Virginia’s Back River reef program are among a few of the efforts the marina has supported. Since 1985, they have provided transportation for Ruth Beck, an Ornithology Professor at William & Mary, her interns, and volunteers who survey and protect the seabird nesting sites on Grandview Beach and Factory Point. We host Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Back River Tide Gauge that reports and predicts tide levels that are very helpful in storm surge events. 

Dandy Haven Marina is a man-made harbor to protect vessels moored here and leaves as much natural shoreline and surrounding marsh and wooded area as possible, approximately 50% of total acreage.  The marina leases 49 acres of oyster grounds in support of the restoration of their population.

That’s not all! Dandy Haven Marina repurposes materials wherever possible. This includes their primary workshop, which was a baby boom high school building located in Newport News, and using imperfect concrete drainage pipe for bulkheading and other purposes.   They were the first recreational boatyard in the area to install a power wash water recycling system, which led to accreditation by the Virginia Clean Marina Program in 2012.   They scrape off all viable oysters during washing and return them to Back River, and collect clean shell wherever possible.  They even keep an eye out for invasive species, though they’ve rarely encountered them. 

Dandy Haven Marina places filter cloth under each boat in for bottom scraping and painting.  They require and provide dustless sanders for use at no additional charge to reduce copper based paint from reentering the environment.  They participate in curbside recycling twice a month and collect all viable metals for recycling along with oils, fuels, antifreeze, filters, etc.  We participated in the Virginia state grant for sewage pump-out facilities.

Andrew Gurkin, who received the award at the presentation, graduated from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s VoiCeS (Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards ) program, in addition to several other educational seminars, volunteered for the stormwater portion of the Hampton Visioning procedure, is a novice vessel operator trainer for the National Safe Boating Council’s “Marina Pro” program, is a certified CERT emergency preparedness trainee, participates in Virginia’s Working Waterfronts Council, and is Past Vice-President of Virginia Marine Trades Association.

Once, again - many, many thanks to Randy Lyall, principal of Lyall Design Architects, who talked about building for sustainability at the Virginia Peninsula Clean Business Forum on April 26.

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