Maine’s Dolphin Marina Awarded “Green” Status

The Dolphin Marina and Restaurant has been a favorite stopover for Casco Bay boaters since 1966. Photo courtesy Dolphin Marina and Restaurant.

The Dolphin Marina and Restaurant in South Harpswell, Maine, recently received “Clean Marina” certification from Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Marine Trades Association for its environmentally safe policies and practices. The marina was notified of the certification award on National Marina Day.

Chart of area.

The venerable family-owned marina, which was established in 1966 by Malcolm and Jean Saxton, underwent extensive renovations and upgrades in order to meet the environmental standards set by the state and federal government. These included comprehensive plans to monitor and manage storm-water runoff plan, waste disposal, and fuel storage and dispensing.

Since the marina and restaurant is a popular stopover for transient boaters in Casco Bay (a no-discharge zone), pumpout became a priority. This led to the installation of a 200-square-foot pumpout barge with 500-gallon capacity. The pumpout is free to use and open 24/7.

Satellite Map
Satellite Map
Dolphin Marina
The marina has increased its green space by reorganizing and reducing the overall size of the facility. Photo courtesy Dolphin Marina & Restaurant.

To mitigate storm-water runoff and facilitate natural filtering of nutrients, the Saxtons reduced the facility’s size, and therefore its environmental impact, from 7 acres to 2 acres, decreasing the amount of impervious surface by 17 percent.

Other planned environmentally friendly practices include the installation of new mooring systems that protect bottom habitat and the stabilization of shoreline bulkheads.

Dolphin’s efforts to meet the rigorous clean-marina standards were part of a $2 million upgrade and reorganization of the property and facilities.

Dolphin Marina, docking.
The free pumpout barge can hold 500 gallons and is available 24/7. Photo courtesy Dolphin Marina & Restaurant.

“We basically went from a marina with a 1960s-era grandfathered infrastructure to a modern, green facility in 3 years,” says Chris Saxton, who manages the marina with his brother, Bill. “It boils down to our commitment to our parents and grandparents, as well as maintaining the legacy of this property. We feel strongly about protecting it. What we’ve done is better for the environment and the community.”

The Maine Clean Boatyards and Marinas program is a collaborative partnership among industry, state and federal agencies and environmental organizations dedicated to promoting best management practices in boatyards and marinas.