Shepperton Marina's pledge to be more Environmentally Friendly

Shepperton Marina is a Five Gold Anchor Marina (re-accredited in 2022) situated on the lower River Thames.  As the very proud winner of The Yacht Harbour Association’s Inland Marina of the Year 2022, ecological status is high on our values and mission, as we strive towards Clean Marina Accreditation. 

The severity of marine pollution grows, and we are committed to raising awareness, educating our customers, and maintaining a sustainable natural environment.  Not forgetting the natural habitat of wildlife that reside here alongside our neighbours, The Swan Sanctuary, dedicated to the care and treatment of swans and waterfowl.

We want to engage and encourage people to support our mission by communicating the importance of protecting our marina ecosystem.   We want to take the opportunity to display our findings and what could have been potential impacts from them in order to learn.  And, not only to do this within the marina but also outside of it, to enlighten our local community and younger generation.  Sharing our findings will hopefully help people to be more mindful, in particular when discarding ‘single use’ items and understanding the smallest change made by many can make such a big difference.

So, what is our next move?  Shepperton Marina’s Clean Marina focus continues with the implementation of innovative water-cleaning technology within one of its busiest marina basins.  Some say… “Bin it to Win It”, and this technology does just that! In short, we have implemented a floating rubbish collector!  Seabin’s are ideal when based upstream of busy waterways and in areas of relative calm, so ideal for our marina environment. Its clever design works around the clock by skimming surface water and pumping it through a net to collect any floating debris.  In fact, the bin can collect debris as little as 2mm.  And, in a busy marina environment where issues with fuel and engines happen, our Seabin has the bonus of changing to filtration.  Therefore, if for any reason there was a fuel or oil spill our device can be switched to filter to assist our response unit.

Our awareness campaign will communicate our findings to encourage support, so we are keeping an eye on the catch of the day! In the past week we have collected approximately 8 kg of rubbish and debris consisting of wood, leaves, bottle tops, bottles, plastic one-use packaging and even a large amount of polystyrene balls.  Polystyrene is a type of plastic, non-recyclable and extremely dangerous as wildlife are prone to interpreting it as food in small pieces, so an ideal example to communicate just how important this project can be. Just as concerning has been the huge amount of cigarette butts which often people are misled to believe are biodegradable, however the plastic fibres in cigarettes are not and they additionally add toxicity to the water.

So, our first week of our Seabin has already made an impact to our environment and potentially saved wildlife, not forgetting the potential passage our rubbish collected could have made, to the tidal Thames and beyond. 

Perhaps we need to find our Seabin a name, as it will truly become a valued member of the team!  It will not take away our manual ways of a good old-fashioned net, a Dockmaster and his day boat, but we are very excited to see and communicate just how our new addition can support our future strategy.