bought Herrington Harbour South, it needed a lot of work just to make the marina operational.
"The piers were literally falling into the water, the grounds were filthy, the launching facility had been closed, and the offices were boarded up," said Chaney
When Cheney took his
first steps to renovate the marina, he
also made good on his
promise to create a facility that not only protected the environment, but also enhanced it.
replaced the marina's original untreated pine lumber docks with composite fixed docks.
The living shoreline
then went about fixing the marina's shoreline.
purchased Herrington Harbour South, Chaney saw that the previous owners had placed concrete bulkheads down on the shoreline to keep it from eroding into Chesapeake Bay, which did not work.
knew from his
years of growing up on a farm that the best way to prevent erosion is to plant native grasses on the shoreline.
removed the bulkheads and construction debris and planted a living shoreline at Herrington Harbour South.
"If there is grass on a hillside, it won't erode.
If you plowed that hillside it washed.
And so I applied the same philosophy to the banks of the marina when we put grass in," said Chaney
What's important to note is that Chaney
did not plant just any grass.
did some research and found that Spartina Alterna Flora grasses grew well in saltwater environments and were native to the area.
planted those grasses right on the shoreline and then added Peytons to the upper shoreline to further fortify the soil.
"If you get the elevations right, it stabilizes the shoreline and you can create a habitat area," said Chaney
Since that humble beginning, Herrington Harbour has restored or created about 160,000 sq. ft. of marshland.
This living shoreline has also helped Herrington Harbour get a handle on the problem of trash washing up on shore.
The grasses actually trapped the trash, which allowed for marina personnel to pick it up and throw it away instead of leaving it in the water.
said these efforts to pick up trash have helped keep Herrington Harbour and the surrounding Herring Bay clean.
That's because boaters are less likely to throw trash in the water if there isn't any floating around.
"Trash breeds trash.
The more trash you see in the water, the more likely others will be to throw trash in the water too," said Chaney
That's because Chaney
family knew the importance of keeping sewage out of Herring Bay.
"At the end of the day, clean water is the lifeblood of our maritime system," said Chaney
Now Herrington Harbour offers free pumpouts to all boaters to discourage dumping.
The two marinas also offer clean bathrooms to further encourage all boaters to use the bathrooms on land instead of on their boats where they may be more inclined to dump their sewage into the water.
"Last year we pumped about 95,000 gallons of sewage out of boats," said Chaney
That's 95,000 gallons that didn't wind up in Herring Bay, thanks to Herrington Harbour's hard work.
didn't stop there.
In 2002 he worked with the EPA and DNR to have Herring Bay designated as the first "No Discharge Zone" on Chesapeake Bay.
"It has become a tremendous learning tool for boaters, so they can understand the significant negative impact the dumping of sewage has on the water," said Chaney
For example, some of the buildings at present day Herrington Harbour were originally at the marina when Chaney
bought it in1978.
"We've maintained most of the buildings.
Some of them are actually approaching a historic designation because they're 60 or 70 years old.
One such building was the yacht club.
It's been restored and it's used for catering and a restaurant," said Chaney
These birds rely on this land for protection and for a suitable site for their eggs," said Hamilton Chaney, the owner and operator of Herrington Harbour North.
Not every marina can reduce their trash output by 50%, but they can do something in this regard, said Chaney