A group of area boaters turned their heads away from the wind and water April 11 to concentrate on landscaping.
With the approval of the Port of Port Angeles commissioners, the North Olympic Sail and Power Squadron adopted Sequim’s John Wayne Marina this year. The club’s “parental” responsibilities will be similar to what’s expected from the Adopt-a-Highway Program — litter removal, landscaping and general maintenance and beautification.
“NOSPS has over 100 members in the community and many of them utilize the facilities at John Wayne Marina with either slip rentals or use of the boat launch,” said Ray Thomas, the Adopt-a-Marina Project lead, while wearing work gloves and holding a rake. “These volunteers are serving the public facility that has served them so well over the years, gaining civic pride and knowing they’re making a difference.”
The sail and power squadron is one of 17 in the state, which are all part of a larger, nationwide organization. The North Olympic division’s civic project will serve as a test project for the 450 squadrons across the country, as it’s the first of its kind. Thomas said his club’s national organizers are paying close attention to the adoption to possibly make it a routine practice of its members.
The squadron has two Adopt-a-Marina signs that it plans on posting at the marina to better represent the group.
“We’ve been looking into ways to get more involved in the community’s use of the marina to match how we are involved in the boaters’ use of the facility,” Thomas said. “Our major efforts up to now have been to promote safe boating by providing several classes to the public that cover seamanship, piloting, advanced piloting, junior navigation and general navigation.”
Thomas wants to see more boaters or future boaters in the classes, especially the youths.
“The state of Washington has a law that goes into effect this year that requires all boat operators between the ages of 12 and 20 to have a Boater Safety Education Card,” Thomas said. “We and other class providers are experiencing a lack of individuals from this age group taking any courses, much less the course they will be cited for not taking if they navigate a boat.”
Port Commissioner Jim McEntire agreed with Thomas, encouraging the area’s boating youths to get enrolled in the necessary classes.
“Boating involves some risk and there is no need to have something so fun to cause hardship on people and their families if something goes wrong,” said McEntire while helping the squadron’s volunteers clear brush on the sunny Friday morning. “These classes are a bit like driver’s education, very necessary for the youth and beneficial for all age groups. This club is taking the lead in the area for both the marina’s adoption and to provide these classes.”
To track Port of Port Angeles operations or to learn more about its marinas and other facilities, visit www.portofpa.com or call 457-8527. The port commissioners meet every second and fourth Monday at 9:30 a.m. in the port building at 3385 W. First St. in Port Angeles.
To learn more about the North Olympic Sail and Power Squadron, visit www.calmseas.org. The club’s next public boating course will be May 3-4. For scheduling, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or for membership information, call 683-8801.