Marinas - Essential ecosystems
The definition of a Marina is that of a purpose built harbour providing moorings for yachts and small boats.
That may well have been the case when dictionaries were first compiled but, not anymore.
In Sydney Harbour there are in fact a total of 39 marinas offering moorings for yachts to 100 feet and power vessels to 160 feet.
It is said that Sydney's oldest Marina is Ferguson's on the south east end of the Spit Bridge in Mosman which marks the entrance to the upper reaches of Middle Harbour, home to the famous D'Albora facility which was established in the 6o's then owned by a couple of Qantas pilots and became the first floating marina.
A relatively small operation then it is now one of the premier marinas on the harbour offering some two hundred moorings in a sheltered deep-water facility. In the Eastern Suburbs in the high end and pleasant Darling Point the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is the biggest marina operation in Sydney with near three hundred berths
Marinas are an integral part of the harbour landscape whose standards, facilities and services are geared to the enjoyment of not only boat owners but in many cases to the general public offering wonderful dining experiences and fabulous cafes and baristas suited to every pocket.
Today, more than ever, marinas provide sea-life with magnificent breeding surroundings as environmental standards are now at the fore front of operator's minds. The clean marinas philosophy ensures the highest standards when it comes to the protection and preservation of the water scape around each facility from North Harbour to Cabarita on the Parramatta River.
This applies not only to the sea life in the harbour but also the sea growth like grasses, weeds, oysters, mussels and crustaceans that make their homes not only under and around marinas but also in and around the many sea walls, rock outcrops and shelves that stretch the length and breadth of the harbour.
Almost all of Sydney's marinas are of the attractive, tidy and user-friendly floating variety built predominantly by the Bellingham Group. Strong, sturdy and user-friendly concrete facilities these will last for decades. All marinas are today run by teams of professional managers who have made lifelong careers in the leisure marina industry.
There are only a handful of the old pile and plank timber wharves of yesteryear remaining.
Pittwater, Broken Bay, Cowan and the Hawkesbury also offer the modern marina experience as does Botany Bay and Port Hacking.
So, it is up to all of us to do our bit. Ensure that we follow the guidelines when around our marinas.
Be respectful, be courteous, be clean and be tidy and remember to have fun at all times.
Sydney Harbour is our harbour. It is your harbour to enjoy to the full.
Let's take care of it, for now and tomorrow.