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Marinas sustainable development strategy

A very warm welcome to our marina


We want you to really enjoy our stay with us, whether you are here overnight, or if you discovered MARINA ‘glue’, you are perhaps returning to us for a few more months or years.  We know that everyone that works or visits here has one thing in common -  a passion and love of the ocean and we all know that it is under stress from our activities!


Embracing the ocean

Our coastline has very long history and association with the oceans.  It has shaped our history, our stories, our culture, as well as our wonderful food and drink.  Clean coastal waters and beaches are key elements of the landscape our environment and our home, we know that they are greatly valued by residents and visitors alike - we want to keep it that way!  Sadly, we are all now seeing, reading and hearing about the damage being done by us all to the aquatic life in our rivers, coastal waters and oceans.   We want to do everything we can to look after and to protect our wonderful coastline for residents and visitors for the years and decades to come.  We want to be a global exemplar and for us to take a leadership role and demonstrate how to care for our rivers, coastal waters, our oceans, and our future.


Charting a passage ……our ocean recovery route map

Here at Marina, we are charting our way to create a green route map for the environmental protection in the marina and the surrounding rivers, coastal waters and the ocean.   We hope you will help us navigate and make fast progress on what is probably one of the most critically important passages of our lives.


We are listening:

The Marina Team have been listening and reading all the concerns, and the great ideas and tips that have been shared with us over the last year.  We have distilled this into this practical welcome email and we hope you will find it, not only, useful, but that you will be inspired to help us do even more where we can.  Please get in touch if you think there is something we should be doing.   We are on a journey to change  how we live and do business. We are so lucky to be surrounded by like-minded people who love the ocean.  Let’s all pull together, and keep our home a lovely and special place for the years and decades to come.


Little things matter – especially for our ocean and climate!

With Covid19, it has become evident that it really is the little things that matter!  Below are some facts about the ocean’s tiny plants (phytoplankton) that we want to share with you.   All life on earth depends upon a healthy ocean ecosystem, yet we now know that most marine life is now struggling for survival.  Every day each of us has been dumping toxic chemicals down our sinks and drains at home, offices, factories and from our boats.   Household cleaners, personal care products and even pharmaceuticals are toxic to the marine environment.  On land they pass straight through wastewater plants and reach our rivers, coastal waters and then get into our ocean.  There are already huge amounts of chemicals in the large pieces of plastic, but these breakdown into micro-plastics, with even more surface area to absorb the chemicals we’ve discharged directly.     Below we’ve included some practical advice and shopping ideas which we hope you’ll find interesting and useful – the outcome could mean that local marine life will survive. 


A few facts – things we really take action on!

-  Ocean planktonic plants remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make their own food and our oxygen.

-  Ocean planktonic plants (phytoplankton) provide most of our oxygen (50 – 90%).

-  Oceans plants are therefore key and should be our top priority, because they are regulating our climate for all life on earth.

-  Phytoplanktonic represent the ‘Life Support System’ for the entire planet.

-  Since 1950, oceanic pH has dropped from 8,2 to 8,06 and is expected to drop to 7,95 in the next 25 years – this will be a tipping point for     the world’s oceans.

- Since 1950, NASA report a decline of 1% every year in the numbers of these critically important little plants (this phytoplankton reduction is referred to a reduction ‘oceanic productivity -  it’s a bit like a farmer losing half his crop over a 50 year period).    The evidence is building fast, and it is pointing to pollution from toxic persistent chemicals like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and triclosan, and microplastic particles - the things we find in for example: our cleaning and personal care products, fire retardants, pesticides – 3500 different types of product.

- Declining ocean productivity contributes to climate change and the oceans are losing their ability to use our carbon dioxide

- One of the worst offenders, and linked to coral destruction, are suncreens with oxybenzone and octinoxate - very, very toxic chemicals used in sunscreens and in many of the 3500 other types of personal care and cleaning products we referred to above.  They are carcinogenic, mutagenic, endocrine disrupting and neurologically damaging (we don’t want it going into our seas).

-  if one year’s global production of sunscreen cream was dumped in the ocean at one time almost all marine life would die.

- An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year – (let’s not add to it)

- Recent marine surveys have recorded up to 7 micro-plastic particles in every litre of seawater down to 200 metres.  That’s 7000 in a cubic meter, yet there are typically only 10 zooplankton (tiny marine animals).  

- Micro-plastic particles get into our coastal waters and oceans from a wide range of our activities including municipal wastewater, car tire wear, lost flip-flops, plastic bags and boxes, but also personal care and cleaning products with microbeads.

- Once in the oceans, plastics breakdown into more and more microplastics and absorb toxic chemicals like little sponges

- The toxic micro-plastics gets consumed by everything from plankton at the bottom of the food-chain, and by fish, dolphins and whales at the top.

- In the UK, the NHS recommends that pregnant women do not eat more than 2 fish from the North Sea, due to high concentrations of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl)

– PCB’s are chemicals which were banned 30 years ago and yet are often found in high concentrations in the blubber of beached whales (see LuLu the Whale, BBC)

Finally - we just found out we urinate out 30 – 90% of the pharma we consume.  With Europe’s ageing population, taking pills for every ill, around 600 out of 3000 pharma are now found in drinking water supplies – did we mention our black water service    

There is some very good news!

Phytoplankton – those tiny ocean plants - reproduce quickly and can multiply their number every 3 days (a tree takes 100 years).

This means that if we stopped poisoning our rivers, coastal waters and oceans with chemicals and plastics, the tiny ocean plants could recover really quickly, and get to work absorbing all that CO2.



  1. Talk about this to everyone you meet – let’s all be really ambitious and do even more to keep the Lagos marina and surrounding natural environment as free from micro plastics and chemical pollution as we can – please share your ideas with us too.
  2. Hang on to your flipflops and any other plastic items on your boat or from your bags. Around Lagos, you will find recycling facilities and lots of bins – please take time to check you are putting any waste in the correct bin to help with recycling, and  crush items before putting them into bins so that they don’t get blown out to sea or onto the beach.  If the refuse bins are full, take your rubbish home, don’t dump it next to the bin – take it back later – the uplifts are frequent.
  3. Love coral? – seek ocean and coral safe sunscreens – there are lots of mineral based sunscreens coming on the market, and we will be raising this with the shops and pharmacy in Lagos. Some brands that we know are safe include: Badger,

It is hard to avoid products that contain oxybenzone/octinoxate and other POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants) from your purchases, but the following are kinder to you, environmentally safe, biodegradable alternatives (L’Arbre Vert, Seventh Generation, Ecover, Botanical Origin, Finish 0%, etc.)  Remember – chemicals toxic to nature are toxic to us too.

  1. Grandma was right! Lots of boat and yacht owners use bicarbonate of soda with vinegar or lemon juice to clean their boats – it is great at stopping the growth of mildew. There are lots of natural cleaning solutions and at Marina de Lagos, we will be seeking out the same and providing the most environmentally safe products we can find.
  2. Visit the for new tips and ideas on cleaning products
  3. Speak up! Ask us, ask other marinas, ask in local shops, ask your boat yard to use and stock environmentally products for your own protection as well as the natural and aquatic environment. No corals, no dolphins, dirty beaches – means no tourism and no jobs!



Solutions Solutions - Want to know more/do more? 

Here is a little more information for now and we hope you will find useful……



In Port at Marina de Lagos

Water – grey, black and bilge:

  • Let’s keep it clean - When you arrive in Lagos, please please use our facilities to empty your boat’s black water. We will have someone come to help you.  It is so important not to dump black water in our coastal waters, as it can bring viable and anti-microbial resistant bacteria and viri to our beaches and swimming waters.  Use our black water facilities and you’ll be assured that it has gone to the wastewater plant for proper treatment. 
  • We are a nation of animal lovers - If you have a pet on your boat, you may want to visit the local pet stores - they have eco-poo bags for your doggo. You will also find we have placed eco poo-bags at various points around the marina ( see map)




Everyone is waking up and understanding the importance of coral reefs everywhere, and nowhere more so, than here in the Algarve  We have some of the most spectacular, and thankfully, some that are recovering after years of being damaged by fishing practices which are defunct.  Corals are, without doubt, one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth. 

Corals are incredible – they only cover 0.1% of our oceans. (source: WWF - Living Blue Planet report) but 25% (that’s 1 in 4) of marine animals and organisms are dependent on them for their home, and millions of humans also need them because they provide food, tourism, employent and protect shorelines from erosion and flooding.  

Our toxicologist friends have demonstrated how oxybenzone and octinoxate (ingredients found in most sunscreens) destroy corals.  A conservative estimate is that 14 to 30,000 tons gets washed off swimmers and beach users each year.  After seeing their tourism business decline, Hawaii and Palau recently passed a bill prohibiting the sale of oxybenzone and octinoxate-containing sunscreen to prevent further coral bleaching and prevent harm to fish and other creatures.   


It is good news indeed to think we can help mitigate climate change by selecting a sunscreen without these toxic chemicals, preventing sewage pollution from our boats and we can help our local corals thrive here in the Algarve and for us all to enjoy the hidden benefits they bring.


Effective biodegradable detergents and eco-bags:

  • Locally, you will find good options in the supermarkets for cleaning your boat, heads, shower, and dishes. We recommend vinegar and bicarbonate of soda as a healthy-and-kind to both you and the environment option.  Add a few drops of lemon juice to leave you boat smelling beautifully citrus and it will help kill bugs too.  Check out our social media – we will be sharing recipes for soap and other ideas from our liveaboard marine biologists and visiting boats too.   

Waste Disposal: ( …. a lot of this applies on the water too)

  • Around Lagos you will see lots of bins like the ones below. (see map for your nearest recycling hub). The local municipality provide this service.   There are lots of ways to reduce your waste and one of the best is to try and buy food or other products loose and that aren’t wrapped in plastic. Products which have recyclable containers like glass, cans or cardboard are preferable to those covered in plastic.
  • Take your own bags and containers. We see lots of cotton string bags being sported about the marina – great from hanging up fruit and veg in the cabin too. 
  • In the summer the bins in Lagos get full very quickly, so please crush your cardboard, plastic or tin waste before putting it in the bin.
  • You will also find a special unit for depositing used engine waste oil. ( see map) Whatever you do, please please don’t leave it beside the bin if it is full – take it to another recycling hub or back to your boat. The last thing any of us want is for plastic getting blown out to the beaches or into the sea to play havoc with marine life, your engineer or propeller.

<bin pics and descriptions>

VIDRO /Glass



PAPEL /Paper



Cartao, jornais, revista, 






Out on our lovely Algarve waters

Grey, black and bilges


Treat the water like it was your home  - so, it is a big no no no to discharging black water in sensitive areas - protected marine areas, bathing and mooring areas, waters with limited tidal or river flows).

If untreated wastewater ends up in the sea, chemicals, pharma and bacteria can destroy marine plants and animals –  if it was your home - you wouldn’t want this dumped in garden or lounge?  

·       Grey water from showers, sinks, dishwashers, and washing machines, as well as containing fats, and toxic chemicals from household cleaners and personal care products, but also phosphates.

Phosphates can promote algal blooms.  Algae absorb oxygen, leaving other aquatic species to suffocate.

·       Black water sewage from urinals and toilets (No 1’s and 2’s) is as nasty and dangerous to marine ecosystems as it is for humans and other animals – it isn’t pleasant to swim in, but even worse  - but it can come back to bite us in a dish of seafood! 

·      Bilge water usually takes a bit of effort to remove as it can be sticky, oily and awkward to get to – keep it to the minimum by reducing spills,and be super careful when refueling so that none reaches your bilges or the sea.   Bilge water is capable of really messing up the marine ecosystems.  It can be so bad that that it impacts on the reproductive and other biological systems of marine animals/organisms and ultimately lead to their death. So, take advantage of our pump-out stations, and only use those lovely non-toxic and biodegradable soaps and cleaning products on board.





Noise pollution and reducing fuel and energy consumption – quiet please!

·      Engine and hull noise can disturb and really stress-out marine animals (especially our dolphins).  In protected natural areas, near beaches and in any sensitive area, slow down to reduce noise and waves. It is always good practice to have your engine running at its optimal efficiency range (rather than maximum) and manage fuel consumption carefully,

·      Comply with the boat’s optimal design speed or remain below this speed by a few knots. This will save fuel, and reduce noise pollution, as well as helping you do your bit for climate change

·      Idling – a climate change sin in our book   Do not leave the engine running unnecessarily and full throttle won’t be appreciated by the local Lagos dolphins for sure.

·      If you are going to change your engine, speak to us about the latest technology to reduce or eliminate emissions. There are really cool solar, hydro, wind, hydrogen and electric options that you might to consider. Oh, remember LED lighting options too. 



·      Sand and mud are ideal for anchoring – but leave the seagrass and coral alone.

·      Seagrass areas are rich areas of biodiversity, and in the Algarve, these grasslands are home to some of the most beautiful tiny seahorses.

·      Hitching a ride on a dirty anchor can be species that won’t be welcomed in other parts of the Algarve, so best to give them a proper clean immediately after lifting – and after as clean a vertical lift as possible.



It’s the little things that will make all the difference and keep Lagos lovely.

Thank you

Life on earth depends upon healthy Oceans, we have 10 years to stop toxic chemical pollution, or life on earth may become impossible

Dr. Howard Dryden, CSO

Goes Foundation

Roslin Innovation Centre
The University of Edinburgh
Easter Bush Campus
Midlothian EH25 9RG