There are many delicate ecosystems in the ocean and waterways and as boaters, it is our responsibility to help keep those waterways clean. Mishandling boats can harm the water, animal life and disturb those fragile ecosystems. Here we give you tips on how you can do your part in conserving our waterways:
- Oil and Fuel: Refueling is when most spills occur. To avoid this, fill the tank to 90%. Use oil absorbent pads in the bilges of all boats with inboard engines and inspect thru-hull fittings regularly. Remember not to use soap to disperse oil (it’s illegal).
- Debris: Bring a trash receptacle with you and dispose of all discarded items in that receptacle. This includes food. Once on land, properly dispose of the trash, recycle what is recyclable and if you compost, put the food in your compost bin. If you see trash floating in the water, use your net to scoop it out and put it in your trash receptacle.
- Sewage: Use a marine sanitation device. Patronize marinas that offer a pump-out system and bring a toilet on the boat so it can be emptied ashore.
- Maintenance: Use non-toxic chemicals when cleaning your boat, choose paint products that are less dangerous to the environment than others, and dispose of batteries and worn motor parts properly.
- Operation: Don’t anchor on coral reefs (tie up to a mooring buoy instead), try not to boat in shallow water and be aware of no-wake zones as wake can cause damage in those areas.
And as a final tip, we say this: keep the beaches and waterways cleaner than you left them. Pick up trash and dispose of it properly. Don’t litter. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Protect the environment.
Sources: Ocean Conservancy
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