Pratice Clean Boating

With over 22 million registered recreational boaters and over 10,000 marinas in the United States, simple day-to-day changes in how we operate and maintain our boats will go a long way in protecting our valuable water resources.

Take the first step, and learn more about easy things you can do today to be a “Clean Boater!”

10 tips for clean boating

1. Stow it, don’t throw it!

Keep your trash on board. Never throw cigarette butts, fishing line, or any other garbage into any body of water, fresh or salt!  Take

advantage of shore-side facilities to recycle plastic, glass, metal, and paper. If you wouldn’t swim in it, don’t put it in the water!

2. Prevent oily discharge from the bilge.

Keep your engine well tuned to prevent fuel and oil leaks. Place an oil absorbent pad or pillow under your engine where drips may occur and in your bilge. Check the pads often and dispose of them as hazardous waste at a marina or nearby collection center.

3. Spill-proof your oil changes.

For oil changes, use an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill proof container. Wrap a plastic bag or absorbent pad around the oil filter to prevent oil from spilling into the bilge.

4. Spill-proof your fueling practices.

Prevent fuel spills by filling fuel tanks slowly and carefully and by using absorbent pads or rags to catch drips and spills. Don’t “top off” or overflow your fuel tank and leave 5% empty to allow fuel to expand as it warms.

5. Don’t add soap.

Never use soap to disperse fuel and oil spills. It increases harm to the environment, and it is illegal.

6. Minimize boat cleaning and maintenance in the water.

If possible, save maintenance projects for the boatyard, at home or at the parking area at the launch. When performing work on the water minimize your impact by containing waste using tarps and vacuum sanders, and collect all drips and debris for proper disposal.

7. Reduce toxic discharges from bottom paints.

Minimize the discharge of heavy metals that come from soft-sloughing antifouling paints by using a hard, less toxic, or nontoxic antifouling paint. Use only non-abrasive underwater hull cleaning techniques to prevent excessive paint discharge. Remember, dry storage and reduces the need for antifouling paints and saves money.

8. Dispose of hazardous waste properly.

Dispose of paints, batteries, antifreeze, cleaning products, oil, oil filters and other hazardous wastes at a hazardous waste collection facility or event. Call 1-800-CLEAN-UP for a location near you. Recycle paints, batteries, oil, oil filters and antifreeze.

9.  Always plan ahead! Manage sewage wastes properly and make sure you tell your fishing pals the same.

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