There is no better feeling than being out in the middle of the ocean on your cherished boat and simply observing everything around you. What you do not see during these times is the harm being done to the wildlife and water quality due to poor decisions and lack of clean boating knowledge. While boating is one of the best activities for you and your family, it is important to know how to do it in the cleanest and most environmentally friendly way you can. Here are some tips that can help!
The law requires a marine sanitation device, so it is important that you use one on your vessel.
If you are near a marina, ask if they offer pump-out services.
Bring portable toilets ashore!
Bring all garbage back to shore with you and make sure to recycle when you can.
Ask your marina if they have waste collection.
The Ocean Conservancy has collected more than 210 million pounds of trash from the ocean since 1985 – do not contribute to the waste!
Watch the no wake zones so you know when to cruise slowly.
Be sure to use proper anchoring techniques to avoid damaging habitats – anchors and anchor chains contribute to around 20% of reef damage.
Stay away from shallow waters – this area is home to baby marine life and it is very fragile.
Be careful not to let oil wash off of motor parts into the storm drains.
Discard trash on shore in the correct bins.
To avoid spills, fuel your tank to 90 percent capacity so it does not overfill.
Inspect your boat often to prevent leaking fuels and sinking.
Get oil absorbent pads and insert them into the bilges of your boat if it has an inboard engine, otherwise it can discharge into the water.
Remember that is is illegal to use soap to disperse spills.
Get rid of old batteries and expired flares properly because they contain toxic materials.
Choose the most environmentally safe products when your hull needs to be painted.
In general, always use nonhazardous materials – if you would not want it near you, the ocean does not want it either.
There are plenty of simple ways to be less harmful to the environment, and it will not take away the fun and the memories you will have on your vessel. Be sure to follow these tips next time you take your boat on the water or work on maintaining it! You should also check your local beach’s website for beach committees and beach sweeps!
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