The boating lifestyle is a great way to spend time with family and friends, enjoying the water. And as boaters, it is our shared responsibility to help keep the waters and resources that we use healthy for generations to come. Here are some tips of how to get started “boating green” today.
Proper fueling procedures are important to keeping oil and gas out of our waterways. Oil and fuel in the water can impact bottom sediment, marine life and shore birds. You are responsible for any environmental damage caused by your fuel spill. So…preventing spills will be beneficial for you and the boating environment. When fueling, prevent spills by filling fuel tanks slowly and catching drips and spills with absorbent pads or rags. Don’t ‘top it off’ or overflow your fuel tank. Leave the tank ten percent empty to allow fuel to expand as it warms.
On-board sewage management is not a fun thing to think about, but it is a necessary part of your boat’s system. When tied up to the dock, use onshore facilities. Encourage guests to take advantage of the onshore restrooms before you set out for a day trip. Obey the law-keep untreated sewage out of all coastal and inland waters.
Waste Management & Recycling
To reduce your impact on the environment, it’s important to properly dispose of your boating waste and recycle when possible. More than an eyesore, trash in the ocean is one of the world’s most pervasive pollution problems. Make a rule that nothing goes overboard and make a rule that all your waste comes back to shore into the proper trash or recycling receptacle.
Regardless of your boat’s size and systems, routine inspections and maintenance can alert you to potential problems. Prevent Oily Discharge from the bilge. Keep your engine well tuned to prevent fuel and oil leaks. Place an oil absorbent pad in your bilge and under your engine where drips may occur. Check the pads often; don’t let them clog the bilge pump, and dispose of them as hazardous waste at a marina or local hazardous waste collection center.
For many, one of the greatest joys of boating is being able to immerse themselves in nature. Whether you enjoy scenic landscapes, birds and wildlife viewing or you are an avid recreational angler, boating provides an escape from day to day life and an entry into the natural world. Maintaining a healthy ecosystem benefits us all. It’s important to know how to be a sustainable angler and to be aware of the impact of invasive species.