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14 Ways To Save The Water World

The Clean Water Act of 1972 has been a great success where discharge points (pipes) can be regulated, but less so with all other pollution sources, including boaters. We can increase our contribution to water purity and thereby improving the quality of our fish stock by following a few simple suggestions.

  1. Repackage food and supplies into reusable containers on shore to reduce the amount of trash produced on the water.
  2. Enforce strict trash discipline on your boat by disposing of all materials properly when you return to shore.
  3. Encourage your marina to recycle and to maintain waste areas so trash will not wash or blow back into the water.
  4. Don't dump fish waste in restricted waters or near your marina.
  5. Freeze fish waste for later use as bait or chum, or use it as rich compost for your home landscaping.
  6. Limit what goes down the drain, especially chemicals, minimize dumping even in legal areas, and use portable toilets and appropriate pumpout facilities.
  7. Eliminate sewage discharge by installing a holding tank and increasing your use of onshore facilities.
  8. Ask your marina about the quality of pumpout facilities and the disposal of sewage waste.
  9. Control/collect pet waste (at home and on the water) for proper disposal.
  10. Safeguard against accidental release of toxic fuels and lubricants during fueling, maintenance, and pumping bilges. Install a fuel/air separator in the air vent line to prevent spills during fueling, and have oil-absorbent pads ready to mop up even the smallest spills.
  11. Store fuel and lubricants only in approved marine containers.
  12. Many boat cleaners contain chlorine, ammonia, phosphates and other chemicals that can affect water quality and aquatic life. Look for cleaners that are less noxious, be careful to avoid release of wash water, and perform major cleaning operations in an area where wash-water can be collected and treated before release.
  13. Paints and shellacs used to maintain boats contain many harmful chemicals and metals. Do all chipping and painting in an appropriate area away from the water, use a drop cloth to catch dust chips and spills, and vacuum up loose paint chips and paint dust.
  14. Do your engine maintenance in a pollution-safe area, collecting and disposing of maintenance products in an appropriate manner.

Free information on boating and the environment is available from the Coast Guard, the EPA, NOAA, state and local governments, as well as many private companies and organizations, including the ABA. For information about how to access these free resources, check out the ABA web page on clean boating at www.americanboating.org, and share this information with your boating friends.

 
 
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