Green Boating

green boatinIf you’re fortunate enough to have a boat, you know that being out on the water is definitely a wonderful way to spend some relaxing time with family and friends.

One thing that’s crucial for all boaters, however, is that they recognize the importance of keeping the waterways clean and healthy for future generations.

Following are some tips on how you can go green while boating:

  • If you need to change the oil on your boat, use an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill-proof container. Simply wrap a plastic bag around the oil filter so that oil doesn’t spill into the bilge.
  • If an accident happens and fuel or oil spills into the water, or you see a spill that causes sludge to appear, report it to the National Response Center (1-800-424-8802).
  • Make sure your engine is well tuned so that there are no fuel and/or oil leaks. Put an absorbent pad or pillow in your bilge and under your engine so that any drips will be caught.
  • Get rid of any batteries, cleaning products, oil, paint or any other waste of that kind at a hazardous waste collection facility or event.
  • Make sure you have rags to catch any drips or spillage when filling your fuel tanks. Never overflow your tank and try not to fill it to the top as fuel expands with heat.
  • Never add soap in an attempt to get rid of fuel or oil spills as that only serves to hurt the environment.
  • Don’t ever discharge sewage within three miles of the shore. Instead, use harbor pump-out stations and shore-side facilities. If you don’t have an installed toilet, use a port-a-potty and empty it at a harbor dump station or bathroom.
  • Use less toxic or non-toxic antifouling paint. Use non-abrasive underwater hull cleaning techniques so that less paint is discharged.
  • If you need to work on your boat or clean it, try to always do it before you put it in the water or at the boatyard. If you do have to work on the boat while it’s in the water use tarps and vacuum sanders to catch all the drops and debris, then dispose of it properly later.
  • Use a phosphate-free biodegradable soap to reduce the impact of greywater on the marine environment. Also, don’t shower or wash dishes on the boat if at all possible.
  • Never, ever throw any kind of trash into the water. Take it with you when you return to shore and dispose of it properly.

Following all these tips is important not only to keeping our waters clean and green, but also in keeping habitats safe and livable for the many aquatic animals that live in our waters.