- Do not let trash get thrown or blown overboard.
- If trash blows overboard, retrieve it.
- Pack food in reusable containers.
- Buy products without plastic or excessive packaging. Plastic is deadly to fish and birds.
- Do not toss cigarette butts overboard; they are made of plastic (cellulose acetate).
- Purchase refreshments in recyclable containers.
- Recycle cans, glass, plastic, newspaper, antifreeze, oil, and lead batteries.
- Bring used monofilament fishing line to recycling bins at your marina or tackle shop.
- Remember, fuel expands as it warms up.
- Fill your tank just before leaving on a trip.
- If you do fill your tank upon your return to port, fill it to only 90% capacity.
- Use oil absorbent material to catch drips from the fuel intake and the vent overflow.
- Fill portable fuel tanks ashore.
- Add a fuel stabilizer to your tank if engine is used infrequently.
Control Oil in the Bilge
- Keep your engine well-tuned: no leaking seals, gaskets, or hoses.
- Place oil absorbent material or bio-remediating bilge boom in the bilge.
- Place an oil absorbent pad under the engine.
- Replace oil absorbent materials at least once a year.
- Check fuel lines for damage; replace with alcohol resistant hoses.
- Secure fuel hoses to prevent chafing and leaks.
- Never discharge bilge water with a sheen. It is illegal.
Properly Dispose of Oil Absorbent Materials
- Recycle used oil absorbent materials whenever possible.
- Check with your marina owner or manager for proper disposal instructions.
- If these options are not available, please contact your local household hazardous waste collection center.
- Wash your boat frequently with a sponge and plain water.
- Use detergents sparingly.
- Use phosphate-free, bio-degradable and non-toxic cleaners.
- Wax your boat. A good coat of wax prevents surface dirt from becoming ingrained.
- Clean wood with a mild soap powder and a nylon brush.
- Conserve water. Put a spray nozzle on your hose.
Maintain Your Vessel Wisely
- Collect all paint chips, dust, and residue. Dispose of properly in accordance with your marinas policy.
- Share leftover paint and varnish.
- Bring used solvents and waste gas to local hazardous waste collection sites.
- Use less toxic propylene glycol antifreeze.
- Keep your engine clean so you can spot leaks.
- Slip a plastic bag over used oil filters.
- Consider alternatives to toxic bottom paints.
- Never discharge raw sewage in U.S. territorial waters.
- Use restrooms on shore.
- Under way, use an approved Marine Sanitation Device (MSD).
- Discharge Type I or Type II MSDs over deep water. Avoid swimming areas, marinas, anchorages, and oyster bars.
- Establish a regular maintenance schedule for your MSD, based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Pump out and rinse holding tanks regularly.
- Use enzyme-based products to control odor and reduce solids in holding tanks.
- Avoid holding tank products that contain quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC) and formaldehyde.
Dispose of Fish Waste Properly
- Do not throw fish waste into marina waters.
- Discard waste over deep water or in the trash.
- Or, save the waste and use as chum or bait.
Protect Sensitive Habitat
- Proceed slowly in shallow areas.
- Do not disturb wildlife.
- Avoid contact with submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV).
- Watch your wake. It can lead to shoreline erosion.
Be a Responsible Boater
- Learn about environmentally safe products and practices.
- Share the information with other boaters.
- Obey laws governing speeding, littering, and discharge.
- Encourage boating facilities to provide trash cans, recycling bins, and pump out stations.
- Support marinas that are environmentally responsible.