If you’re a boater, what you do (or don’t do) can have a significant impact on our rivers, bays, and ocean. Pollution sources from boats include litter, motor fluids, cleaning products, and onboard toilets. To help keep our waterways clean, askHRgreen.org is providing boaters safety with tips to keep in mind!
- Keep it clean – Opt for cleaning your boat with plain water or, if needed, a phosphate-free, biodegradable, non-toxic cleaner. Park your boat over grass or dirt to allow dirty wash water to be absorbed instead of running off into a nearby waterway.
- Secure your trash – Beverage cans and food wrappers are easily swept off a boat by the breeze. Use containers with lids to collect trash and recyclables, and dispose of them responsibly.
- Be kind with fishing line – Fishing line is extremely dangerous for a variety of wildlife including fish, turtles, and waterfowl. Look for fishing line recycling containers at your marina as a safe disposal option.
- Don’t mix oil and water – Your boat’s motor can leak toxic chemicals into waterways. Find and repair oil, gas, and antifreeze leaks before they become a problem.
- Pump Out, Don’t Dump Out – Always use pump out/dump stations at marinas or make a free appointment with the Boater Education and Pump Out program. They will come to you and provide a pump out of up to 25 gallons.
- Respect No Discharge Zones – While in a no discharge zone, your Y valve must be closed and locked. This is Coast Guard regulated, and you could be issued a civil penalty for noncompliance.
- Heed the No-Wake Signs – Wake can cause erosion along shorelines, damaging the natural barrier that filters polluted stormwater runoff produced by landlubbers and their impervious structures.
Take the pledge to protect our waterways with the Virginia Clean Boater pledge. The Virginia Clean Boater program will acknowledge your efforts to protect local water quality with a sticker to display on your boat. Visit askhrgreen.org for more information.