April 22 is Earth Day and the Boat U.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water encourages boaters everywhere to go boating, enjoy the fresh air, soak up the sunshine and celebrate the beauty of nature. But don't forget that we all need to do our part to keep our waterways beautiful and pollution-free. Here are simple tips that you can take to keep your boating "earth-friendly" and enjoyable for years to come.
Stash Your Trash
1.) Try to recycle or dispose of extra wrapping, packaging or plastic before it makes its way aboard.
2.) Put sturdy trash and recycling containers on your boat and make it a rule that everything must go in them.
3.) Leave the water and shoreline cleaner than you found it - try to take home more trash than you came with.
The Scoop on Poop
4.) Use onshore restrooms before leaving the dock.
5.) Keep untreated sewage out of all coastal and inland waters by closing and placing a seal on your waste tank's seacock.
6.) Schedule periodic trips to the pump-out station.
Help Stop the Drops
7.) Don't assume the kid at the fuel dock knows which deck fill is for fuel, and ask them to not top off the tank.
8.) Use oil absorbent pads to catch drips while handing the fuel nozzle between the dock and the boat.
9.) If trailer boating, try to fill up at the gas station if possible.
10.) A regular scrubbing of your decks with fresh water and a brush will reduce your reliance on potentially harmful cleaners.
11.) Plan large cleaning and maintenance jobs for when the boat is on the hard.
12.) Ask your marina to recycle used zincs.
13.) Use a hard (non-ablative) anti-fouling paint if you plan on scrubbing the boat bottom while in the water.
Here Fishy, Fishy
14.) Keep only those fish that you will eat today.
15.) Practice catch and release techniques to ensure the survival of those fish you toss back.
16.) Use circle hooks.
17.) Wet hands or gloves before handling fish you will release.
Get Earthly Help
18.) To learn more about clean boating and to order free copies or download environmentally-friendly boating brochures for your boat club or marina, visit http://www.BoatUS.com/cleanwater/environmental
The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization primarily funded by the voluntary contributions of 640,000 members of BoatU.S. The Foundation operates more than a dozen programs including the only accredited, free, online general boating safety course, a low-cost EPIRB rental program, the "Help Stop the Drops" national clean fueling campaign, a free kid's Life Jacket Loaner program, and has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for nonprofit groups for boating safety and environmental projects.