The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is asking boaters and marina operators for help in preventing the drips and drops that can accidentally escape from boats and fuel pump nozzles during refueling. "Help Stop the Drops," a nationwide clean fueling program, includes online educational information on smart refueling tips, clean refueling products, free fuel dock signage, and much more.
"Small fuel spills may not seem like much when they occur, but over time they can add up and harm the marine environment," said Susan Shingledecker, Environmental Program Manager for the BoatU.S. Foundation. "By partnering with marina fuel docks, we hope to encourage boaters and dock staff to take some simple steps to help keep fuel out of the water.
The Foundation kicked off their efforts by partnering with over 600 fuel docks nationwide to provide free Clean Fueling education kits containing a fuel vent overflow collection device that boaters can use while filling up, educational materials outlining best fueling practices, and fuel dock signage. The kits were sent to fuel docks at BoatU.S. Cooperating Marinas across the country as well as marinas in California, Oregon, Washington and the Chesapeake Bay. Boaters may be able to identify these participating marinas by the "Help Stop The Drops" signage at the pump.
The Foundation hopes to use these marinas to test the program's effectiveness, so it is asking boaters who frequent these locations to ask to borrow the "No-Spill" fuel tank vent collection device when they fill up, and give feedback to the marina operator on how they feel about the program.
To complement the fuel dock signage and clean fueling kits, the BoatU.S. Foundation has developed a new clean fueling web site http://www.helpstopthedrops.com that provides comprehensive information for both boaters and fuel dock staff. The site contains information on fueling tips, clean fueling products, and how to respond to a spill. Also available at the web site are a series of free educational brochures. Marina operators can get a free clean fueling product guide, Don't Let Fuel Spills Foul Your Bottom Line, while kids can even get in on the program with a free activity sheet. Boaters can also send comments directly to the Foundation by taking the online Fueling survey at the web site.
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 the 665,000 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, 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.