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Clean Motor Boating Campaign
Boaters can make a difference in reducing marine engine emissions. Good management improves fuel economy, reduces carbon loads and lowers pollution caused by boats.
Engine, Fueling, and Bilge Care
- Consider purchasing a cleaner, more efficient four-stroke engine
- Tune your engine regularly
- Inspect fuel lines for leaks or cracks
- It is unlawful to pump any bilge water that appears oily or has a sheen
- Having oil absorbent pads in the bilge can prevent oil from entering the environment
- Keep fuel and oil from getting into the water at these 3 sites: 1) Fuel filter fitting – clean up with marine absorbent pad; 2) Fuel tank air vent – pump fuel slowly; 3) Bilge pump – use bilge pump
- Prevent spillage by not topping off tank (remember, fuel expands as it warms)
- Avoid using detergents or emulsifiers to clean the bilge. Detergents can pollute the water. Emulsifiers will disperse the oil, making the water appear clean, but it still may contain harmful pollutants
- Dispose of absorbents at marina oil recycling collector or wrap and dispose of in home trash
- Ask your Dockmaster what kinds of vessel maintenance are allowed
- Clean water starts with good boat cleaning and maintenance methods, using the least toxic chemicals available
- Do all hull scraping, sanding, and chemical stripping on shore and catch all debris
- Drape vessel with tarps to catch wastes from small to medium sized maintenance projects. Take longer projects to a boatyard
- Read labels and buy products that are environmentally safe. Use as little as possible.
- Buy ‘non-toxic’ and ‘phosphate-free’ cleaners
- Or use cleaning alternatives found in your cupboards at home. For example, baking soda and a scrub brush can be used to clean heads, and one cup white vinegar in two gallons of warm water will make a good floor cleaner.
- Avoid cleaners with bleach, ammonia, lye, or petroleum distillates
- Clean boat bottoms ashore, over hard surfaces or tarp, and contain debris for disposal
- Remember-cleaners can travel from the driveway to the storm drain and then to the river
- Do not spray paint in the marina
- Use a hard, less toxic or non-toxic hull paint
- Use orange-pink colored propylene antifreeze / coolant instead of very toxic blue-green colored ethylene glycol
- Gently wipe hull often with soft cloth to remove soft growth
- Recycle used oil, oil filters, antifreeze and batteries and dispose of cleaning products properly. Many classify as household hazardous wastes.
- Share leftover paint, varnish, cleansers, etc., with other boaters
Boat and Sewage Control and Pump-out Use
- Do your part to help keep sewage out of America’s boating waters
- Use the shore side facilities before casting off
- Prevent dumping any untreated sewage into any U.S. water body. It’s illegal.
- Keep diapers, sanitary napkins, oils, solvents and other harmful chemicals out of toilets
- When in ‘no discharge’ waters, secure the toilet closed so it cannot empty overboard
- Use only environmentally compatible holding deodorants
- Boats with holding tanks: If boat has a y-valve and through hull, keep them locked closed when inside coastal waters.
Boating Litter and Fish Waste
- Teach everyone on board that tossing anything into the water is just not done. Nothing overboard.
- Smokers, use an ashtray and bring butts ashore.
- Bring back all cans, bottles, and litter. Recycle as much as possible.
- Pick up trash in the water or along the shore if you can reach it safely
- Keep litter bags aboard and use them
- Recycle fish parts by composting with peat moss or burying in the garden as fertilizer. Or freeze and re-use fish parts as bait on your next trip
- Use fish cleaning stations
- Avoid releasing dead or alive bait into the water; they are often foreign species
It Is Very Important To Contain These Wastes and Dispose Of Them Properly
- Saw dust or concrete dust
- Sanding dust containing paint or varnish particles
- Caustic paint strippers
- Alkaline or acidic cleaners (For example, 2 part teak cleaners)
- Engine oil, gas, and grease
- Waste waters or bilge water
- Hull paint residue containing cuprous oxide (copper) or TBT
- Organic solvents, including paint thinner, chemical strippers, and parts cleaners
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