California’s Boating Clean and Green Program is offering boaters Earth-friendly ways to celebrate Earth Day and to practice habits to protect the environment throughout the year.
TOP 5 WAYS TO HONOR THE EARTH
1. Don’t Spread Invasive Species. The spread of aquatic invasive species, such as quagga and zebra mussels, can create havoc in the aquatic environment and damage motor boats. The Boat Cleaning Guide Book was created specifically for boat owners and watercraft users, and contains general cleaning guidelines and a basic checklist for inspecting boats and recreational equipment for aquatic hitch hikers. There are also additional inspection and cleaning checklists for specific types of boats and equipment.
2. Plan Ahead. Dump at the Pump! It is important for boaters to use sewage pumpouts and mobile-pumpout services to properly dispose of raw sewage. It is illegal to dump raw sewage into California waterways and more importantly, this practice can be unsafe for humans and the marine environment. Plan ahead and find out where your nearest restrooms and pumpout stations are located and how to properly use them.
3. Stow it, don’t throw it. Invest in a reusable coffee mug, water bottle and shopping bag. Don’t use plastic waste. When ordering a drink, refuse the straw. When getting take-out to bring back to your office or home, refuse the utensils and bring a reusable set to keep in your office or home. Besides keeping your trash on board, remember that fishing line can entangle and kill wildlife and cause boat damage. Make sure to recycle fishing line appropriately. Fishing line is not biodegradable and can remain in the environment for more than 600 years. Take advantage of shore-side facilities to properly dispose of trash or recycle your fishing line.
4. Turn in a vessel before it pollutes. Proper disposal of an unwanted vessel is a vital part of clean and responsible boating. Because there are several environmental hazards associated with old vessels, including used oil, solvents and used batteries, it is important that all vessel owners properly dispose of their vessels at the appropriate time. There are several options for proper vessel disposal: no-cost vessel turn-in program, landfill disposal, recycling and/or dismantling.
5. Recycle, Collect, Report. Take the necessary steps to perform spill-proof oil changes and recycle your used oil and oil filters. Always use oil absorbents and dispose of them as a hazardous waste by visiting your county household hazardous waste collection center or marina offering this service. Remember to never use soap to disperse fuel and oil spills. Doing so increases harm to the environment and is illegal. Check our oil and fuel clean boating videos. Report ALL oil and chemical spills to your marina, the National Response Center (800-424-8802) and the California Office of Emergency Services (800) OILS-911.
Be a leader. Encourage others to adopt “green” habits. For more information on the program or detailed information on environmental services/resources please visit www.BoatingCleanAndGreen.com.
California’s Boating Clean and Green Program is an education and outreach program that promotes environmentally-sound boating practices to marine businesses and boaters in California. The program is conducted by California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission.
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