Three tips for environmentally responsible boating

Cleaning your boat is a simple way to help preserve the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems.

The presence of human beings on waterways has a lasting effect on water quality. To minimize your impact on aquatic flora and fauna, adopting responsible boating practices is key.

1. Fill up carefully

If you own a motorboat, stay a good distance away from the water while you fill up on fuel. To prevent overflow, avoid using the automatic stopper and don’t fill your tank to capacity. Keep absorbent towels on hand in case you spill any oil or fuel. Finally, use biodiesel whenever possible, and be sure to properly recycle all used fluids.

2. Don’t throw anything in the water

Collect all the waste you produce during your time on the water and dispose of it at the marina or at home. Never dump anything in the water! Empty your wastewater reservoir at designated stations, use an appropriate holding tank for toilet water, and don’t throw any water that’s been tainted by oil or gas overboard.

3. Clean your boat

Sometimes, without even knowing it, boaters contribute to the spread of invasive aquatic species. To avoid becoming part of the problem, make sure to thoroughly clean your hitch, boat and equipment each time you take them out of the water, especially if you’re headed to another waterway. Make sure to remove any plants or other debris from all surfaces.