Clean boating Clean boating

  • Mon May 12th, 2008 11:53pm
  • News

While boating seasons come and go, what’s remembered is the pure joy of a day on the water. “Whether it’s in a canoe or a 100-foot yacht isn’t as important as the whole experience of surrounding yourself with the natural beauty of the environment,” said Chris Wilke, director of the Clean Marina Washington Program.

And what’s more natural than water? As Governor Chris Gregoire has said, we want our waters to be “swimmable, fishable and diggable” for future generations.

A number of marinas have upped their game and become certified Clean Marinas – 34 so far in our state and many more nationwide. It’s a voluntary program and there’s work involved in becoming certified. Those that have been certified deserve a lot of credit for raising the bar. Rosario marina and Deer Harbor Bellport marina are both certified Clean Marinas.

(For a list of Washington participants, go to: http://www.cleanmarinawashington.org/CertifiedMarinas.asp)

Because it is voluntary, marina managers are creative in getting the cooperation of their boating customers. “They make it easier for boaters to do the right thing and garner peer pressure to enforce their best management practices,” said Wilke.

Here are some things boaters can do to join the “clean and green” movement:

• Tune up the boat motor, check for oil and fuel leaks, and fix them before launching.

• Carefully replace the engine’s old gear oil and coolant, taking care not to spill any in the water, bilge or on the ground.

Safely recycle or dispose of used oil and filters, batteries, unused paint, solvents, antifreeze and other chemicals at the county hazardous waste collection site.

• Inspect all cockpit drain plugs and make sure the holes are clear. If the boat is left in the water, cover it so rain or overspray from other boats can’t flood into the bilge area and sink the boat.

• Put a clean absorbent pad in the bilge-pump area. Do not pump contaminated bilge water overboard. Use approved shore-side facilities.

• Do not discharge treated or untreated sewage in the marina basin. Use shore-side sewage dump stations or mobile pumping services if available.

• Do not overfill or top off fuel tanks. Allow for fuel expansion especially in warmer weather. Use oil absorbents or other devices to catch drips.

• Consider starting every season with a tune-up and a test of your boat’s warning alarms. And to ensure a safe boating season, make sure any problems that need attention get it before the boat enters the water.

Report all fuel and oil spills by calling 800-OILS-911 and the U.S. Coast Guard at 800-424-8802. Reporting is mandatory and fines can increase for failing to notify state and federal authorities about a spill. Act quickly to minimize the environmental damage caused by all oil and chemical products.

While boating seasons come and go, what’s remembered is the pure joy of a day on the water. “Whether it’s in a canoe or a 100-foot yacht isn’t as important as the whole experience of surrounding yourself with the natural beauty of the environment,” said Chris Wilke, director of the Clean Marina Washington Program.

And what’s more natural than water? As Governor Chris Gregoire has said, we want our waters to be “swimmable, fishable and diggable” for future generations.

A number of marinas have upped their game and become certified Clean Marinas – 34 so far in our state and many more nationwide. It’s a voluntary program and there’s work involved in becoming certified. Those that have been certified deserve a lot of credit for raising the bar. Rosario marina and Deer Harbor Bellport marina are both certified Clean Marinas.

(For a list of Washington participants, go to: http://www.cleanmarinawashington.org/CertifiedMarinas.asp)

Because it is voluntary, marina managers are creative in getting the cooperation of their boating customers. “They make it easier for boaters to do the right thing and garner peer pressure to enforce their best management practices,” said Wilke.

Here are some things boaters can do to join the “clean and green” movement:

• Tune up the boat motor, check for oil and fuel leaks, and fix them before launching.

• Carefully replace the engine’s old gear oil and coolant, taking care not to spill any in the water, bilge or on the ground.

Safely recycle or dispose of used oil and filters, batteries, unused paint, solvents, antifreeze and other chemicals at the county hazardous waste collection site.

• Inspect all cockpit drain plugs and make sure the holes are clear. If the boat is left in the water, cover it so rain or overspray from other boats can’t flood into the bilge area and sink the boat.

• Put a clean absorbent pad in the bilge-pump area. Do not pump contaminated bilge water overboard. Use approved shore-side facilities.

• Do not discharge treated or untreated sewage in the marina basin. Use shore-side sewage dump stations or mobile pumping services if available.

• Do not overfill or top off fuel tanks. Allow for fuel expansion especially in warmer weather. Use oil absorbents or other devices to catch drips.

• Consider starting every season with a tune-up and a test of your boat’s warning alarms. And to ensure a safe boating season, make sure any problems that need attention get it before the boat enters the water.

Report all fuel and oil spills by calling 800-OILS-911 and the U.S. Coast Guard at 800-424-8802. Reporting is mandatory and fines can increase for failing to notify state and federal authorities about a spill. Act quickly to minimize the environmental damage caused by all oil and chemical products.