California's Recreational Boaters Encouraged to Boat Clean and Green
Contact: Gloria Sandoval (916) 263-0788
April 20, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Earth Day serves as a reminder to California’s recreational boating community to continue protecting the state’s waterways and marine environment from invasive species and pollution.
According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW), California has more than four million motorized and non-motorized recreational boaters. The negative impact that these boaters can have on California’s marine environment and boating facilities, can be significant.
The good news is that DBW provides a number of environmental services that boaters can use to minimize their impact on the marine environment. Below are some of these services:
- Boat Cleaning Guide Book. The spread of aquatic invasive species, such as quagga/zebra mussels, can create havoc in the marine environment and damage motor boats. The Boat Cleaning Guide Book was compiled specifically for boat owners and watercraft users with general guidelines for all boaters and a basic checklist for inspecting and cleaning boats and recreational equipment for aquatic invasive species. There are also additional inspection and cleaning checklists for specific types of boats and equipment.
- Sewage Pumpouts. It is important for boaters to use sewage pumpouts or mobile-pumpout services to properly dispose of raw sewage. In some areas, dumping raw sewage into waterways can be illegal. Most importantly this practice can be unsafe for humans and the marine environment. Plan ahead and find out where your nearest pumpout station is located and how to properly use it.
- Fishing Line Recycling Stations. Besides making sure that you keep your trash on board, make sure to recycle monofilament fishing line appropriately. Monofilament fishing line can entangle and kill wildlife, and cause boat damage. 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.
- Disposing of a Vessel Properly. 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: Vessel Turn-In Program, donating, recycling and dismantling.
- Recycle, Collect, Report. Spill-proof oil changes with oil absorbent pads and dispose of them and oil filters properly. Remember to never use soap to disperse fuel and oil spills. It increases harm to the environment and it is illegal. Also, remember to report oil spills immediately to the corresponding agencies.
For more detailed information on these environmental services and to find out about other resources visit www.BoatResponsibly.com.