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Earth Day: Green and Clean Boating Tips

It is Earth Day 2010. And, it just happens to be a gorgeous boating day here on Longboat Key.
Cannons Marina is a clean marina and clean boatyard and as we do our part this earth day, thought we would share some clean boating practices and recommendations from  Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection Agency.

Florida Depart of Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Boating Practices

• Fill fuel tanks just before leaving on a trip.
• Use oil absorbent material to catch drips from the fuel intake and the vent overflow.
• Fill portable fuel tanks ashore where spills are less likely to occur and easier to clean
• Add a fuel conditioner to tanks if the engine is used infrequently.
Controlling Oil
• Place oil absorbent material or a bioremediating bilge “sock” in the bilge to prevent
oil leakage into waterways; replace regularly.
• Place an oil absorbent pad under the engine.
• Check fuel lines for damage; replace with alcohol resistant hoses.
• Secure fuel hoses to prevent chafing and leaks.
• Never discharge bilge water with a sheen; it is illegal.
Cleaning Boats

• Wash boats with a sponge and plain water.
• Minimize washing your boat while in the water.
• Use phosphate-free, biodegradable and non-toxic cleaners.
• Wax boats; a good coat of wax prevents surface dirt from becoming ingrained.
• Conserve water; use a spray nozzle on hoses.
Vessel Maintenance
• Share leftover paint and varnish with fellow boaters rather than disposing in the
trash, where it can end up in a landfill and seep into waterways.
• Bring used solvents and waste gas to hazardous waste collection sites.
• Keep vessel engine clean to spot and repair leaks.
• Use premium two-cycle engine oil.
• Use alternatives to toxic bottom paints.
Containing Sewage
• Never discharge raw sewage.
• Use marina pump-out stations and rinse holding tanks regularly.
• If pump-out stations are not available, encourage marinas to install them through
Clean Vessel Act funding.
• Use restrooms on shore.
• Use approved Marine Sanitation Devices (MSDs) when underway.
• Conduct regular maintenance for Marine Sanitation Devices.
• Use enzyme-based products to control odor and reduce solids in holding tanks.
• Avoid holding tank products that contain quaternary ammonium compounds
(QAC) and formaldehyde.
Clean Boating Tips & Protecting Sensitive Habitat
• Proceed slowly in shallow areas and do not disturb wildlife.
• Avoid contact with submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) such as fragile seagrass
• Watch the wake; it can lead to shoreline erosion and disturb wildlife.
Contain Trash
• Do not let trash get thrown or blown overboard.
• Buy products without plastic or excessive packaging; plastic is deadly to fish and
• Do not toss cigarette butts overboard; they are made of plastic (cellulose acetate).
Be A Responsible Boater
• Learn about environmentally safe products and practices.
• Obey laws governing speeding, littering and discharge.
• Encourage boating facilities to provide trash cans, recycling bins and pumpout
• Support marinas that are environmentally responsible.
Happy Earth Day and Happy Boating!