As boaters, we have a responsibility and it is up to us to help protect the environment. Protecting the environment takes a conscious effort by all of us and starts with how we boat, where we boat, and the products we use on our boats. The little things are what count. A couple of things that come to mind and that are listed on Boat US's website are:
Photo by: Flickr user Steve 2.0
- Stow your trash until you get on land: Never throw anything into the water that didn't come out of it. Keep trash, even food waste, onboard and bring it back to recycle or throw away on shore. This also includes cigarette butts.
- Respect the marine environment: Don't feed or harass dolphins and other mammals. Reduce speed and give a wide berth to whales and manatees. If it is planted there, leave it there. Watch out for coral reefs and other vegetation where you boat.
- Slow down and watch your wake: Large wakes accelerate shoreline erosion. Throttle back in narrow waterways. Use moorings rather than anchoring in environmentally delicate areas such as coral reef. When snorkeling or diving, never touch any live coral.
- Follow sanitation laws and regulations: "No dumping" means no dumping! Install a coast Guard- approved marine sanitation device on your boat and use it. Consult up-to-date cruising guides for the locations of pump- out facilities.
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