If you love being out on the water, your boating hobby may be a powerful motivation for you to find ways to help preserve natural resources like the waters that you spend your free days on. As a boating enthusiast, there are many things that you can do while you’re out on the water that can help keep the water clean and beautiful. Take a look at some green boating tips that will help ensure that you leave the water more or less as you found it after a day of enjoying it.
Prevent Oil Spills
Of all the things that could happen on a boat, an oil spill is probably the most environmentally damaging. Don’t be fooled into thinking that your boat is too small to do any damage. Even a small oil spill can spread a long way and affect many marine plants and animals.
You should be storing a supply of oil-absorbent rags on your boat at all times. Make sure that you dispose of used oil and oil filters properly – never pour used oil down drains, on the ground, or into water, and don’t mix it with any other type of waste. Used oil and oil filters should be brought to a recycling facility in your area.
Keep Your Boat Waxed
Oil isn’t the only water contaminant that you need to worry about. The detergents that you use to wash your boat can cause harm to the water and marine life as well. You can reduce your dependence on detergents by keeping the fiberglass hull of your boat waxed.
Waxing your boat will prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the hull. You’ll be able to remove salt, spores, dust, and pollen with plain water. When you do need a cleanser for tough dirt or stains, try a natural cleanser like vinegar and water for plastic surfaces and decks, or a paste of baking soda and water for fiberglass.
Lessen Your Impact on Plant and Sea Life
Make it a point to ensure that your boat doesn’t interfere with marine life any more than necessary. Avoid chopping vegetation with your outboard motor propellers. If you run into a grass bed, stop. Tilt your engines, then use a pole to gently walk out of the area. You can avoid grass beds by looking for dark areas under the water.
Obey posted signs warning about sea life. Keep fishing line, hooks, and other solid waste in a secure place on the boat so that you can dispose of them safely on land. It may help to carry trash bags on board so that you don’t have to worry about things blowing overboard in a strong wind.
Even if you’re always a responsible boater, others may not be. If you come across an oil spill or hazardous waste left by another boater, don’t just avoid it – report it to the Coast Guard so that it can be safely contained and cleaned up. It’s these efforts from environmentally-minded boaters like yourself that help keep your favorite waters, like those used for Key West boats clean and safe.