Prevent oily bilge discharge. Maintain a clean, dry bilge clean and a well-tuned boat engine to prevent fuel/oil leaks. Use an oil absorbent under the engine and in the bilge. Check the absorbent often and treat as hazardous waste, disposing properly at a hazardous waste collection center.
Spill-proof fuel and oil. Use a closed system (such as a portable oil-change pump) when changing engine oil, and use absorbents to catch drips or spills. Drain used oil into a closeable container. Fuel up slowly and use absorbents to catch spills. Do not top-off fuel tank, leave 10% of your tank empty to permit fuel expansion. Dispose of saturated absorbents at a hazardous waste collection center. Recycle used oil and oil filters.
Forego soap. Never use soap on fuel and oil spills - it is illegal. Soap adds nutrients that promote algae bloom which decreases oxygen levels for fish and other aquatic animals. Be aware bilge cleaners cause problems if they discharge overboard. The most damaging cleaners are persistent, and increase in concentration as they are move through the food chain. Choose "phosphate-free" and "biodegradable" cleaning products for use onboard.
Don’t do other maintenance in the water. Avoid working on the docks or over the water. When doing emergency work on the water, contain waste using tarps and vacuum sanders. Collect drips and debris for proper disposal. Avoid products with ingredients known to cause cancer or reproductive harm as listed in California’s Proposition 65.
End toxic discharge from bottom paints. Copper coatings and biocide coatings are toxic to marine life. Ablative coatings require expensive, highly trained and documented cleaning companies to use extensive green management practices such diver monitoring, vacuuming, and non-abrasive scrubbing agents. Abrasion-resistant Ionyx Marine & Hull prevents fouling attachment and significantly minimizes slime through a nano-density, harder-than-granite and non-toxic quartz technology. A thorough wipe with a Scotchbrite or rag is all the maintenance it requires. Ionyx Marine & Hull is non-carcinogenic (California Prop 65) and meets SCAQMD standards.
Properly dispose of hazardous waste. Dispose of hazardous paint and coating debris, batteries, antifreeze, toxic cleaning products, oil, oil filters, etc. at designated hazardous waste collection centers.
Pump out sewage properly. Discharging untreated sewage anywhere within the three-mile territorial limit including lakes, rivers, reservoirs or coastal waters, is illegal. Sewage cannot be discharged into “restricted waters” such as a marina, swimming/wading areas, a sanctuary, poorly flushed areas, lakes, reservoirs, or freshwater impoundments. Use sewage pump-outs, dump stations, or mobile-pump-out services.
Stow garbage. Keep trash on-board. Take advantage of shore-side facilities to recycle plastic, glass, metal, and paper. Avoid excess packaging.
Prevent toxic grey water discharge. Use phosphate-free personal and dishwashing soap to minimize the impacts of grey water on the marine environment. Clean dishes and showers on-shore whenever possible.
Clean, drain, and dry your boat. Examine your boat and equipment carefully before leaving any body of water. Remove visible mud, plants, or animals. Never release plants or animals into the water unless they came out of the same body of water. Wipe water from equipment before transport to a new location. Clean and dry items that come in contact with water (boats, trailers, equipment, dogs, boots, clothing, etc.) to avoid spread of invasive species.