Clean Water Programs
Through environmental education and outreach, the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water helps boaters, anglers, and other user groups understand how they can be better stewards of the natural resources they enjoy. We do this by sharing practical ideas, proven best practices, and information on laws and regulations. We want you to go out and enjoy boating, but also take care of our natural resources while you are out there. Our goal is to help equip you with the information that you need to be a caretaker of the environment. After all, those of us that enjoy the water have a significant vested interest in its health, as well as the health of all the fish and other animals that live in and around our waters.
Go Green with these 21 Simple Steps to Cleaner Boating
- Reduce the amount of packaging and plastic you take aboard.
- Put a sturdy trash container on your boat.
- Obey the law-always keep garbage on the boat for onshore disposal or recycling. Keep all trash on board while boating in inland and coastal waters.
- Establish a boat rule that no trash gets thrown overboard-even apple cores and cigarette butts.
- Leave the water and marina cleaner than you found it-carefully pick up trash left by others.
- Use onshore restrooms before leaving shore.
- Obey the law-keep untreated sewage out of all coastal and inland waters.
- If your boat has a head, equip it with a USCG-approved Marine Sanitation Device: Type I, II or III.
- Use enzyme deodorizers for holding tanks and portable toilets.
- Know how much fuel your tanks hold and don’t top off!
- Make sure anyone fueling the boat knows which deck fill is for fuel.
- Use oil absorbent pads to catch drips while handing the fuel nozzle between the dock and the boat.
- Fill up your trailerboat’s gas tanks while the boat is on the trailer, not in the water.
Maintain Your Boat
- Regularly scrub your decks with fresh water and a brush to reduce the need to use heavy cleaners.
- Try to do large cleaning and maintenance jobs while the boat is out of the water.
- Ask your marina or underwater diver to recycle used zincs.
- Use a hard (non ablative) anti-fouling paint if you plan on scrubbing the boat bottom while in the water.
- Keep only those fish that you will eat today.
- Practice catch and release techniques to ensure the survival of those fish you toss back.
- Use circle hooks.
- Wet hands or gloves before handling fish you will release.
Click here to download our Clean Routine brochure with 21 Ideas to Better Boating in English and Spanish (Adobe Acrobat PDF Format). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, download a free copy by clicking here. For quantity orders of this and other brochures, click here.
The BoatU.S. Foundation’s work is supported by generous financial contributions from individuals, as well as government and corporate grants. To make a donation click here.