Need to dispose of expired marine flares? Flare collection event on Sunday, Nov. 14. (Credit: Vivian Matuk, California State Parks and California Coastal Commission) Download hi-res photo
Electronic Visual Distress Signals will be given to boaters at two upcoming flare collection events on November 14. Download hi-res photo
OAKLAND, Calif., Oct. 29, 2021 – The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is urging East Contra Costa and Alameda County residents who own boats or who berth their recreational vessels in the counties to take advantage of a Marine Flare Collection Event on Sunday, Nov. 14.
East Contra Costa County boat owners can drop off old marine flares from 8–11 a.m. at 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Highway in Pittsburg. Alameda County boat owners can drop off their flares from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. by making an appointment online at www.stopwaste.org/marineflares. The drop-off location will be shared in the confirmation email.
Marine flares are required to be carried aboard recreational boats for emergency signaling. However, because they expire 42-months after manufacture, they need to be replaced about every three seasons of boating. A 2012 study found that California boaters generate 174,000 pyrotechnic marine flares every year, an explosive hazardous waste that contains toxic chemicals such as perchlorate. There are currently only two collection sites in California that will accept and dispose of outdated flares, presenting a safety hazard and disposal challenge.
Newer, more modern electronic Visual Distress Signal Devices (eVDSD) aim to eliminate the expired flare disposal challenge. As an added incentive to support boating safety and the environment, qualified residents and owners of recreational vessels who moor in East Contra Costa County (Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Brentwood, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, and Pittsburg) and Alameda County will receive a free U.S. Coast Guard-approved eVDSD by Sirius Signal. The eVDSDs will be available while supplies last. Also offered is a free CA Boaters Kit with green boating products, boating discount coupons and more.
The events are offered by Alameda County, Delta Diablo, and the California Product Stewardship Council in partnership with CalRecycle, California State Parks and the California Coastal Commission California Boating Clean and Green Program and the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.
Proof of residency or marina berth is required. Only recreational boat marine-signaling devices such as handheld flares, aerial signals and smoke signals will be accepted. This excludes flares from commercial vessels, military, businesses or organizations. Those dropping off flares must wear a mask and remain in their vehicles while expired flares will be unloaded from an unlocked trunk or back cargo space. For more information call 800-606-6606.
Suggested social media post:
Are you a boat-owning resident or slip-holder in East Contra Costa or Alameda county and have expired marine flares? Register now for free marine flare collection/eVDSD giveaway event, Sunday, Nov. 14 https://bit.ly/3mnXbdt @BoatUSFoundation #cleanwater #cleanwaterways #boatingsafety #flaredisposal #eastcontracosta #alamedacounty
About the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by donations from the more than 800,000 members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nonprofit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. A range of safe and clean boating courses – including the nation's largest free online boating safety course – can be found at BoatUS.org/Courses.