Earth Day is right around the corner! We’ve found some fun facts and great tips on how boaters all over the world can do their part to continue to protect the planet.
Earth Day started on April 22, 1970 when millions of people took to the streets to protest the negative impacts of 150 years of industrial development. It was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin in an effort to bring environmental issues to the media’s attention. Today, it is celebrated across the world with many different fundraisers, family friendly events, and clean up projects.
To better understand why Earth Day is so important, here are some fun facts:
1. Every year on April 22, men, women, and children collect garbage, plant trees, clean up coral reefs, show movies, sign petitions, and plan for a better future for our planet.
2. A massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California inspired Senator Nelson to organize a national “teach-in” day to educate the public about environmental issues.
3. Some schools and communities celebrate Earth Day for a whole week to expand the time frame that people focus on the earth and how they can preserve it.
4. On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.
5. In celebrations that included 5,000 environmental groups and 184 countries, the focus of the millennial Earth Day celebration in 2000 was climate change. This mass effort marked the first time that many people learned about global warming and its potential side effects.
How to do Your Part
As boaters, we still affect the world in many ways. The ocean is the home to over a million different types of wildlife. Here are some tips and tricks to help protect the environment and do your part!
In the market for a new engine? Consider getting a four-stroke engine instead of a two-stroke. It’s estimated that 30% of all fuel and oil used in two-stroke engines ends up in the water. The four-strokes are built to reduce the amount of oil and fuel going into the water and air emissions. Even better is that the four-stroke engines are quieter and easier to operate. They give a smoother ride to all those aboard your vessel too.
Many people use antifouling paint. This type of paint is both expensive and toxic, so you may be better without it. Instead, try using regular paint and add a coat of slick bottom wax. For smaller boats, you can avoid using antifouling paint by storing the boat on dry land. If you keep a boat in the water for long periods of time, scrubbing the bottom with a long-handled brush once a month may be sufficient.
Report Pollution Incidents
Polluters are required to report any hazardous waste or oil spills to the Coast Guard. If you notice someone polluting the water with oil, garbage, or other pollutants, or any other harmful items, do your part and report it.
Who should you call?
In the U.S.:
The 24 Hour National Response Center is available at 1-800-424-8802. You can also contact your local Coast Guard Station on VHF Channels 9 or 16.
BC and Yukon is available at 1-800-889-8852.
For Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Northwest Territories, or Arctic please call 1-800-265-0237.