No one appreciates our oceans and waterways more than boaters. It’s a love affair with our most precious resource; water. Boaters also see firsthand how threats like plastic pollution and oil spills are affecting it. No seafarer wants to cruise polluted waters or explore coastlines littered with garbage. That’s why the annual observance of Earth Day is important to boaters. They know a healthy environment is as essential to a great day of boating as, well, a boat.
What is Earth Day?
Each year on April 22nd, the entire world celebrates Earth Day. On that day, in a special way, we honor Mother Earth and promote environmental protection by encouraging people around the world to make earth-friendly changes. It’s no surprise that boaters are totally on board with Earth Day! Now, you may be ready and willing to do your part for the protection of our Earth, but not so clear on exactly what you can do. No problem! The crew at Snag-A-Slip has a few simple things boaters can do to help keep the waters they treasure clean and healthy.
How can boaters (easily) help our waters?
On Earth Day, and every day, we can all do our part to help our waters. In return for small acts, we receive the guarantee that generations of water-loving boaters will enjoy what we have. We promised you simple and we’re delivering on that promise. Here’s our list. Do what you can, because you can make a difference.
Spill-proof your fueling
The ordinary act of filling your fuel tanks is one of the most common ways we accidentally pollute our waters. However, if you do have a spill, there are steps you can take to prevent it from spreading.
Dispose of and recycle waste the right way
Marine debris harms important habitats and wildlife, and can also damage your boat. Reduce your impact and prevent waste from entering our water by doing your part to reduce, reuse and recycle!
Choose cleaner cleaners
Choosing cleaning products that are safe for you and the environment is important. Take that extra moment to read the labels and ask questions.
Make your bottom eco-friendly
Reduce your boat’s environmental impact, and save aquatic wildlife, by using a copper-free bottom paint. There are lots of eco-friendly alternatives to copper-based paints. They could even save you money!
Ditch the toxic sunscreen
Some sunscreens have chemicals that can harm marine wildlife. And when you take a dip, it washes off of you and into the water. Instead, pick up a just-as-effective eco-friendly SPF product.
Green your galley
From reusable dishes and utensils (say no to plastic!) to energy efficient appliances, there are endless ways to make your galley more environmentally sound.
Anchor the right way
Anchors can damage important ecosystems like coral reefs, shellfish beds and seagrass. By making a few small changes to the way you anchor your boat, and you can change all that.
Safely observe marine wildlife
It’s always exciting to catch sight of marine wildlife when cruising in home waters or on a trip. However, we need to remember that when we come upon these beautiful creatures, we are in a vessel that can be dangerous, or even deadly for them. Viewing them the right way can save them and your boat.
Maintain your vessel
General maintenance is key. By proactively maintaining your vessel, you reduce the harmful environmental impact, while extending the life of your engine and boat. That’s a win-win!
What a great time of year it is when you take your boat out of storage. And when it comes to preparing to launch, make sure the steps you take are environmentally friendly.
Want to learn about some organizations working on protecting and conserving our waterways? Check out Boatsetter’s Owners Community Grant program and the nominated non-profits leading the way this year.
Mistakes happen; don’t ignore them
Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, slip-ups occur. If you inadvertently do something that pollutes the water, or you notice someone else polluting the water, do your part and report it to the Coast Guard.
In the U.S.:
You may reach the 24-Hour U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. Or, contact your local Coast Guard Station on VHF Channels 9 or 16.
You may reach BC and Yukon at 1-800-889-8852.
For Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Northwest Territories, or the Arctic please call 1-800-265-0237
Now you’re fully prepared to celebrate Earth Day on the 22nd, and every day, with your fellow boaters. Go ahead, show our oceans and waterways some love!