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Safe at Sea: Top 10 'green' boating tips
November 26, 2019

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Daily, we all enjoy Southwest Florida's rivers, bays and Gulf coastal waters. Sadly, over the past few years, the health of our waters have been further imperiled. Thus, it is incumbent upon every single boater to demonstrate good boating practices that are directly tied to our boating environment.

From the "America's Boating Course" textbook, the following guidelines are quite simple and realistic for each of us:

- Keep your bilge clean.

Why would a boater clean his/her bilge? No boater should intentionally or inadvertently pump oily water overboard.

- Use bilge absorbents instead of detergents to keep your bilge clean.

Why would a boater use bilge absorbents? No boater should intentionally or inadvertently pump detergents into our waters.

- Use detergents sparingly.

Even biodegradable cleaners are harsh on aquatic environment.

- Do not dump your sewage in confined waters; do use a holding tank.

- Observe local and federal sewage regulations.

Your legal responsibility as the captain of your vessel is to know and follow the rules.

- Bring your garbage home; do not liter.

Then, remember to treat our environment clean and recycle.

- When fueling, do not top off tanks.

And it follows that you should clean up any spilled fuel.

- Use only paints approved for marine use.

- If fishing, practice catch and release.

Pat Schmidt is a member of America's Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva. For more about the chapter and the courses it offers, visit www.sancapboating.club or contact education@sanibelcaptivasps.org or 612-987-2125.

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