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As boaters, it’s our responsibility to do our part to help conserve our waterways for future generations. Take the time to gain an understanding of how to be a better steward of our environment.

You can easily reduce your impact by putting green boating guidelines such as these into practice.

1. Use green or eco-friendly boat cleaning products whenever possible. This will help keep chemicals and toxins out of the water. You should also check your boat manual to be sure any products you use are safe to use on your boat.

2. Dispose of hazardous waste the right way. Dispose of all paints, batteries, antifreeze, engine fluids, cleaning products, oil filters, oil, and any other hazardous wastes at the proper hazardous waste collection facility or event.

3. Never discharge sewage. Use proper pump-out stations and sewage facilities. If you have a port-a-potty, versus an installed toilet, empty it only at a harbor dump stations or bathrooms.

4. Contain your trash on board until you reach a shore-side trash container. Never throw fishing line, plastic bags, or any other trash into the water. Use recycling bins or facilities to recycle plastic, glass, metal, and paper products.

5. Pre-chart your trips. When you pre-chart your boat trips, it prevents misrouting and helps to conserve your boat’s fuel supply. You should also remove any unnecessary gear or weight that could reduce your fuel efficiency.

6. Clean your boat thoroughly and avoid transporting exotic species. Do your best to steer clear of vegetation with your outboard propellers. Clean your boat off thoroughly before trailering or transporting it to another waterway. You should also be sure to check your boat, trailer, and fishing gear for any hitchhiking exotic species.

7. Stay on top of boat maintenance. Make sure your boat isn’t leaking gas, oil or other fluids. Spring is a great time to have maintenance performed to make sure that your boat isn’t contributing to any pollution. If you have to repaint the bottom of your boat, check into alternative anti-fouling paint products that are safer for the environment and for you.

For additional green boating information that is specific to your state, contact your state wildlife agency or department of environmental protection.

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