Practice green boating this spring


By instituting a few best practices aboard your vessel, you can ensure that you’re doing your part to protect our waterways.

It’s all about the waste
  • Retrieve trash, monofilament or other debris from the water (even if it isn’t yours). Keep a net and trash bag handy for this purpose.
  • Recycle cans, glass, plastics and monofilament line. Keep a clearly marked recycling container onboard.
  • Limit the packaging and plastic you take on board, and use reusable food and beverage containers.
When you’ve got to go, go green
  • Use restrooms onshore prior to departure.
  • Use only approved Marine Sanitation Devices underway.
  • Use pump-out stations; never discharge raw sewage offshore.
Don’t be a drip
  • Know how much fuel your tanks hold, and don’t overfill or top off tanks. Use absorbent pads to catch drips, and dispose of them properly.
  • Keep your engine tuned, and watch for leaking seals, gaskets, hoses and fuel lines. Place an oil-absorbent pad underneath the engine and replace it as needed.
  • Keep your bilge clean and dry. If oily water does collect, swirl an oil-absorbent pad in the bilge water to collect the oil. Pump oily water into a dockside holding tank or leave it to the professionals to remove. Never discharge it overboard.

For more clean boating tips, download a copy of the America’s Boating Club Environmental Best Practices for Boaters brochure at

United States Power Squadrons, America's Boating Club logo

The Ensign magazine is an official channel of United States Power Squadrons, America’s Boating Club, a volunteer organization whose members teach boating skills and best practices to help improve the safety of our nation’s waterways. Learn more.