b'Chapter 10 Getting Out on the Water - Good Boating Practices Recreational boating provides relaxation and enjoyment for thousands of residents and visitors. It contributes to the economy by providing jobs in boat manufacturing and service. Unfortunately, boating also contributes to the pollution of local waters. All of us - especially boaters - have a lot to lose if the quality of our waters deteriorates. As a boater, there is much you can do to help protect the waters that bring you so much pleasure. Maintaining Your Boat Many of the cleaning, dissolving, and painting agents usedfor boat maintenance are toxic to marine and aquatic life. A few simple precautions can prevent these chemicals from harming our coastal ponds, sounds, and harbors. Bottom Paints The more traditional copper and tributyltin (TBT) bottom paintsthat were used to prevent fouling cause environmental damage. Fouling refers to the whole host of organisms that can attach to and grow on the hulls of boats, aff ecting their performance. TBT has been shown to damage our shellfi sh populations and has been banned nationally. Other environmentally friendly alternatives are now available. These work by producing peroxides that kill the fouling organisms while they are still microscopic. The peroxide quickly breaks down into water and oxygen, so it is safe to use and does not hurt the environment. When scraping the boat bottom, catch the scrapings with a drop cloth. Use sanders with vacuum attachments and sweep up any scrapings or dust that may escape your drop cloth. Bring them to your next hazardous waste collection day. Cleaning Your Boat Rinse and scrub your boat with a brush or power washer after each use instead of using soap. If your boat is stained, use phosphate-free soap or laundry detergent, or any of the alternatives suggested in Chapter Five on hazardous waste. When possible, avoid products that remove stains and make your boat shine. They are extremely toxic. As a rule, avoid any products with a Toxic warning on the label; they can kill marine life if washed overboard or accidentally spilled into the water. Bilge Wastes Bilge water presents a major challenge for boaters. Since bilge water often contains oily wastes, boaters are often tempted to add detergent to it and pump it overboard. The detergent, already harmful on its own,breaks the oil into small fl oating droplets spreading the area of impact to the larval stages of the many marine creatures that inhabit the surface water. This practice is not only environmentally damaging, it is illegal and punishable with a State fi ne of up to $10,000 and local fi nes up to $200 per off ense. Page 53bluepages.indd 53 8/26/2009 1:52:45 PM'