GOOD TO KNOW
- Boaters play an important role in protecting local water quality.
- Pollution sources from boats include litter, motor fluids, cleaning products, and on-board toilet tanks.
- No discharge zones (NDZ) are designated bodies of water that prohibit the discharge of treated or untreated boat sewage.
- It is illegal to discharge untreated sewage from boats in ALL Virginia Waters.
- HRSD provides free year-round onboard toilet tank pump outs at local marinas to help boaters comply with local discharge laws.
GOOD TO DO
- Keep it Clean – Opt for cleaning your boat with plain water or, if needed, a phosphate-free, biodegradable and non-toxic cleaner. Park your boat over grass or dirt to allow dirty wash water to be absorbed instead of running off into a nearby waterway.
- Secure Your Trash – Drink bottles/cans and food wrappers are easily swept off a boat by the ocean breeze. Use containers with lids to collect trash and recyclables and dispose of them responsibly once on shore. And remember, cigarette butts are litter too!
- Be Kind with Fishing Line – Fishing line is extremely dangerous for a variety of wildlife including fish, turtles and water fowl. Animals tangled in fishing line often die from injury or starvation. Look for fishing line recycling containers at your marina as a safe disposal option.
- Don’t Mix Oil and Water – Your boat’s motor can leak toxic chemicals into waterways. Preventative maintenance is key! Find and repair oil, gas, and antifreeze leaks before they become a problem.
- Pump Out Don’t Dump Out – Make a free appointment with the HRSD Pump Out Don’t Dump Out program to have up to 50 gallons of waste pumped from your on-board toilet tanks.
- Respect No Discharge Zones – Don’t empty your on-board toilet tanks into environmentally sensitive waterways like those used for oyster harvesting. The best disposal option for waste disposal is always an HRSD pump station or the Pump Out Don’t Dump Out program.
- Heed the No Wake Signs – Wake can cause erosion along shorelines, damaging the natural barrier that filters polluted stormwater runoff produced by landlubbers and their impervious structures.
- Support Clean Marinas – The Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) offers the Virginia Clean Marina program to marinas that voluntarily implement best management practices to reduce pollution.
- Become a Clean Boater – Take the pledge to protect our waterways with the Virginia Clean Boater pledge. The Virginia Clean Boater program will acknowledge your efforts to protect local water quality with a sticker to display on your boat.
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