Many local residents are concerned about the health of our bay and what we can do to try and improve it. There are many things that homeowners can do, but there are things that boaters can also do to help.
The quality of local waters can be degraded from boat sewage, cleaning products, spilled fuel, marine debris, and introduction of invasive organisms. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has a Clean Boater Program that provides tips on how boaters can play a role in keeping our waterways clean.
Tip #1 – Hurricane Preparations
Excessive wind and water can trigger the release of once secured pollutants during tropical storms. Sunken boats can spill fuel, oil, batteries, and other hazardous materials into local waterways.
If a tropical storm is approaching boaters should consider removing as many of these contaminants as they can.
- Ask your marina doe a site- specific hurricane preparedness plan.
- When it is safe to do, move boats inland or dry dock them.
- Remove your portable sanitation devices.
- At the time a hurricane watch is issued, pump out your holding tanks.
- Remove all portable containers (paint, petrochemicals, cleaners, etc.)
- Tape hatches and doorways closed to prevent water from entering the vessel.
- Remove, or secure, all loose gear – including sails.