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Boat Owners

Owning a boat for recreational purposes can be a fun way to spend your free time; whether it be for water sports, fishing, or just cruising on the lake. But boat ownership has many responsibilities beyond the typical maintenance and upkeep. As a boat owner the possibility for water contamination and pollution increase due to your craft being directly in the water. A simple gas or oil leak can have detrimental effects to the environment and water quality.    

Quick Do's and Don'ts


  • Check your engine(s) and fuel tank(s) regularly for leaks.
  • Have a sealed trash container on your boat to prevent loose trash from flying out.
  • Pick up trash you see
  • Use oil absorbent pads to catch/mop up and drips from fueling activity.
  • Retrieve any fishing line you loses or see.


  • Never throw trash overboard. Not even cigarette buds.
  • Empty your (septic) holding tank in the water. Pump it appropriately when you get back to the marina/get the boat out of the water.
  • Fill up your boat in the water; fill it up once trailered.
  • Never Clean, polish, or seal your boat or any of its components in the water. 

Other considerations 

  • If the vessel cannot be taken out of water and you must fuel in water use oil absorbent pads for drips and know your tanks capacity to prevent over fueling. Know who to call if there is a spill.
  • When cleaning your boat, avoid toxic Soaps, polishes, and stain removers. Many cleaners are detrimental to aquatic life and water quality.

Protecting fish habitat_EPA_

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