Ocean Currents » green boating http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:15:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Good Boating Practices Start with Good Mate http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/04/08/good-boating-practices-start-with-good-mate/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/04/08/good-boating-practices-start-with-good-mate/#comments Wed, 08 Apr 2015 16:58:42 +0000 Allison Schutes http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=10054

Spring has sprung – an indicator for millions of water lovers that boating season is fast approaching. While you’re dusting off your vessel for its return to the water, now is also a good time to brush up on good boating practices.

As a boater or marina operator, you’ve seen first hand how a wonderful boating experience can quickly take a bad turn when ocean trash damages a boat or the environment. You know how mishandling a boat can harm ecosystems, wildlife and water quality. Improper, irresponsible or neglectful vessel maintenance and poor refueling, repair and storage habits all present environmental risks. Reducing these risks not only helps preserve clean water and protect the animals that live in it, but also keeps boaters and their families safe – and could even save money.

Fortunately, Ocean Conservancy – working in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Brunswick Public Foundation– created Good Mate, a public outreach program aimed at reducing and eliminating marine pollution and environmental degradation. It offers simple, easy-to-follow guidelines for green boating that the boating community can use and share.

A cornerstone of this program is the Good Mate manual. The manual fully outlines best boating practices – practical steps you can use today. The manual breaks them down into six manageable chapters: the first five examine pollutants that can enter our waters through regular marina activities and the sixth addresses environmental hazards while at sea. All sections provide boaters and marina operators with many informative and useful tips to be leaders in water protection as well as insight on environmental rules and regulations, techniques related to preventing marine pollution and how to respond to pollution violations.

As a boater or marina operator, you are an important steward of our ocean, lakes and waterways. Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate manual is an excellent tool that offers you simple, practical steps to protect the water that our lives and recreation depend upon. Those actions, multiplied across the entire boating community, add up.

It’s time to look beyond the bow and realize that you can make a tremendous difference in the quality of your experience on the water and in the health of the water we love so much.

Before you cast off, review the easy tips that boaters can take to protect our ocean and waterways.

Put the following list of steps into practice at your marina to find new solutions for a changing ocean.

Download a free copy of Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate manual here.

For more in-depth information on how to practice green boating, visit: www.oceanconservancy.org/goodmate.

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(Re)using the Same Old Lines http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/08/reusing-the-same-old-lines/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/08/reusing-the-same-old-lines/#comments Sat, 08 Mar 2014 15:30:09 +0000 Sonya Besteiro http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=7690

When nylon was created in 1938, few people realized the impact this new material would have on fishing. By the late 1950s, manufacturers were producing a single strand of monofilament plastic that would quickly become the most popular fishing line.

Unfortunately, the very properties that make monofilament line so beneficial for fishermen – durability, strength, clarity – can make it an environmental hazard.

Birds, fish and mammals are routinely tangled in discarded fishing line, which can injure or kill them. Derelict fishing line also puts people at risk, entangling beachgoers and divers and damaging boats or other equipment.

Proper disposal of old or damaged fishing line is vital to prevent these dangers. North Carolina Big Sweep’s (NC Big Sweep) monofilament fishing line recycling program encourages fishermen, boaters and marinas to recycle fishing line before it enters the environment.

“Recycling gives a second life to monofilament line, reduces problems with litter and earns positive publicity,” explains Judy Bolin, president of NC Big Sweep.

The NC Big Sweep monofilament recycling initiative began as a pilot project in 2004 with funding from the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Working with the North Carolina Clean Marina Program – a voluntary program that recognizes environmentally responsible marinas – Bolin serves as a conduit between marinas and monofilament recycling resources.

“The marinas are the ones who commit to recycle the monofilament line,” she says.

To participate, marinas must install special containers for patrons to safely store and discard unwanted fishing line. Marina staff monitor and maintain the containers and record the amount of fishing line being recycled. Bolin provides marina operators with an initial container and contact information for recycling centers.

Southport Marina joined the NC Big Sweep program in 2012. For marina manager Hank Whitley, the decision was easy. “As a certified Clean Marina, we are committed to doing our part to keep our environment clean and litter-free,” he explains.

Southport currently has three recycling containers and has collected a large amount of fishing line. With little to no maintenance and only weekly monitoring required, Whitley is pleased that the stations have been minimally invasive to marina operations.

“There is no logical reason for a marina not to join this program,” he states. “The benefits far outweigh the negatives.”

More than 100 marinas currently participate in the recycling program; Bolin would like to see that number grow. “Ideally, I would love to have all marinas involved,” she says. “For now, I’d like to get funding to add 50 more marinas to the project.”

Monofilament recycling is only one of many good boating practices boaters and marinas can implement. Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate program provides simple, easy-to-follow guidelines for green boating. Visit www.oceanconservancy.org/goodmate for more information.



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Boating Tips to Keep it Green While in the Blue http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/03/22/boating-tips-to-keep-it-green-while-in-the-blue/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/03/22/boating-tips-to-keep-it-green-while-in-the-blue/#comments Fri, 22 Mar 2013 20:49:14 +0000 Guest Blogger http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=5245

Boats in a marina. Credit / iStockphoto

With boating season around the corner, it’s hard to not get excited for all the fun and excitement you’ll have on the water this year! While boating can be loads of fun, it’s important to remember that you’re playing in someone else’s backyard. Ocean Conservancy and Good Mate have come up with a green boating guide that you can use as a reference point to make sure that you do your part to help keep our oceans (and the organisms that live in them) healthy.

Green boating is something that both boaters and marinas can take part in, which is why we’ve created two separate guides. They cover everything you need to know in order to make your boating ventures more ocean-friendly, including information on how to properly handle your trash, reduce oil pollution, maintain equipment safely, interact with wildlife, and how to prevent water contamination. Need some green boating literature to keep handy on your boat too? No problem, we’ve got you covered there too with a printable brochure.

Check out the guides and let us know if you have any other green boating tips or suggestions!

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