As a boating enthusiast, you love to be on the water, so why not make sure you’re doing your part to keep our waterways clean and healthy? Some of the greatest threats to our natural resources come from things we don't mean to be harmful and just do out of habit. Check and adjust your boating routine using these tips.
Stow instead of throw. Properly stow all loose items on your boat and bring all of your trash back to shore. This is especially important for lightweight items which can be blown easily into the water. Separate trash for easy disposal, and then tie it down. Some trash, particularly used fishing line and plastic bags, can be mistaken for favorite foods in the water and can do great harm to sea turtles, sea birds and other marine wildlife. Stowing everything securely prevents things from going overboard.
Take ownership. Even if it's not yours, please pick up litter you see in the water or along a shoreline. Sometimes people make every effort to contain their trash, and they just cannot reach it when it blows away. If you can, and if you pick it up, you may be helping a fellow marine enthusiast! If every boater picked up just one extra piece of litter per weekend, the boating community could potentially remove millions of items from our waterways and shoreline. If you want to help clean up in a more organized fashion, you can volunteer to participate in one of our local waterway and beach cleanup events.
Pitch in, Pump out. Instead of dumping sewage into the ocean, which is illegal,take advantage of the free pump out stations located at any of the marinas in Fort Lauderdale or on the New River docks. Stations are open seven days per eek from 8am to 5pm.
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Purchase reusable products and containers and bring them home with you, or take advantage of our many recycling containers at marinas, boat ramps, docks, along the river and on the beach. Recycle your glass, aluminum, plastic and paper in the marked containers.
Confine the line. Find locations for monofilament recycling bins in Fort Lauderdale here. The fishing line collected from the recycle bins in the City are sent, along with fishing line collected from around the region, to Bass Pro Shops and then to plastics producers who remanufacture it into useful materials. Most outdoor sports retailers, bait and tackle shops, and other fishing supply offer low cost containers for stowing your used line while on board. To make your own portable fishing line recycling container, empty a tennis ball can and cut an X into the plastic lid.
Call it in. Every year, hundreds of thousands of birds, sea turtles and marine wildlife are killed because they get entangled in fishing line or eat plastics they mistake for food or are even hit by boats exceeding speed limits. But many of them could have been saved and there are volunteers willing and able to do it. If you see an injured seabird, marine mammals, turtle or other wildlife, please report it. Before you leave shore, check and bookmark our webpage on what to do if you find an injured animal, and enter essential contact numbers to your phone or onboard communications manuals.
Properly dispose of hazardous waste. Properly dispose of items such as used oil, chemicals, paints, and batteries. Many of the cleaning and maintenance products boaters use are considered hazardous waste and should be discarded in an environmentally responsible manner to protect the marine environment. Waste oil disposal and sewage pumpout services are available to boaters at the New River/Downtown Docking, Las Olas Docks and Cooley’s Landing Marine facilities. Other hazardous waste should be disposed of at one of Broward County’s household hazardous waste drop-off locations, or taken to our free Household Hazardous Waste Events if you are a Fort Lauderdale resident, or a resident of one of the cooperating cities.
Investigate innovation. More and more manufacturers are incorporating sustainable innovations into their boats and boating equipment. Advances in solar, wind and other alternative fuels are coming to market every year. Come visit our Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to see and try some of those advances, and don't forget to share your success story with us.
For more information about marina services, call 954-828-5423. For more information on sustainably operating a boat, view the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Clean Boater Habits booklet. Or browse a concise list of clean boating tips from the FDEP.