A Good Boater is a Green Boater

10 tips for saving fuel, money and the Georgia Strait

January 18, 2015

Vancouver, B.C. – For a boater, there is nothing better than being on the water for a day of fun and relaxation. With over 350,000 boats in the Strait of Georgia, boaters have a responsibility to help ensure the health of the Strait by minimizing impacts to the marine environment, especially in areas where boats congregate like marinas, anchorages and marine parks. Georgia Strait Alliance is working with the marine community to help ensure these waters are cleaner for future generations.

“As boaters, we only contribute a small portion of the overall pollution entering the Strait”, says Christianne Wilhelmson, executive director of Georgia Strait Alliance. “But it often concentrates near sensitive foreshore areas and in confined bays. We want to protect Georgia Strait and promote it as a sustainable place for British Columbians to work, live and play.”

Wilhelmson adds there is much boaters can do to ensure the future health of Georgia Strait. She recommends these tips to being a green boater while saving fuel and money at the same time.

  • Reduce your speed when travelling and idle time when stopped to save fuel and money (and prevents angry water users).
  • Manage sewage responsibly by using pump-out services. Where no pump-outs are available, dump only as permitted by regulation and dump responsibly away from anchorages, sensitive areas, shellfish beds and swimmers.
  • Reduce grey-water discharge and only use products with all natural ingredients.
  • Handle fuel carefully; avoid topping up your tank and use oil absorbent rags and other devise to make sure no fuel goes in the water.
  • Use bilge filter or bilge pads to absorb oil and fuel so none gets pumped overboard accidentally.
  • Maintain your boat; a well-tuned engine will help prevent pollution and improve cruising pleasure. Maintain fuel lines, fittings and gaskets using environmentally responsible products and/or alternatives.
  • Use “hard” bottom paint or eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Haul out at responsible boat yards with containment policies and equipment so sandings, paint and scrapings don’t end up in the water.
  • Support marinas with responsible environmental policies and practices.
  • Help other boaters become aware by role-modeling and educating others on green practices.

Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC program also supports marinas in making their facilities as environmentally sustainable as possible. Marinas, yacht clubs, and boatyards that join Clean Marine BC commit to adopting environmentally sound management principles and operating practices such as eliminating the release of contaminants into the ocean, minimizing pollutants and adopting waste reduction and recycling strategies.

Georgia Strait Alliance will be at booth #255 at this year’s Vancouver International Boat Show profiling Clean Marine BC marinas, and handing out their Guide to Green Boating, which helps recreational boaters prevent pollution and sustain local waterways. The Boat Show runs from January 21 to 25 at BC Place.

More details on Georgia Strait Alliance’s Clean Marine BC Program and their Guide to Green Boating can be found here: www.GeorgiaStrait.org/greenboating

Boating BC Association’s Spotlight on Environment: Clean Marine BC video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR0UYXBvJMA

Formed in 1990, Georgia Strait Alliance is the only citizens’ group working to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of Georgia Strait, its adjoining waters and communities, the place where 75% of British Columbians live, work and play.

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For more information, contact:

Christianne Wilhelmson, Executive Director
(604) 862-7579, christianne@georgiastrait.org