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Clean Marinas and Green Boating Tips

Post by Becky at Dockwa - Published on 4/22/20 8:00 AM
According to National Geographic, more than 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris litter our oceans. Kick off your boating season by pledging to go green: create less garbage and keep any garbage you do make out of the water. Make your boating sustainable with these tips on going green, boater-style. 

Go Green: Tune in

Staying engaged can be half the battle when it comes to the overwhelming amount of information we're bombarded with about the environment. Checking out what organizations are in your state is also a great starting point. For example, we like the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association's Environmental Programs. Stay the course: the more you read environmental news, work with advocacy groups, and participate in forums, the more likely you are to stick with your green habits. 


Go High-Tech

In 2016, the New York Times published their favorite environmental apps. We're pretty partial to #Climate, which is free on iOS, and lets you interact with and share information on social media as you learn. With each harbor you visit, run the ZIP code through Scorecard, an online pollution calculator which shows you an area’s history of chemical releases, pollution, and water and air quality. 


Support a Cause

Part of the reason we love boating is that it gets us out on the water, away from exhaust fumes, asphalt, and noise. If you appreciate fresh air and clean water as much as we do, show your support of organizations that are working to keep our oceans clean: volunteer and donate. Once you do, you’ll have an even greater appreciation for the work it takes to keep our planet blue and green. Exxpedition is one of our favorites — an all female crew sailing around the world working to investigate the causes of and solutions to ocean plastic pollution. Check out our other favorite organizations to support in our World Wildlife Day post. 


Get Up Close and Personal

Seeing first-hand and high-def the beauty of nature and the threats it faces can have a more lasting impression and motivate you to take action. In the next harbor you explore, visit a nature sanctuary or take yourself on a homemade nature tour with a local guidebook. Stuck indoors? Check out the award-winning BBC documentary series Planet Earth.

climate change docks

Take a free online course

Get into it. Many colleges and universities offer free online courses on everything from climate change science to environmental law. As opposed to a textbook, these courses offer the latest theories, interactive instruction, and introduce you to fellow online learners around the world with a similar interest in the environment.


Keep it Clean

A pro-tip on fueling up: keep the soap out of the equation. Dish soap, often believed to be a solution to a cleaning up a fuel spill, weighs the fuel down to the sea floor. Use oil-absorbing pads and keep the dish soap in the galley. Read our full post on Tips for Fueling Up.

Walstrom Marine

Support Green Marinas

Many states have Clean Marina programs and incentives, and marinas work hard to meet the requirements and be good ocean ambassadors. Whatever state you're in, check to see if the marina you're headed toward is a designated Clean Marina – and if they're not, let them know they should be.


The list of Michigan Clean Marinas alone has more than 50 participants! Pictured above: Walstrom Marine in Harbor Springs, Michigan.


Sweat the Small Stuff

It may not seem like your actions add up, but they do. You've likely already seen handy checklists of easy habits you can adopt to decrease your carbon footprint (like DiscoverBoating's Green Boating Guide), so hop to it! Reuse plastic bags, carry a reusable water bottle, keep your boat properly maintained – you know the drill. If you're still using plastic straws, be prepared to get the stink-eye from people – or switch to paper.


Enlist Allies

You don't have to check any of these items off alone. Get the crew on board! As you're adopting these environmentally-healthy habits, make them your boat's standard operating procedure. The best way to make someone fall in love with the water as much as you do? Get them out on it! 

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Post by Becky at Dockwa

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