Many of us throughout the Cook Inlet enjoy boating on lakes and rivers and in bays and the Inlet. Dealing with a number of waste streams is just part of owning and operating a boat. Through our Clean Boater outreach, Cook Inletkeeper works to help boaters understand alternative methods to dealing with these waste streams to both enjoy boating and protect our clean water!
We believe that a clean boat is also a safe boat, and by practicing simple good housekeeping on-board you can not only protect clean water and healthy salmon, but you can also save money and ensure a safe trip for you and your passengers.
Spills happen - know how to respond!
NEVER USE SOAPS TO DISPERSE A SHEEN!
REPORT SPILLS TO ADEC: 800-478-9300
NATIONAL RESPONSE CENTER: 800-424-8802
- Every drop counts!
- Locate and stop the source of the spill
- Notify the DEC and NRC immediately
- Let the harbor officers know – they have spill response training and equipment available!
- Use absorbent pads to collect oil and fuels
- Contain the pads and keep them from floating away
- Use protective equipment (gloves and boots) to protect yourself
- Collect oiled pads and place them in double-lined plastic bags. Dispose as hazardous waste.Be prepared next time to stop the drops!
Fueling your boat is not like fueling your car! Follow these simple steps to keep fuel out of the water and in your fuel tank:
- Shut off all engines and bilge pumps before fueling
- Know the capacity of your fuel tank – never top off!
- Fuel expands in warm weather – fill tanks to 90% capacity to prevent overflows
- Regularly check all fuel fittings, hoses, and your bilge for leaks
- Never leave a fuel hose unattended
- Keep contact between the fuel nozzle and your tank to prevent static electricity
- Always use an absorbent pad to catch drips when fueling
- Consider installing a fuel whistle on your vent – it will let you know when your tank is nearly full
- Use a fuel spill container to cover the air vent and catch spills
Check out these great resources from the Boat U.S. Foundation for more information on boat fueling:
Fueling Products Review See reviews of fuel air separators, fuel vent collection devices, absorbent materials, and other products to help stop fuel spills.
When there's a spill Gives simple steps to take in the event of a spill at the fuel dock.
Spill, What Spill? See the tests done to evaluate clean fueling products.
Boat Fueling Systems Provides an overview of why fueling your boat is different than fueling a car, and how your fuel systems operate.
Fuel Efficiency Resources Check out these extensive resources from Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program on ways to save money by increasing your fuel efficiency on board.
Did you know that dispersing oil with soaps can result in a fine of over $30,000? Soap does not make the oil go away! Instead it breaks it up and sends it to the bottom, where it will stay in the food chain and can harm aquatic life - including fish embryos and shellfish! Do your part to keep a clean bilge and avoid dumping oily bilge water overboard.
- Keep your boat’s engine clean and well maintained
- Regularly check all fuel and oil fittings leading to the tanks and engine
- Don’t drain engine fluids into the bilge
- Place an oil absorbent pad and tray under your engine to collect small spills and drips
- Pump your bilge less often by keeping rain, snowmelt, and seawater from leaking into your boat
- Secure an absorbent pad in the bilge and monitor it throughout the season. Find sources of oil when it becomes soiled and contain and fix them ASAP!
- Before pumping the bilge, soak up all floating oil with absorbents
- NEVER MIX SOAPS WITH OILY BILGE WATER! This is more toxic than oil alone, and results in much larger fines!
- For bigger boats, consider an in-line bilge water filter that will help remove most contaminants. You may get a big savings on insurance!
- Do not pump oily bilge water overboard! Check with your harbor or marina for a bilge pump out service in your area.
Cook Inletkeeper gives out bilge pillows to help keep your bilge clean. Bilge pillows or socks can be secured in your bilge to absorb oil. Oil absorbent socks or sausages are usually available at marine supply stores. For more information on bilge pillows, contact Cook Inletkeeper.
Clean Painting & Maitenance
- Limit in-water painting to interior surfaces & brightwork wherever possible
- Mix paints away from the water
- Prevent drops! Keep rags handy and use protective sheeting
- Mix only enough paint you need for the job at hand
- If you’re painting from the water or the floats, work from a smaller container (1 gallon or less)
- Keep containers covered tightly and safely stored
- Clean up all debris completely
- When possible, buy water-based paints and solvents
- Thoroughly dry all empty water-based paint cans and old brushes before throwing them away
- Treat oil-based paints and solvents as hazardous waste!
Clean Boat Washing
- Minimize use of toxic cleaners. When you do use them, make sure you and your crew know their correct use, handling, and disposal.
- Read labels! DANGER = extremely flammable, corrosive or toxic. WARNING = moderately hazardous, CAUTION = less hazardous.
- Use less toxic alternative cleaners and elbow grease
- Avoid products that contain ammonia, bleach, chlorinated solvents, petroleum distillates and lye.
- Use frequent soft cleanings of the deck and hull to avoid abrasive cleanings.
- Limit the use of detergents or soaps – visible suds aren’t active cleaners, and often mean you’re wasting soap.