Basics of Clean Boating

Every boater loves enjoying our waterways and each of us have a chance to keep those waterways clean and healthy for future generations. Help keep our waterways clean by checking out these Clean Boating Tips and exploring the topics throughout our website.

Stop the Drops »

  • Know how much fuel your tank holds and don’t top off!
  • Make sure anyone fueling the boat knows which deck fill is for fuel.
  • Use oil absorbent pads or donuts while fueling to catch drips.
  • Dispose of all oil absorbents properly.
  • Fuel your trailer boat or PWC before launching.

Sewage »

  • Use onshore facilities before leaving shore.
  • Never discharge untreated sewage on inland waters or within 3 miles of shore.
  • Know the No Discharge Zones in your local waterways.
  • Know where your local pumpout stations are located and how to pumpout properly.
  • Make sure you pick up your pet’s waste.

Reduce & Stash Your Trash »

  • Make a rule that nothing goes overboard.
  • Have sturdy trash and recycling containers with lids on your boat.
  • Bring all of your trash back when going out on the water.
  • Properly dispose of cigarette butts.
  • Purchase reusable products, containers, water bottles and products that use less plastic packaging.
  • Be sure to stow or tie down all gear when underway on the water or the highway.
  • Participate in a cleanup event - especially in areas accessible only by boat.

Recycle »

  • Bring all your recyclables back to shore and recycle them.
  • Dispose of your monofilament fishing line at recycling bins at your marina or tackle shop.
  • Make sure you recycle other common boating waste such as shrink wrap, batteries and antifreeze.

Maintain Your Boat »

  • Regularly rinse your decks with fresh water and a brush to reduce the need to use heavy cleaners.
  • Try to do large cleaning and maintenance jobs while the boat is out of the water.
  • Choose “greener” cleaning products when needed.
  • Keep your engine clean and tuned to prevent leaks.
  • Consider whether or not you need antifouling paints and look for lower metal content paints.
  • Keep a bilge pad or sock in your bilge to absorb oil drips.

Take Care of Your Waterways »


  • Observe no wake zones and minimize your wake near the shore, wildlife and other boaters.
  • Carry charts and know how to read them to prevent running aground. If you do run aground, know how to get loose.
  • Proceed slowly in shallow areas and avoid contact with underwater grasses.
  • Practice selective harvesting – know which fish you want to/should keep.
  • Use tackle that is safer for catch and release such as single hooks, barbless hooks or circle hooks and use a dehooker.
  • Prevent the spread of invasive species – remember to CLEAN, DRAIN, DRY your boat and gear.

Be a Responsible Boater

Choose a Clean Marina for your maintenance needs and to dock your boat.

Give your guest a Clean Boating Briefing to let them know the importance of reducing their impact on the environment.