2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook - (Page 40)
THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT
Protecting the environment should be second nature to all of us. Your “green” practices ashore should continue aboard. On the water, every action that you take impacts others sharing the waterway: your neighbors who live along the shore, your fellow boaters, the fish and aquatic plants that live in the water, and the animals that depend on the shoreline for their habitat. As in any aspect of boating, common sense and common courtesy should guide your behavior. There are some special steps you can and should take to preserve our waterways. Marine sanitation devices, bottom painting, engine maintenance and proper trash disposal habits can all have an impact on the quality of the water in which we boat.
Littering isn’t just disgusting and discourteous, it’s illegal. New York State law prohibits dumping of trash or any garbage into the waters of the state. Conviction of this offense is a violation punishable by up to a $250 fine and/or up to 60 days in jail. Dumping trash is also a federal offense. The United States has adopted the International Marine Pollution Agreement (MARPOL), and Annex V of MARPOL sets minimum distances from shore for discharge of various types of garbage. It also prohibits the discharge of plastics anywhere due to the danger plastics pose to marine life. Boats of 26 feet or longer boating on waters of federal jurisdiction must prominently display a durable placard at least 4 by 9 inches notifying the crew and passengers of the discharge restrictions.
Huge, sea-going oil tankers aren’t the only boats that can befoul our waters and shores with oil spills and oil pollution. Some of the pollution in our waterways is caused by recreational boats. There are steps you can take to reduce the amount of pollution your boat causes. A poorly maintained engine will leak more oil into the water, so keep up with the manufacturer suggested maintenance schedule. Don’t pump oily bilge water over the side; collect it and dispose of it properly on shore. Check your hoses frequently for leaks and replace them if necessary. If you spill oil in the boat, wipe it up right away. Use an oil absorbent pad or “sock” in your bilge when you’re traveling. New York State Navigation Law prohibits the discharge of oil in New York waterways. If your boat spills oil, no matter how small the spill, contact the NYSDEC within 2 hours of the oil spill at (800) 457 7362. The federal Water Pollution Control Act bars the discharge of oil into waters under federal jurisdiction. It also requires boats 26 ft and greater in length on waters of federal jurisdiction to display a 5 X 8 inch placard in the engine space stating the requirements of the law. If your boat discharges oil while sailing in federal waters, report the discharge to the US Coast Guard at (800) 424-8802.
Marine Sanitation Devices
Boats are not required to be equipped with a toilet or marine head. But if your boat has a head, it must be equipped with an operable Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) that is certified by the US COAST GUARD to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.
There are three types of approved MSDs:
Type I MSD treats sewage by various means, and Type II MSD is similar to the Type I but meets a
higher level of sewage treatment.
then discharges the waste matter into the water.
Type III MSD doesn’t treat sewage, but holds sewage
on board until you reach a pump out station. Note: A portable toilet— one that you can easily remove from your boat— is not considered a MSD.
Bring your trash back to shore and dispose of it properly! Plastics, especially fishing line, nets, and six-pack wrappers can be deadly to fish and mammals that live in or near the water. All litter—even so-called biodegradable litter—sullies the beauty of our waterways. Bring a garbage bag with you and use it for non-recyclable trash. Keep recyclables separate and place them in recycling bins at the marina, or bring them home to recycle. Pick up other people’s litter and return it to shore with your trash and recyclables. If something flies out of your boat, stop and retrieve it. (Pretend it’s a person and practice a man overboard drill!) 40
Marine pump out facilities are to be used for disposal of on board sewage rather than releasing it into a waterway. The
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook
Boats and Motors
Registration of Boats
Fueling and Ventilation
Safe Loading and Powering
Preparation for Getting Underway
The Marine Environment
Rules of the Road
Boating Related Activities
Accidents and Emergencies
Frequently Asked Questions
Chapter Review Questions Answers
2013 New York Safe Boating Textbook