As The Green Blue put it, sailing and boating are reliant on the natural environment being clean and healthy. Keeping our waters well maintained isn’t a difficult job, but it’s one we all need to muck in to.
Follow the folk of Lake Windermere and green up your own boating habits. True trendsetters will lead by example and convert their clubs too!
1. Clean your bilge – a simple tip. If your bilge is soiled with oil, so will be the water it pumps out. Regular cleaning is a very simple solution to this problem.
2. Dispose of sewage responsibly – not a glamorous topic, but certainly a necessary one. Unless local by-laws exist, it is not illegal for boats to empty their toilets directly into the marina. A much more appealing option is using on-shore facilities, and pumping out toilets into dedicated disposal units where available.
3. Plan routes to avoid sensitive habitats – ecosystems often exist in a delicate balance, and disruption can devastate the biodiversity. Protect your local marine wildlife by finding out about the local habitats, and planning accordingly.
4. Don’t litter – this one’s a no-brainer, but it’s too often overlooked. Make sure general waste ends up in a bin, or even better, in the recycling.
5. Be a leader – point your marina manager or harbour master in the right direction and show them the Green Guides to Washdown Systems, and to Pump Out Systems [links below].
Washdown Systems: http://goo.gl/AlmjKN
Pump Out Systems: http://goo.gl/yDGP2u
6. Responsible antifoul maintenance – annual cleaning and touching-up can be a pain, but without proper planning, you may be harming the local wildlife too. At the very least, a heavy rope surrounding the boat is needed to collect paint runoff. Or, you could make your life easier and switch to a low-maintenance foul release system. The choice is yours!
Let the Windermere Reflections Programme show you more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1GIXM-cKY0
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