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CONTACT: Kristin Lock, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 778-7294

Florida's Boaters Encouraged to Discover the Greener Side of the Sea

~Clean Marina Program offers eco-friendly boating tips and welcomes new Clean Boatyard~

TALLAHASSEE ? With the sun-drenched summer on its way, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection?s (DEP) Clean Marina Program is reminding Floridians to add some green to their deep-blue-sea endeavors this boating season.

?The returning warm weather reminds us why we value Florida and its endless recreational opportunities,? said DEP?s Director of Sustainable Initiatives Deas Bohn. ?The proactive efforts that protect Florida?s natural beauty are often overlooked, but through simple, everyday boating tips from the Clean Marina Program, we can express our appreciation for the beauty our state provides us.?

In time for the boating season, the Clean Marina program recently designated St. Johns Boat Company, in Jacksonville, as the 33rd Clean Boatyard in the state, adding four wet slips and a pumpout to the Clean Marina community. This latest designation provides a prime example of efforts embracing Florida?s clean waters.

Boaters wishing to adopt eco-friendly practices should implement the following boating tips:

? Fill fuel tanks just before leaving on a trip.
? Use oil absorbent material to catch drips from the fuel intake and the vent overflow.

Controlling Oil
? Place oil absorbent material or a bioremediating bilge ?sock? in the bilge to prevent oil leakage into waterways; replace regularly.
? Secure fuel hoses to prevent chafing and leaks.

? Use phosphate-free, biodegradable and non-toxic cleaners to clean.
? Conserve water; use a spray nozzle on hoses.

Vessel Maintenance
? Keep vessel engine clean to spot and repair leaks.
? Use premium two-cycle engine oil.

Containing Sewage
? Never discharge raw sewage. Use marina pumpout stations and rinse holding tanks regularly.
? Use restrooms on shore.

Protecting Sensitive Habitat
? Avoid contact with submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) such as fragile seagrass beds.
? Watch the wake; it can lead to shoreline erosion and disturb wildlife.

Contain Trash
? Buy products without plastic or excessive packaging; plastic is deadly to fish and birds.
? Do not toss cigarette butts overboard; they are made of plastic (cellulose acetate).

Be a Responsible Boater
? Obey laws governing speeding, littering and discharge.
? Support marinas that are environmentally responsible.

The Florida Clean Marina Program is a voluntary designation program with a proactive approach to environmental stewardship. To become designated as a Clean Marina, facilities must implement a set of environmental measures designed to protect Florida?s waterways. These measures address critical environmental issues such as sensitive habitat, waste management, stormwater control, spill prevention and emergency preparedness.

The Clean Boating Partnership is a consortium of industry leaders who contribute time and input to the Clean Marina, Clean Boatyard, Clean Marine Retailer and Clean Boater programs which DEP administers to protect Florida?s waterways. The partnership includes DEP, Marine Industries Association of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, University of Florida Sea Grant Program, United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary. Put back in the total number of designated members here.

To learn more about the Florida Clean Marina Program and clean boating practices, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/cleanmarina.


"The returning warm weather reminds us why we value Florida and its endless recreational opportunities."

Deas Bohn
DEP?s Director of Sustainable Initiatives



Last updated: April 14, 2010

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