On the Water

Boating is one cool way to escape the heat. The Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, lakes, rivers and streams provide endless opportunities to catch a breeze, catch a nap or catch dinner. Florida’s one million registered boats provide a million opportunities for boaters to protect water quality and the quality of our aquatic lifestyle, both at the dock and on the water.


  • Use oil absorbent material to catch drips from the fuel intake and the vent overflow.
  • Fill portable fuel tanks ashore where spills are less likely to occur and easier to clean up.

Controlling Oil

  • Use oil absorbent material or a bio-remediating bilge sock in the bilge to prevent oil leakage into waterways.
  • Place an oil absorbent pad under the engine.
  • Check fuel lines for damage; replace with alcohol resistant hoses.
  • Secure fuel hoses to prevent chafing and leaks.
  • Never discharge bilge water with a sheen; it is illegal.


  • Wash boats with a sponge and plain water.
  • Use phosphate-free, biodegradable and non-toxic cleaners.
  • Wax boats to prevent surface dirt from becoming ingrained.
  • Use a spray nozzle on hoses to conserve water.

Vessel Maintenance

  • Share leftover paint and varnish with fellow boaters rather than disposing in the trash, where it can end up in a landfill and seep into waterways.
  • Take used solvents and waste gas to hazardous waste collection sites.
  • Use premium two-cycle engine oil.
  • Use alternatives to toxic bottom paints.

Containing Sewage

  • Never discharge raw sewage.
  • Use marina pump out stations and rinse holding tanks regularly.

Containing Trash

  • Take trash and recyclables back to the dock for proper disposal. Don’t let trash get thrown or blown overboard.
  • Buy products without plastic or excessive packaging.
  • Do not toss cigarette butts overboard.

Be a Responsible Boater

  • Encourage boating facilities to provide trash cans, recycling bins and pump out stations.
  • Support marinas that are environmentally responsible.

Find a Clean Marina. Learn more about the Florida Clean Marina Programs.

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