a Clean Boater
Oregon is renowned for its majestic, clean and
sparkling waterways and we know boaters want to do their part to keep them that
way. That's why we've created the Clean Boater Program, where we provide boaters some tools to help keep their water clean.
Oregon Clean Boater Program- Details
Protecting Oregon’s environment is not only the responsibility of state
agencies and businesses, but of all Oregonians. Boaters can play an
important role to help ensure that future generations can enjoy clean
So to say "thank
you" to all the boaters that care about the environment and strive to
adopt clean boating practices, the Marine Board has developed a recognition
program to reward those of you that take that extra step. This is your
opportunity to sign-up and become officially designated as an Oregon Clean
boater loves being on the water. A clean marine environment is a vital aspect
of enjoying the boating experience. With 180,000 boats registered in Oregon
today, the cumulative actions of boaters can have a significant impact on
the health of the marine environment. You can help to keep our
waterways clean and healthy by following these Clean Boater tips and taking the Clean Boater Pledge.
GAS AND OIL
drips and spills of gasoline, diesel, and other petroleum products add up and
can have a serious effect on the marine environment, such as: death of fish,
mammals, and birds; cancer, mutations, and/or birth defects; destruction of
plant life; and reduction of food supply for marine organisms.
- Fuel your boat slowly and carefully – attend the fuel
nozzle at all times.
- Make sure the fuel nozzle connects to the fuel tank to
prevent static discharge.
- Only fill the tank to 90% since fuel expands as it
- Use your hand to check for air escaping from the vent.
When the tank is nearly full, you’ll feel an increase in airflow. Also
listen for a gurgling sound indicating the tank is
- Fill portable gas tanks on shore – where spills are
less likely to occur and easier to clean up.
- Outboards: close tank fuel vent when boat is not in use
to save fuel from vapor loss.
- Built-in fuel tanks: install fuel/air separator in the
air vent line from tank to prevent air
Invest in newer engine technology
In 1996, the federal EPA approved tougher emission standards and required engine manufacturers to replace carbureted two stroke outboards and personal watercraft with cleaner, new technology. Manufacturers were given nine years to comply with the EPA rules to reduce emissions by 2006. Emission standards back in 1996 were not set for sterndrives and inboard engines due to the inherently clean technology these engines have always provided.
Two-stroke engines are fuel-inefficient and release up to 30
percent of their gas/oil mixture unburned directly into the water. For every 10
gallons of gas used, more than two gallons of gas and oil go into the water in
the form of a rainbow sheen seen when the motor is idling.
- Consider replacing your old, carbureted two stroke
outboard with a quieter, cleaner, and more
efficient direct-injection two stroke engine or a four stroke engine. These engines offer many advantages to boaters and the environment. Direct fuel injection engines emit 75% to 95% less ozone-forming exhaust than conventional marine engines do for the same horsepower. Four stroke engines emit even less. The cost has come down due to demand and come with additional savings in fuel, saving money in the long run.
- If you have a large outboard you don’t plan on replacing,
consider purchasing a small four-stroke "kicker" to use when
trolling or moving short distances. You’ll save money on fuel, save
wear-and-tear on your larger motor and enjoy a cleaner environment.
- EPA compliant motors are easier to start, have faster acceleration, quicker throttle response and reduced fumes and noise.
When detergents, soaps, and solvents are put on fuel spills, fuel that might
otherwise evaporate from the surface is scattered down into the water. This
"rainfall effect" causes pollution in all levels of the water, rather
than just the surface, and is very difficult to cleanup. Additionally,
detergents can contain chemicals that are harmful to marine life.
- If you have a spill wipe it up with a rag – don’t hose
it off into the water.
- If fuel is spilled into the water:
- Call 1-800-OILS-911 and the Coast Guard at
1-800-424-8802 for any spill, large or small, that causes An oil sheen.
- Don’t use soap or dish detergent - they worsen the
problem and their use on spills in the water is against federal law.
- If a spill occurs in a marina, notify the marina
Bilges are also a potential source of pollution
since they tend to collect engine oil, fuel, antifreeze, and transmission
fluid. When an automatic bilge pump is activated, these fluids are pumped
overboard. Absorbent bilge pads absorb petroleum products but not water. When
soaked with oil, they can be disposed of properly.
Control oil in the bilge
- Place oil absorbent pads or bilge socks in the bilge to
- Place an oil absorbent pad under the engine.
- Replace oil absorbent materials when heavily soiled or
saturated, or at least once a year.
- Keep the engine well-tuned: no leaking seals, gaskets,
- Change oil filters often. Slip a plastic bag over the
filter before removal to catch drips.
- Secure fuel hoses to prevent chafing and leaks.
- Never discharge or pump any bilge water that appears
oily or has oil sheen into or near the water– it is against the law.
- Use oil absorbents or water/oil separators before
pumping the bilge.
- Trailer your boat to an area that provides containment
before removing bilge or boat plugs.
- Do not use bilge cleaners - they simply spread out the
oil and do not remove it from the water.
Handle sewage appropriately
- Most boats in Oregon have marine heads with Type III
marine sanitation devices (holding tanks with no treatment) or carry
portable toilets on board. Use pumpout facilities for Type III marine
sanitary devices (MSDs) and empty portable toilets at dump stations or at
- If your boat has a holding tank with a Y-valve and
through-hull fitting, keep them locked closed when inside coastal waters
or on lakes or reservoirs.
- Use restrooms on shore whenever possible.
- Establish a regular maintenance schedule for your MSD
based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Avoid using additives like quaternary ammonium
compounds (QAC), formaldehyde, or zinc sulphate in your holding tank. Use
safer enzyme-based products to control odor and reduce solids.
- Consider installing a filtered air holding tank.
- Keep diapers, sanitary napkins, oils, solvents, and
other harmful chemicals out of toilets.
- Dispose of your pet’s waste properly.
Ta the pledgand receive a FREE Clean Boater
Take the pledge and receive a FREE Clean Boater