What's In Your Wake?
Some interesting statistics about the impact of boating on our favourite lakes and rivers…
Canadians own about 2 million recreational boats. In the U.S., about 12 million marine engines power watercraft. In addition to airborne emissions from boat motors, the environment is affected by vast quantities of petroleum products that leak out of boats during operation and refueling. According to one source, there’s the equivalent of 15 Exxon Valdez oil spills happening in North American waterways every year. It’s a lot of fuel, but because it comes out of one little boat at a time, at marinas, docks and fishing spots all over the place, nobody really takes notice.
What can you do to reduce the impacts of boating?
- Avoid fuel and oil spills by installing a fuel saver and ensuring you do not overfill your tanks. Half a litre of oil will cover 0.4 hectares of surface area, so spills are no minor thing.
- Purchase a boat with an inboard, four-stroke or two-stroke engine that has direct fuel injection. These are much better for the environment and cheaper to run, as an estimated 25 per cent of all fuel and oil used in a conventional two-stroke engine ends up in the water.
- Look for ways to increase your boat's fuel efficiency. Eliminate unnecessary idling, avoid running the engine at full throttle and get regular oil changes and engine tune-ups.
- If you’re an angler, consider investing in an electric trolling motor to reduce idling at slow speeds.
- Avoid the temptation of a personal watercraft (jet ski). Virtually all of them have conventional two-stroke engines and are typically ridden at full throttle. Riding one of these for just one hour produces more smog emissions than driving 22,000 km in a 1998 passenger car.
- Make sure sewage and garbage don't end up overboard. Recycle and compost garbage back on shore and use a pump-out service to empty your sewage tank.
Get on board with green boating! EcoSuperior reminds you to keep your favourite lakes and rivers clean and clear for many more fun summers!
http://www.georgiastrait.org/files/share/PDF/GreenBoating2007.pdf (The Georgia Strait Alliance Guide to Green Boating, 2007/2008)
http://www.ehponline.org/members/2003/111-4/focus.html (Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 111, Number 4, April 2003)
Compiled by EcoSuperior 2008
Page last updated on Monday, February 01, 2010