Clean Boating

Clean Boating Helps Protect Waterways


Boat owners play an important role in protecting water quality. What you do while boating and maintaining your boat can help keep our waterways safe and clean for everyone to enjoy.

Clean Boating Tips

  1. Use oil absorbent pads in your bilge and under your engine to catch drips. Check pads often and dispose of them properly at the marina.
  2. Use an oil change pump to transfer oil to a spill-proof container. Wrap a plastic bag around the oil filter to prevent oil from spilling into the bilge.
  3. Don't top off your gas tank, and leave room in the tank for fuel to expand as temperatures rise.
  4. Never use soap to disperse fuel and oil spills. Soap pushes oil into the water column rather than letting it evaporate.
  5. Whenever possible, do maintenance out of the water. If you must do in-water repairs and maintenance, use tarps and vacuum sanders and collect all drips and debris.
  6. Use a hard, less toxic or nontoxic antifouling paint. Use non-abrasive underwater hull cleaning techniques to reduce paint discharge. Dry storage reduces the need for antifouling paints and saves money.
  7. Safely dispose of used oil and filters, batteries, unused paint, solvents, antifreeze, cleaning products and other chemicals at a hazardous waste collection site.
  8. Do not discharge treated or or untreated sewage into our waterways. Many marinas provide sewage pumpout as a free or low cost service.
  9. Never throw your trash, cigarette butts, fishing line or other garbage into our waterways. Properly recycle or dispose of all garbage at a marina or other on-shore location.
  10. Use phosphate-free, biodegradable soaps. Minimize discharge by washing dishes and taking showers on shore whenever possible.

Additional Online Resources


For more information on clean boating and other ways to reduce water pollution:
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Mike Halliday
Public Information Specialist
Phone: (253) 798-4210
Fax: (253) 798-7709
Monday–Friday
8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Mailing Address:
2702 S 42nd St, Ste 201
Tacoma, WA 98409-7322