Use these tips and join the growing number of boaters and marina operators making sound choices to improve their boating environment.

Winterize and Commission Your Vessel Wisely ~

Use a dust-less or vacuum sander, or a drop cloth to collect all paint chips, dust and residue.

Bring used maintenance products and chemicals to local hazardous waste collection sites.

Use less-toxic propylene glycol antifreeze (usually pink).

Clean Responsibly ~

Wash your boat frequently with a sponge and plain water or use phosphate-free, biodegradable cleaners.

Avoid cleaners with bleach, ammonia, lye or petroleum distillates.

Wax boat to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained.

Fuel Cautiously ~

Prevent spills by filling fuel tanks slowly and carefully.

Never "top off" or overfill your fuel tank. Leave 10% of tank empty for fuel to expand as it warms up.

Use absorbent material to catch drips from the fuel intake and the vent overflow.

It is illegal to use soap to disperse fuel or spills.

Report spills promptly to CT DEP’s Spill Response at (860) 424-3338 and USCG at (800) 424-8802.

Maintain Your Engine & Bilge ~

Slip a plastic bag over used oil filters to prevent drips when doing oil changes.

Keep your engine well tuned to prevent fuel and oil leaks.

Check fuel lines for damage. Replace with alcohol resistant hoses.

Never discharge bilge water with an oily sheen (it’s illegal).

Place absorbent material in the bilge and under the engine. Check them often.

Properly Dispose of Absorbent Materials ~

If pad is saturated with gas, air dry and reuse.

If pad is saturated with diesel or oil, boaters may double-bag pads and discard in the trash.

Contain Trash ~

Secure trash on board.

Pack food in reusable containers.

Don’t toss cigarette butts overboard; filters are plastic and deadly to birds and fish.

Recycle ~

Recycle cans, glass, plastic, newspaper, antifreeze, oil filter and oil. Recycle spent lead acid batteries where you buy them and bring used monofilament fishing line to tackle shops for recycling.

Handle Sewage Appropriately~

Use marina restroom facilities when at the dock.

Use and maintain a U.S. Coast Guard approved Marine Sanitation Device (MSD).

Use a holding tank (Type III MSD) in No Discharge Areas. These areas prohibit the use of Type I and II MSDs.

Rinse holding tanks regularly with fresh water to reduce odors.

Avoid using additives like formaldehyde in your holding tank. Use safer enzyme-based products.

Use pumpout stations and DEP funded pumpout boats.

Dispose of Fish Waste Properly ~

Do not throw fish waste into marina waters.

Discard waste offshore or in the trash.

Freeze fish waste and reuse as chum or bait.

Protect Sensitive Habitat ~

Proceed slowly in shallow areas; avoid contact with underwater vegetation.

Do not disturb wildlife.

Watch your wake. It can cause erosion.

Leave Nuisance Species Behind~

Remove weeds and plants from your trailer and boat before leaving boat launch.

Drain bilge and bait wells when hauling your boat to prevent spread of invasive species.

Share live bait or dispose of properly – don’t release in the water.

Be a Clean Boater ~

Learn about environmentally safe products and practices. Share the information with other boaters.

Obey laws governing littering, sewage, discharge, and no wake zones.

Encourage your marina to provide recycling bins and pumpout stations.

Support CT Clean Marinas.

Take a Clean Boater Pledge.

For more information on the Clean Boater Program, please contact DEP's Boating Division at 860-434-8638 or email