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Division of Boating and Waterways and Coastal Commission Encourage All of April to be Earth Day

PaddleXaminer, Earth Day, California Coast
Photo by malte on Unsplash

The Division of Boating and Waterways and California Coastal Commission invite recreational boaters to celebrate Earth Day this year all month long. Protecting the environment is easy, even while enjoying California’s waterways on a boat. California has one of the highest levels of recreational activity in the nation. With 1,100 miles of coast, hundreds of navigable rivers, lakes and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, there are ample recreational opportunities for the state’s recreational boating community. These opportunities also increase the potential of boat-related pollutants that can enter the environment, such as sewage, oil and fuel, detergents, solvents, paints, plastics and other marine debris. Given the large number of recreational boats in the state, even a small amount of pollution from a fraction of the boats can cause serious harm to marine fish and wildlife. Below are some green and safe boating tips:

  • Take a Boating Safety Course. Learn how you can protect the environment while boating and then apply for a California Boater Card. The lifetime card fee is $10. Learn more at

  • Plan Ahead.

  • Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of the outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open and what visitor guidelines are in effect.

  • File a float plan before each trip and share it with a family member or friend in the event of an emergency. Be sure to cancel the float plan when you return home.

  • Check the weather to know the latest weather forecast prior to going out, and check regularly for changing conditions.

  • Identify the nearest pollution prevention services near you. For participating sewage, dump stations and floating restrooms download the complimentary Pumpout Nav App.

  • Carry the Right Equipment. Make sure you have the right safety equipment on board. Click here to download a free virtual safety check form or to schedule a vessel safety check. Also, carry oil absorbents on board and in your bilge to prevent oily discharges, and to prevent fuel spills use fuel bibs. Dispose of them as a hazardous waste at your County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center. For locations check your browser or visit For a Free California Boater Kit with all of this clean and safe boating information visit

  • Keep It Clean. Dispose of trash properly. Pack your food and water using your reusable items such as water bottles, coffee mugs, reusable utensils, cups and plates. Avoid single use disposable items, such as straws and stirrers.

Protecting the environment and safely recreating in the outdoors go hand in hand. As such, boaters are encouraged to wear life jackets as they can greatly increase the chances of survival in an accident. Learn more at The Boating Clean and Green Program is an outreach program that promotes environmentally sound boating practices to marine businesses and boaters in California. There are a number of complimentary sources available online at


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