Facts About Water Pollution Every Florida Boater Should Know
Human beings have a massive responsibility to help keep the world around us free of pollution. As boaters on Florida waterways, we must collectively be accountable for the impact we’re having on our beautiful bodies of water and the surrounding areas. While a small oil leak or a passenger dropping an empty can into some wetlands may not feel like it’s having a major impact, these small incidents add up quickly and create problems for wildlife, others on the waterways, and the bodies of water themselves.
Boaters harm the environment around them in a number of ways, and these facts may make you or your passengers be more careful about polluting while on the water.
Facts about trash pollutants for Florida boaters:
- An aluminum can can take up to 500 years to decompose
- Paper cups, wrappers and other paper products can take up to four weeks to decompose
- Most plastics, including plastic rings for aluminum cans, take about 450 years to decompose
- Glass takes more than 500 years to decompose
If possible, we recommend keeping a secured trash can on your boat with a lid so that you and your passengers have a place to put their trash and recyclables without being tempted to dispose of them off the side of the boat. Set clear rules for your passengers before taking off to ensure they know what you expect as the boat owner.
Trash isn’t the only pollutant for boaters, however. Gasoline and oil have the potential to cause serious damage to the water itself. By spilling a quart of oil into the water, a slick as large as three football fields can remain in that area for as many as three years, putting any wildlife in that habitat at risk.
Likewise, 750 gallons of drinking water can be contaminated by spilling a single gallon of gas.
If protecting the environment isn’t enough, Florida imposes serious fines for water pollution that could be extremely costly.