Eco-Friendly Boating Tips from Key West Bight Marina
Home to the third largest coral barrier reef in the world and surrounded by miles of backwater channels and flats, it’s no surprise that Key West is an incredibly popular place for boaters. With that in mind, it’s critical to do what we can to preserve and protect the precious ecosystem surrounding Key West. Whether it’s for work, play, or a little bit of both, Here are give tips for eco-friendly boating in Key West:
1-Be Careful Fueling Up and Perform Regular Engine Maintenance!
With an engine running nice and smoothly, your boat will emit less fossil fuels. Proper fueling procedures also help prevent fuel and oil spills. If an accident does happen (as accidents sometimes do), try to identify the cause and immediately mitigate further spillage. If you are low on oil absorbent pads, contact the marina staff immediately at (305)-809-3983.
2-Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species
Proper sanitation of your boat and its equipment each time you use it will help in preventing invasive plants and animals from spreading in Key West’s ecosystem. How do you make sure you’ve cleaned enough? Remove all vegetation, spray your boat and all equipment with high-pressure water, and rinse with hot water. It goes a long way!
3-Reduce Your Environmental Footprint
Reducing how much fuel you use is not just better for the environment, but also better for your wallet! By decreasing extra weight onboard the boat, regularly cleaning your hull, and being diligent with engine maintenance can go a long way!
4-Become Familiar with Local Wildlife
Prior to going out on your boat, do some research on wildlife, plants, and animals that may be in the region – knowing what species to look for can help avoid collisions. When viewing wildlife, remain at least 300 feet away and limit your viewing time to 30 minutes.
5-Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen!
We all know the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but did you know that some SPF products are bad for the environment? Sunscreens that contain chemical additives like oxybenzone can contribute to coral bleaching and disrupt the entire ecosystem.
When shopping for sunscreen, remember to check the ingredients and avoid buying sunscreens that contain oxybenzone. Instead, choose those that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as these chemicals are less toxic for you, your loved ones, and the environment.
6-Clean Up Your Garbage!
While it’s never polite to leave garbage lying around, it’s especially important to not dump your garbage into the ocean or any body of water in which you’re boating. Besides hurting animals that directly ingest garbage, other wildlife can also suffer if their food supply (i.e., fish) decreases because of toxic chemicals found in garbage.
Finally, as a reminder, if you are looking for more information on the Key West Bight Marina, visit www.KeyWestBightMarina.com or call one of our dockmasters directly at (305)-809-3983.