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How To's and Tips

For Bay restoration to be a success, we all must do our part. Our everyday actions - from fertilizing our lawns and using water to driving our cars to work and school - have a major impact on the Bay, one that can't be fixed by government and non-profit restoration partners alone. By making simple changes in our lives, each one of us can take part in restoring the Bay and its rivers for future generations to enjoy.

Prevent Pollution

Photo Credit: Rigucci/Shutterstock

When doing maintenance work on your boat, make sure to stay on land instead of at the dock or in the water. If work is done off land, take precautions to keep waste from the water.

Reduce Sediment Pollution

Photo Credit: Peretz Partensky/Flickr

Try to avoid using your boat in very shallow waters, where it can stir up sediment, harm sensitive habitats and put your propeller and hull at risk for damage.

Prevent Spills

Photo Credit: Chad Cooper/Flickr

Because gasoline can expand and contract, it's best to only fill your boat's gas tank about 90 percent of the way full. This leaves room for gas to expand without overflowing the tank.

Use Toxic-Free Paints

Photo Credit: Rob Watling/Flickr

In order to prevent fouling, some paints contain metals, which can damage marine life. Consider using a less toxic paint on your hull, and prevent paint from polluting the water by using non-abrasive cleaning materials.

Reduce Greywater

Photo Credit: Caroline Gagné/Flickr

When you need soap on the water, make sure to use phosphate-free or biodegradable products. But whenever possible, save dish-washing and showering for land!

Prevent Invasive Species

Photo Credit: John Kirriemuir/Flickr

Thoroughly clean your boat hull and all fishing gear before moving to another body of water.

Keep Sewage On Board

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Keep sewage on board your boat in a portable toilet or holding tank. Dispose of it only at an approved pump-out facility.

Fish Responsibly

Photo Credit: Russ Anderson/Flickr

Follow fishing regulations like size or bag limits to help protect the Bay's fish stocks.

Fish Responsibly

Photo Credit: Michael Land

Practice proper catch-and-release fishing techniques to avoid harming and killing the Bay's fish.

Stash Your Trash

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Stow and secure used bags, bottles, fishing lines and other trash on your boat so litter doesn't fall into the water.

Prevent Fuel Spills

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Prevent fuel spills by using a funnel and not "topping off" when you fill your boat's fuel tank.

Prevent Invasive Species

Photo Credit: Najat Ahmad / Flickr

Never dump bait or aquarium species into a storm drain or body of water. Introduced species can become invasive.

Clean Your Boat Properly

Photo Credit: ristok/Flickr

Use extreme caution when painting and cleaning your boat to avoid polluting the water.

Avoid Bay Grass Beds

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Steer clear of bay grass beds in shallow waters to avoid harming this critical habitat and food source.

Properly Dispose of Waste

Photo Credit: NOAA

Encourage your marina owner to maintain an adequate pump-out facility if one is not available.

Observe Wake Laws

Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program

Following speed limits and no-wake laws helps avoid churning up sediment, harming underwater grasses and eroding nearby shorelines.

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