How-To's and Tips: On the Water

Our everyday actions—from fertilizing our lawns to driving our cars—have a major impact on the Bay. But by making simple changes in our lives, each one of us can take part in restoring the Bay and its rivers for future generations.

  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Prevent Pollution

    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.

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  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Reduce Sediment Pollution

    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.

    Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr

  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Prevent Spills

    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.

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  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Use Toxic-Free Paints

    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.

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  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Reduce Greywater

    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!

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  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Prevent Invasive Species

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

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    Photo Credit: Gianni Caito/Shutterstock

  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Keep Sewage On Board

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

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  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Fish Responsibly

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

    Photo Credit: Steve Droter/Chesapeake Bay Program

  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Fish Responsibly

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

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    Photo Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr

  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Stash Your Trash

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

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  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Prevent Fuel Spills

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

    Photo Credit: Tatchaphol/Shutterstock

  • Bay Tips > On the Water

    Tip: Prevent Invasive Species

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

    Photo Credit: Karen Grigoryan/Shutterstock