Trashing The Water
Debris is every boaters concern and everyone’s problem. In fact, nearly 80% of the debris comes from onshore sources, with means that 20% comes from “offshore” sources.
Meaning, in medical terms, that both the land and the water are the “sources”, but humans, knowingly or not, are the primary “carriers” as well as “polluters”. That includes the smallest personal boats to the largest container ship, along with offshore rigs and drilling platforms.
Land-based sources include sewers and storm drain overflows, from landfills, manufacturing debris, sewage, not to mention beach goers who leave their trash behind.
Marine debris remains in the marine environments for a very long time. How long?
Discorded fishing gear: centuries. Plastic bags: centuries. Cigarette butts: 2 to 10 years,
Mono-filament fishing line: 600 years, Plastic bottles: 450 years, Aluminum cans: 200 – 500 years, Styrofoam buoys 80 years.
Balloons exposed to seawater deteriorate slower than normal and look like a jellyfish to fish, turtles, dolphins, whales, and seabirds who eat jellyfish for food and many have been caught with balloons in their stomachs.
Federal laws make it illegal for any vessel to discharge plastics or garbage containing plastics into the water. Dumping debris from an automobile can get one a ticket and a fine. Dumping debris from a boat can bring the sentence, as well as literally polluting the water we need and use. Make sure you know the regional, state or local laws for disposing garbage both on land and on the water.