There’s no better way to enjoy Buzzards Bay than by getting out on the water. You can do your part to keep our water clean by practicing a few simple, responsible boating tips. Here are 5 easy ways you can have a Bay-friendly adventure on the water.

1. Properly Pump Out Waste

  • Never dump raw sewage into the water, anywhere.
  • Buzzards Bay is a “No Discharge Zone.” That means it’s prohibited to discharge boat sewage. Store waste in your holding tank and pump it out at a designated pumpout station.

2. Avoid Spills

  • Avoid spilling fuel while refilling your tank. Use a funnel and don’t overfill.
  • Keep bilge water clean by placing a pan under your engine or using a bilge sock to absorb oil.
  • Store used oil in a lidded container. Turn it in at a designated oil recycling facility.

3. Follow Posted Regulations

eelgrass warning sign for boaters in Cuttyhunk Harbor

Watch for sensitive, shallow areas where eelgrass grows. Engines and anchors can tear up these important underwater meadows.

  • Always follow the speed limit, especially in vulnerable areas near shore. Creating wakes within 50 feet of shore can cause erosion of beaches and salt marshes.
  • Obey local regulations for recreational fishing and shellfishing. Make sure you have the proper permits for your town, and follow guidelines for size and catch.
  • Avoid sensitive shallow areas where eelgrass grows. Anchors and engine propellers can tear up eelgrass beds, which provide important habitat for fish, crabs, and bay scallops.

4. Clean Up Trash

  • Dispose of trash properly when you get back to shore. Never throw litter overboard.
  • Pick up trash you see floating in the water.
  • Recycle used fishing line at your local bait shop or at a monofilament recycling site.

5. Use Safe Products

  • Use only nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners to clean your boat. If possible, substitute natural and homemade cleaning products
  • Scrub your boat with a brush to minimize the use of cleaners.
  • Use safe bottom paints on your boat. Anti-fouling paints can be toxic to marine life.
  • Scrape and paint your boat away from the water.

Take Action

Become a Member

You can help save Buzzards Bay. Join the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and become one of more than 8,000 members who support our work to protect clean water.

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Working to Save Buzzards Bay

The Buzzards Bay Coalition is a membership-supported organization dedicated to improving the health of the Buzzards Bay ecosystem for all through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.

We work to protect clean water on the Bay and on the land: