An important reminder

Andy Adams

June 8, 2021

An email exchange reminded me that at the start of boating season, it’s valuable to get the message out about the Clean Marine programs that our marine trades associations operate across Canada.

I learned that some young people see boats as polluters. 

I sit on the Georgina Waterways Committee in my area. We are focused particularly on Lake Simcoe; the use of the water resources, the well-being of the environment, future development and so on. Our mayor forwarded a student information request to me to see if I could assist.

The student was assigned a project about water and a problem following it. She wrote, “…My group’s topic is boat pollution and we have decided to focus on Lake Simcoe itself. We are very excited about this project, but we have had some difficulties finding the bacteria levels or any resources about the pollution boats cause to our lake.”

The implication is that the students’, and perhaps the teacher’s perceptions were that boats cause environmental pollution.

I guess you could say that anywhere mankind leaves our footprint, there is an effect, but I would argue that boats and boating (especially the small craft cottage boats) are fairly benign. Few freshwater boats use bottom paint or biocides, the majority of outboards are now four-stroke and are vastly cleaner running than the old two-strokes. Live aboard boats have holding tanks for sewage and greywater and I made the point to the student that boaters care deeply about their environment. They would never throw trash overboard, or knowingly pollute the waters they love.  

I share this because the student and her teacher seem to perceive boating as an environmental negative. So, I take this as an important reminder to support the Clean Marine programs in your area and to make sure your customers and your community know about our industry’s dedication to protecting the environment.

Andy Adams – Editor

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