This expression goes back to Biblical days — when there were fewer people and even fewer boats. If each generation wants to hand over these creeks and bays to their children and grandkids in the condition that we were entrusted with, there are a few simple rules, rubrics, and guidelines to follow, even if your neighbor doesn’t.
And the occasional hurricane is always up the challenge, as storm drains spew debris and God-knows-what-else, reminding us that even bubble gum wrappers thrown in rain culverts can end up in our creeks, coves, and bays.
How Many Fish Are There In the Sea?
When we were kids, we thought that question had no answer. Now we know that the bio-mass is going down and, with some specific species, faster than the bigger fish can make little fishes. So, just take what you can eat that day. Use circle hooks to make it easier/safer (for the fish) to release those you throw back. Consider calling local fisheries managers and offering to join their tag-and-release program. Help with the long-term data collection process. Be part of the solution.
What To Do With the ‘Doo-Doo’
A lot of mariners, half seriously and half in jest, justify off-loading human waste into our waters based on the old saw, “Do you know what the FISH are doing in these waters?!”
Admittedly, the marinas are now charging for pump-outs, but come on, Bunky, you can call the Southampton Pooper Boat on channel 78 and he’ll pump you out for free. If that isn’t convenient, (you do have to be in the Town of Southampton waters to be serviced and that means you have to travel as far east as Hart’s Cove), call 1-800-ASK-FISH and ask where there are pump-out stations in your area. Be part of the solution.
Trying To Top Off
Have you ever squeezed off a few more ounces at the fuel dock just to see half of it (or more) spill over the side? Forgetting Coast Guard regulations and fines, think about this for a minute. You’re burning some number of gallons an hour and you’re trying to top up the last few ounces? What does that represent? Twenty seconds of steaming?
And fill your jerry cans on the hard, not on your boat. If someone throws even a small wake at you while fueling the can in your boat, it is better than even-money that gasoline is going to end up in your boat and/or in the water (where your bilge pump will send it before you can spell “big trouble!”). Keep some absorbent pads aboard. Be part of the solution.
Garbage In, Garbage Out
If you brought it out, bring it in. Don’t throw excess anything over the side, even if it is biodegradable. Treat your boat as a temple on God’s great sea and leave no mark behind that you were there.
If you come upon flotsam in the water, grab your boat hook and bring it aboard. Dispose of it as if you had dropped it over the side.
Why? Well, as Cicero said 20 centuries ago, “Virtue has its own reward.”
Be part of the solution.
By the way, if you are interested in being part of USCG Forces, email me at [email protected] or go direct to the D1SR Human Resources department, who are in charge of new members matters, at DSO-HR and we will help you “get in this thing.”