Free oil spill prevention kits available to boaters

Posted 8/2/16

Small oil spills from recreational and commercial vessels account for 75 percent of the oil dumped into local waters over the past 10 years, an issue that Washington Sea Grant (WSG) and partners are …

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Free oil spill prevention kits available to boaters

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Small oil spills from recreational and commercial vessels account for 75 percent of the oil dumped into local waters over the past 10 years, an issue that Washington Sea Grant (WSG) and partners are working to address with a prevention program.

As part of this program, WSG, the state Department of Ecology and Washington’s District 13 Coast Guard Auxiliary have launched the small oil spills prevention kit for small recreational and commercial vessels. The kit provides boaters with the knowledge and tools they need to stop oil pollution at the source.

Last year, in a trial run, WSG boating program specialist Aaron Barnett succeeded in distributing 1,000 spill prevention kits. This year, according to Coast Guard auxiliary instructor Mike Brough, more and more boaters are requesting kits after seeing friends and other boaters use them. The success of the program depends on first, getting the kits out to boaters, and second, word of mouth – with boaters educating each other about oil spills, said Barnett.

Kits may be obtained during U.S. Coast Guard boat inspections or at marinas throughout Puget Sound. If you or your organization would like to have kits sent directly to you, contact WSG’s Aaron Barnett at aaronb5@uw.edu. In the state of Washington, the kits are funded by the barrel tax and made available to boaters at no cost, through the WSG Small Oil Spills Program.

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