Protecting & Restoring Long Island's Peconic Bays

Peconic-Friendly Boating

Information about low-impact boating and pump-out stations to protect the Peconic.

View of boats in a marina.

Use a water-based bottom paint– These are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Whenever sanding boat tops or bottoms, make sure to use a dustless sander or make sure paint chips or dust is cleaned up before it can be washed away into a nearby waterbody.

Use biodegradable soaps to clean your boat and clean it when it is still on land– Use minimal amounts of chemical cleaners.

Propeller scars in an eelgrass bed.
Please keep your boat away from eelgrass beds to prevent propeller scars in eelgrass beds.

Know your boat– Find every source of potential pollution from your boat and understand how to control each. Common types of pollution include: engine oil drips, fuel tank leaks, over flow when filling up the fuel tank. Put an oil absorber in your boat bilge, and change it at least twice annually.

Get an engine tune up– Smooth-running, efficient engines pollute less (& use less fuel!).

Comply with no-wake zones– Excessive wakes erode the shoreline and, in the spring, interrupt nesting waterfowl and shorebirds.

Riverhead Town pumpout boat.
Town Pumpout Boats are available to properly dispose of your waste.

Stay in marked channels– Avoid damage to your boat and wildlife habitats.

Do not anchor or boat in eelgrass– Help preserve this sensitive habitat.

Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species

  1. Check
  2. Clean
  3. Drain
  4. Dry
  5. Disinfect

Use these NYSDEC Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach and Education Materials to educate others about proper cleaning and drying of boating and fishing equipment.

Properly dispose of sewage– Use a pump-out facility or hail a pump-out boat for disposing of sewage from your boat.

To comply with a NDZ boaters with a Type I or II marine sanitation device (MSD) must:

  1. Close the seacock (or Y-valve) and remove the handle;
  2. Fix the seacock in a closed position with a padlock or non-releasable wire tie; or
  3. Lock the door to the space enclosing the toilet.

To comply with a NDZ boaters who use their Type III MSD must use a pump-out boat or station.

The entire Peconic Estuary was designated as a federally recognized Vessel Waste No Discharge Zone (NDZ) in 2002 in order to help protect our shellfish beds and keep our waters safe and clean for swimming and recreation. In a NDZ, treated and untreated discharges from marine toilets are prohibited. To ensure compliance with the NDZ, boaters must modify their “heads” to prevent discharges.

Several municipalities offer free pump-out services, both via boat and land-based stations. Many private marinas also have onshore pump-out stations available for a fee.

See the map for pump-out locations, and remember, don’t dump it, pump it!

Boat Pump-out Facility Location Map

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