Traditionally, boaters have been really in tune with preserving the waters. With heightened focus on environmental issues these days, it’s all the easier to make the next generation just as aware and as protective.
Follow these ideas to ensure you raise conservation-minded kid boaters.
1. Participate in Beach Cleanups
State parks, local municipalities, and all sorts of non-profits host these events. They also often repeat during the year along the same stretches of sand. Finding one in your areas is as easy as Googling “beach cleanup near me.”
Note that some organizers even provide you with buckets to collect the plastic bags and other garbage that collects along the beach.
2. Grab Your Own Garbage
Speaking of garbage, teach your conservation-minded kid boaters that everything you bring onboard needs to leave with you. That means nothing being dumped in the water, and disposing of recyclables properly.
3. Catch and Release
If you like to fish, first educate yourself about local regulations governing sizes you can keep, along with bag limits.
Then, when you take your kids out, teach them how to size up a fish; if the fish is borderline acceptable, release it. On a related note, never dispose of monofilament line near the water, as it poses a danger to all sorts of wildlife.
4. Steer Clear of Sensitive Areas
Just as you can teach your kids “red right return,” tell (and show) them it’s never good to boat in shallow waters or pass close to shore at high speed. Point out potentially fragile vegetation and wildlife nesting in or near these waters, for example.
5. Make Maintenance Mess-Free
We know a few kids who enjoy helping Mom and Dad with maintenance tasks, like checking the oil. Set an example by placing oil-absorbent pads in your bilge and under your engine, to catch potential drips.
Explain that oil and similar fluids should never, ever be allowed to enter the water. Set a further example by checking the pads often, and disposing of them at proper hazardous-waste collection areas at your marina or other locale.
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