UPDATE: Ecology's new website will be live on Monday morning! Our official web address will be https://ecology.wa.gov

photo of two people in a kayak

Washington Waters  Ours to Protect

recreational boating Fueling Recreational Boats - Guidance

Is boat fueling part of the water quality problem in your area? Here are some ideas that might help.

Tools to use

Need a poster about the problem with boat fueling? How about a flier or fact sheet? Download these and customize them to include your contact information. Print them back-to-back or separately.

Ideas for you

Posters and fact sheets can’t get the job done alone. Here are some more tips on how to promote watershed protection. Use messages that fit your audience. Highlight benefits and minimize barriers —offer products and services, promote messages in places people go and develop partnerships.

Some related messages

  • Avoid spilling fuel because it is toxic to marine life and the environment.
  • When filling your tank, leave room for fuel expansion, especially in warm weather.
  • Have an absorbent pad and/or fuel collar ready to catch any fuel before it escapes into the water.
  • Use a fuel catching device over your fuel tank vent to catch any drips.
  • Be a good steward of your waters. Make sure fuel goes only into your tank—not into the water.
  • Never use soaps or detergents on spills. It is illegal and damaging.
  • Report all spills to the U.S. Coast Guard and Washington’s Emergency Management Division—it’s the law. To report spills, call 800-OILS-911.

Ways to get your message out

On products or services:

  • Signs.
  • Brochures.
  • Decals.
  • Fueling bib (new).

In places people go:

  • Marina stores and offices.
  • Boat sale offices.
  • Boat engine repair shops.
  • Boatyards.
  • Boat shows.

Through media and message carriers:

  • TV, radio, newspapers.
  • Marina signs.
  • Brochures distributed by marina managers.
  • Ecology website www.ecy.wa.gov.
  • Pacific States-British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force/ POSPET (Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team) website at www.oilspilltaskforce.org/index.htm.
  • Spills Aren’t Slick campaign website at www.oilspilltaskforce.org/pospet.htm

With partners:

  • Marinas in your community.
  • Washington Clean Marina Program.
  • Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.
  • Washington Sea Grant Program.
  • Washington State Parks Boating Programs.
  • Northwest Marine Trade Association.
  • Boat U.S.
  • Washington Department of Natural Resources
  • Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Motivation to change

Use tools and methods that help people participate. These should help answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

  • Got penalties? Post them.

More resources

Washington Clean Marina Program

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Washington Sea Grant Program

Washington State Parks Boating Programs

Northwest Marine Trade Association

Boat U.S.

 get the Washington Waters logo



Links to all the posters and factsheets for all three regional campaigns


Boat owners play an important role in protecting water quality.