Litter Free Coast and Sea, and Natural England, have joined together to ask boaters to think about where they are relieving themselves, and what they’re doing with the results.
“We want to thank all those boaters and sailors who show their love for our harbour and use onshore toilets, install a holding tank, use sewage pump out facilities or, if they can’t do any of these, wait to flush at least three nautical miles offshore,” says Sarah Spurling from Litter Free Coast and Sea. “Discharging untreated sewage from a boat in a harbour is extremely damaging and antisocial. It can create all kinds of problems and costs, from water quality to cleaning issues.”
Dee Caffari supports the campaign, which includes the video below.
“As sailors we have a responsibility and a vested interest to protect the oceans from potential negative impacts of boating, we can all do our bit to ensure clean and healthy waters. I am supporting this campaign to ‘love your harbour’,” she says.
Litter Free Coast and Sea is an ongoing campaign to reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of marine and beach litter, and improve and maintain bathing water quality along the Dorset and East Devon coast by preventing litter from getting to the coast in the first place.
The latest campaign comes because, as the organisation explains, toilet discharge leads to bacterial contamination (E. coli) which affects bathing waters, and aquaculture such as shellfish production.
Elevated nutrients can lead to eutrophication effects such as very dense green weed, affecting coastal birds by reducing the availability of shellfish and worms.