An Environmental Guide for Inflatable Boating

By Danny Matterson

Sheer fun on the water awaits all those who love inflatable boats. Because they are cheaper, can easily be carried anywhere and are made to last, more and more boaters are using rubber ducks in place of their traditional solid vessels. And since they are easy to navigate and have designs for those who love to fish or go kayaking, there's bound to be a blow up for all kinds of recreational needs.

These boats are safe for neophyte boaters, too, inasmuch as they are highly-stable due to their low center of gravity. Parents can even teach their kids boating basics and help them appreciate the beauty of nature using these rubber ducks.

However, inflatable boaters must practice environmental responsibility.

The water holds its own beauty and power that all boaters can appreciate and value. While oceans and other bodies of water are huge, they are fragile and small incremental damage caused by irresponsible or ignorant boaters over time can add up.

It is incumbent upon all recreational boating aficionados to maintain the health of the marine environment for their children, their children's children and for other generations down the line. Protecting the environment will also secure your own boating environment so you can keep going back to it in the future.

You can begin being a responsible boater by using non-toxic cleaning or paint ingredients for your inflatable boat. Foamy soap and fresh water are all that's needed to keep your rubber duck in top condition.

Don't bring your boat in areas where there are swimmers. Part of environmental responsibility is environmental safety, so be sure to respect designated swimming areas. Be sure to observe fishing and bag limits regulations. Also, learn to follow catch and release regulations even when no one is looking.

Since noise is also another form of pollution, avoid it and make no more sound than necessary especially along launching ramps. Besides, you can better appreciate the power of nature if you remain still and let the silent power of the water envelop you.

Fourth, never throw garbage into the water during your boating trips. A lot of uninformed or stubborn people think that the ocean is a watery dump.

Any garbage thrown on the ocean affects coral and marine life. At times, the damage can be irreparable. It takes thousands of years to grow a coral, so it's important that boaters take care not to cause any harm to the homes of fishes and other marine life by throwing garbage into the ocean. Oils or fuels should not also be thrown into the water as well. They cause extensive injury to the marine ecosystem that will also affect the livelihood of fishermen, and of course, our food supply.

Finally, don't make too much wake while boating on your inflatable. The trail made by your boat as it glides through the water is called a wake. Too much of it can cause erosion and cause harm to the marine life. Make sure that you carefully follow designated "no wake zones" in marinas and other near-shore areas.

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