Aaron Barnett, Boating Program Specialist
Small oil spills from commercial and recreational vessels often result from a lack of knowledge about proper techniques for vessel operation and maintenance. To address this problem, WSG works with state and regional partners to determine the most common causes of spills based on reported incidents.
WSG staff educates vessel owners and marina owners, helping them improve their operations, reducing spills due to targeted causes. At the same time, WSG promotes spill reporting through the “Spills Aren’t Slick” campaign; with support from the Pacific Oil Spill Prevention Education Team (POSPET, a Canadian oil spill task force), WSG provides signs and educational brochures.
The small oil spills program is an important aspect of the larger Washington Clean Marina program. In an ongoing partnership with this program, WSG reviews and updates boating facility best management practices and inspects and certifies clean marinas. WSG incorporates oil spill prevention into classes and workshops for commercial fishermen and actively distributes spill cleanup kits at marinas, boat shows and boating venues.
WSG produced in partnership with Puget Soundkeeper and the Washington Department of Ecology, a comprehensive handbook, Pollution Prevention for Washington State Marinas. This 72-page, full-color, interactive handbook provides a comprehensive guide for marina managers and staff, as well as boaters, to reduce water pollution from their facilities.