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Pollution Prevention

Pollution Prevention > Indiana Clean Marina Program > News and Updates News and Updates

Success Stories

Portage Public Marina: Cigarette Litter Prevention

  • Barb Lusco, Harbormaster

In 2013 Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and BoatUS Foundation selected a limited number of marinas to participate in the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) and receive a $500 cash grant and 200 free portable ashtrays. We performed our first cigarette litter scan on May 13, 2013 and yes, we counted cigarette butts at various areas at the marina. The total was 1,087. After this initial count we installed ashtrays and receptacles in areas at the marina with the highest litter count.

We also passed out free ashtrays at our first National Marina Day on June 9, 2013. This event was hugely successful, with over 180 boaters and local residents in attendance. We passed out Clean Marina and boating information, free ashtrays, and spill socks, and the Clean Boats Crew was on site with aquatic and invasive species information, along with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, who performed free boat safety inspections. All of this was made possible through the great people at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the BoatUS Foundation.

Our most recent cigarette litter scan was performed on June 9, 2014 with a total of 656 cigarette butts collected. The problem still exists, but to a lesser degree. We have posted new signage throughout the marina, from the Keep America Beautiful Campaign. The signs state: This is Litter Too, and there is a photo of a marina dock with a cigarette butt shown close up. In other words; we have this beautiful marina, let’s make that small effort to keep it beautiful!



  • Fuel slowly and carefully and watch the nozzle at all times
  • Never top off the tank; fuel only to 90% capacity
  • Listen for the gurgling sound warning the tank is almost full or us your hand to feel for increased air escaping as the tank reaches full
  • Use a bib or absorbent collar at the fuel intake to catch any drips
  • Install a fuel air separator along your vent line that allow air but not fuel to escape
  • Fuel portable tanks on shore
  • Have a trained attendant fuel you watercraft for you
  • Notify the marina or authorities for any spills into the water


  • Avoid discharging any water from the bilge that has an oily sheen
  • Use bilge socks or absorbent pads to collects floating oil and fuel in the bilge
  • Properly recycle or dispose of used absorbants
  • Maintain your boats engine- no leaking hoses, gaskets or seals
  • Trailer your boat to an area that can contain or treat bilge water before removing the bilge or boat plugs
  • Install a bilge pump switch that leaves an inch or two of water in the bilge
  • Install a bilge water filter to your vessels bilge to remove oil and fuel from the water
  • Do not use bilge cleaners when pumping to a waterbody as this only serves to disperses the oil into the water
  • Slip a plastic bag over filters before removing them to catch drips
  • Notify the marina or authorities for any spills into the water

Sewage and Graywater

  • Before heading out, use the restroom facilities at the marina
  • Use the marina’s pumpout or dump station, if there is not a pump-out where you launch check with marina management. They should have an agreement with another marina
  • Be sure to read and understand the maintenance and operation of your marine sanitation device
  • Use environmentally friendly additives in your device
  • Consider buying a portable toilet to contain raw sewage if you have a small vessel; empty these toilets at the pump-out stations
  • Follow the law - it is illegal to discharge sewage into public waters (Indiana code 14-15-2-8)

For more information on tips to help keep your marina clean, please review the Indiana Clean Marina Program Guidebook.

Indiana Clean Marina Program