Personal Watercraft Safety Course
Environmental Issues Fueling - It is preferable to fuel your PWC while it is on the trailer in the parking lot or at a gas station. However, if you need to add fuel to the PWC on the beach, it is important to take all necessary precautions to prevent spilling fuel. Pull the PWC up on the beach as far as possible so that accidentally spilled fuel will not go directly into the water. Fuel up your tank slowly and use oil absorbents to catch spills. When you hear or see that the tank is nearly full, stop pouring the gasoline. Do not overfill because gasoline expands as it warms. Never top off when fueling on a beach because this is the most common way spills occur. Replace the cap tightly when you are done. Air the absorbent until it is dry or store it in a covered metal container. Habitat Damage - Shallow water in bays, lagoons and any other waterway are sensitive habitats. These shallows are critical areas for many plants, and are nurseries for fish and shellfish. Operating your PWC may harm these delicate ecosystems, which are often identifiable by floating plant life. Avoid operating your PWC in any potentially fragile areas.
Wildlife Harassment - It is illegal to harass any wildlife, including marine mammals and any birdlife. Harassment is defined as any action that changes the natural behavior of the animal. This may include simply causing a bird to fly away or a marine mammal, such as a seal, to leave the beach or rock. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 states that you must stay at least 1,000 feet away from any marine mammal.
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