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Boat Sewage Dumping Banned In Florida Marine Sanctuary

Boat Sewage Dumping Banned In Florida Marine Sanctuary

Sanctuary. The very word brings to mind ideas of peace and safety, but for wildlife living in and around the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, it was anything but.

Thanks to the hard work of ocean protection organizations and activists like you, however, a new policy passed in late December 2010 means that boaters will no longer be able to discharge sewage into waters in the sanctuary.

The new government rule takes effect this month, and also expands the area where discharges are illegal. Now, sewage dumping will be prohibited within the 2,900 square nautical miles of the sanctuary.

The 3,801 square-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary supports one of the most diverse assemblages of underwater plants and animals in North America (Friends of the Earth).

FOE also reports that “while the Florida Keys Sanctuary banned the dumping of sewage from vessels in state waters of the Sanctuary in 2002, ships were still allowed to dump barely treated sewage without limitation in 35 percent of Sanctuary waters that were federally controlled.”

Boat sewage can contain disease-causing bacteria, viruses and parasites, and contribute to the spreading of water-borne diseases, including hepatitis A, giardia, typhoid and cholera.

“This rule is another important step in restoring the water quality of the Florida Keys,” Sean Morton, superintendent of the sanctuary, told the Palm Beach Post.

“Combined with other strategies such as increased pump-out facility availability and ongoing progress in advanced wastewater treatment,” Morton continued, “this new rule brings us closer to reversing the trends of declining water quality associated with human sources of pollution.”

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Image Credit: Flickr - wscottheath

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81 comments

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8:30PM PST on Mar 6, 2011

Hopefully next we can outlaw the fish and birds who poop in the ocean!

3:17PM PST on Mar 5, 2011

Hope this is enforceable.

3:40AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

It doesn't say much for intelligence of people who would dump toxic waste in an area like this!!

8:17AM PST on Feb 11, 2011

Good

10:48PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

With or without a law, who in their right mind would consider dumping sewage with the borders of a santuary a good thing to do?

8:56PM PST on Jan 28, 2011

Why was it EVER allowed in or near a SANCTUARY? Glad people cared enough to make it happen. Better now than never.

1:49AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

That is good. Better late than never, a step in the right direction.

1:44AM PST on Jan 28, 2011

That is good. Better late than never, a step in the right direction.

1:36PM PST on Jan 27, 2011

When are we going to learn that dumping our garbage in our environment is going to turn our environment into a garbage dump?

11:36AM PST on Jan 27, 2011

Dumping sewage near the marine sanctuary should never have been allowed in the first place.

Afterthoughts....it seems mankind usually has afterthoughts. Now ban the sewage, now that we are about to be flushed down the pipes of the eco-destruction mess we have caused on this planet.

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