What would boating and watersports be without clean water and a healthy environment?

Whether we participate in watersports, live on a lake, or just enjoy a nice glass of clean refreshing water, we are all globally connected through nature’s water cycle. All of earth’s water supplies, from rivers, glaciers, oceans or seas, eventually evaporate into the atmosphere and become a part of a much larger and vital natural process, one that all living beings depend on for survival. When pollution, like hydrocarbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, enter this water cycle they have a detrimental effect on earth’s lakes and streams, not to mention on the people and animals that rely on those bodies of water. This is evident from the damage created by acid rain and greenhouse gases which, by and large, are the products of human activity.

The main environmental impacts associated with watersports and boating tend to fall into four key categories. Noise pollution from engine and human noise, pollution from the motors of speedboats and careless boaters, the degradation of shorelines from massive waves, and carelessly disturbing fish and birds.

Fear not, watersports also have positive impacts socially and on the environment as well. There are many benefits attributed to a day on the lake. For one, the waves created by motorboats add much needed oxygen to water bodies. Propellers, boat hulls and wakeboarders and water skiers all cause an increase of oxygen in the water. How do you think that added oxygen benefits a lake or stream? Not only that, but take into account the social benefits of spending a day with friends and family while getting exercise at the same time.

Something that’s important to remember is that no matter how you choose to enjoy the water, you can always take steps to reduce your eco-impact while having a fantastic time on the lake. Of course you don’t have to wait until you’re out on the lake to make eco-friendly choices, you can start planning steps to improve the environment right now.

And for even more information and resources related to boating and the environment, head to TakeMeFishing.org and DiscoverBoating.com.





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