Thursday, September 29, 2011

Don't trash our sea

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs






Date: September 29, 2011
Contact: Anthony Turner
aturner@auxpa.org
http://auxpa.org




News Release




Don't trash our sea



WASHINGTON-The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds everyone that marine debris are everyone's concern and everyone's problem. Debris generally originates, from two distinct sources, the sea (and inland waterways) and land. Ocean/inland waterways-based sources include boats and ships including the smallest sailboat to the largest container ship, along with offshore rigs and drilling platforms. Land-based sources include, sewer overflows and storm drains, landfills, manufacturing and sewage treatment plants and beachgoers. About 80% of debris originates onshore with 20% coming from offshore sources. Some marine debris persist in marine environments for a very long time – Mylar balloons (centuries), derelict fishing gear (centuries), plastic bags (centuries), cigarette butts (2 – 10 years), monofilament line (600 years), plastic bottles (450 years), 6-pack holder (400 years), aluminum cans (200 – 500 years), and Styrofoam buoy (80 years)

Balloons exposed to seawater deteriorated much slower than if exposed to air. Even after 12 months in salt water they retained their elasticity. What goes up must come down! Balloons lighting on land or sea can be mistaken for prey and eaten by animals. Balloons in an aquatic environment can look a great deal like jellyfish—a major source of food for many animals. Sea turtles, dolphins, whales, fish, and seabirds have been reported with balloons in their stomachs.
Mylar balloons reflective light and can, be mistaken for a distress signal. Rescuers can waste valuable resources investigating what from several miles away can appear to be a distress signal. In some jurisdictions, the mass release of balloons is illegal

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO REDUCE MARINE DEBRIS
• Never intentionally discard any item into the marine environment

• Tie it down, secure it, stow it

• Secure all plastic wrap and packaging

• Reduce, reuse, and recycle

• Properly dispose of trash and fishing gear

• Participate in coastal cleanup programs

• Buy recycled products with little or no packaging

• Keep cigarette butts off streets and beaches

• Cut the rings in plastic six pack holders

• Set a good example and educate others about marine debris.
Under federal law, it is illegal for any vessel to discharge plastics or garbage containing plastics into any waters. Additional restrictions on dumping non-plastic waste are outlined below. Regional, state or local laws may place further restrictions on the disposal of garbage. ALL discharge of garbage is prohibited in the Great Lakes or their connecting or tributary waters. Each violation of these requirements may result in a fine of up to $500,000 and 6 years imprisonment.

In lakes, rivers, bays, sounds and up to 3 miles offshore it is illegal to dump:

All garbage

From 3 to 12 nautical miles offshore it is illegal to dump:

• Plastic
• Dunnage, lining and packing materials that floats
• All other trash if not ground to less that 1"

From 12 to 25 nautical miles offshore it is illegal to dump:

• Plastic
• Dunnage, lining and packing materials that float

Outside 25 nautical miles offshore it is illegal to dump:

• Plastic

"MARPOL PLACARD" Vessels 26' or longer must display the above information in a prominent place for passengers and crew to read

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America's Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service's missions. For more information about the Coast Guard Auxiliary visit http://www.cgaux.org




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Thursday, September 15, 2011

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Public Affairs







Date: September 15, 2011
Contact: Penny Bailey
Public Affairs
Phone:: 417-425-6155
penny.bailey@cgauxnet.us



News Release



Boating safety tips for hunters


Washington - Capsizing and falling overboard into cold water are major hazards for hunters. During hunting seasons, most waters are cold enough to pose a serious hypothermia threat. Nationwide, 70 percent of all boating fatalities are the result of drowning. Almost 90 percent of the victims were not wearing life jackets. Responsible hunters need to be aware of the dangers and follow a few simple rules to make hunting on the water safer and more enjoyable:
• Leave a float plan with someone at home, describing where you are going, who you are with and when you expect to return.
• Transport firearms to the boat unloaded, cased, muzzle first, with the action open.
• Always wear an approved and properly fitted life jacket when in a boat.
• Carry a throwable flotation device in case someone falls overboard.
• Stow visual distress signals on board.
• Know the weather forecast for the area. High winds can be dangerous. Cancel trip if water conditions aren’t safe. Keep an AM radio handy for the latest updates. Better yet, buy a VHF-FM marine radio with NOAA weather channels.
• Never overload your boat. Load gear low in the boat and distribute the weight evenly.
• Always stay seated when shooting from an open boat.
• Never anchor from the stern.
• If an accident occurs, STAY WITH THE BOAT and use distress signals.
• Unless clothing is creating a hazard, do not remove extra clothing. It can help prevent hypothermia.
• To retain body heat, pull your knees to your chest and keep your elbows to your sides.
• When overboard without a lifejacket:
o Trap air in chest waders by bending your knees and raising your feet then lying back in the water can help you stay afloat.
o An oar under the knees and another behind the back and shoulders can be used to keep you floating.
o Trap air in hip boots by bending your knees and lying on your back can help you remain afloat.
o Decoys stuffed inside your jacket will provide additional buoyancy.
While all accidents cannot be prevented, following these few simple rules, your survival chances are greatly improved.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard created by an Act of Congress in 1939. The Auxiliary, America's Volunteer Guardians, supports the Coast Guard in nearly all of the service's missions. For more information about the Coast Guard Auxiliary visit http://www.cgaux.org




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