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It is illegal to discharge untreated waste, oil, or trash into any federally controlled or state waters and for very good reasons.

  • Sewage carries disease and other pollutants that are harmful to people, aquatic plants, and animals.
  • Trash thrown into the water can injure swimmers and wildlife.
  • It also can plug engine cooling water intakes. Pollution is unsightly and diminishes enjoyment of the water.

Vessel operators need to be aware of the following regulations for waste, oil, and trash disposal that apply to both federally controlled and state waters. The Refuse Act prohibits throwing, discharging, or depositing any refuse matter of any kind (including trash, garbage, oil, and other liquid pollutants) into the waters of the United States.