Boaters and marinas step onboard to cleaner waterways

Your family’s safety is your top priority. This doesn’t change when you head out to the lake. So have you ever wondered if the water your family is swimming, boating and fishing in is safe?

The Brazos River Authority (BRA) understands the important connection between the safety of your family and clean waterways. For this reason, the BRA has endorsed the Texas Clean Marina Program and the Texas Clean Boater Program.

The BRA implemented the two programs in 2005 at Lake Possum Kingdom and Granbury to promote the importance of clean marinas and boatyards. The programs help to raise awareness of environmental laws by encouraging marinas and boaters to adopt simple, innovative ways to keep Texas coastal and inland waterway resources clean. These changes include such items as providing pump-out facilities for boats with onboard toilets and sinks, providing clean, functional restrooms that are available 24 hours a day and providing up-to-date emergency plans for potential gasoline spills.

As part of the marina program, the BRA received funding through a state-sponsored reimbursable grant to jumpstart local awareness and educational programs at Possum Kingdom and Granbury lakes. The grant gave the BRA the opportunity to hold workshops, site visits and certification inspections, as well as distribute educational materials.

Implementing environmentally friendly methods helps marinas to decrease surface water pollution. Common contaminants frequently found at marinas include trash, sewage, fertilizers and petroleum products. These pollutants have become increasingly present as marinas and recreational boating have become increasingly popular.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) chose the BRA to be a Clean Marina delegate. The delegate status grants the BRA the authority to promote and perform marina inspections. In addition, the BRA’s lake rangers are authorized by TCEQ to conduct state-mandated inspections of on board marine sanitation devices and marina sewage pump-out stations.

Like the Clean Texas Marinas Program, the Clean Texas Boater Program is voluntary and provides all boat owners with the resources needed to reduce pollution in Texas waterways -- enhancing the safety of your family. These resources include clean boating tips, oil spill prevention kits and pump-out guides.

You may join the Clean Texas Boater Program by signing the program pledge card, which states that you will “recycle when possible, practice proper fueling, keep Texas waters free of trash and use pump-out facilities.” Once your pledge is received, you will be sent a Clean Boater sticker to proudly display on your boat. Your family’s involvement will show others that you not only safely enjoy the lake, but you also care about implementing clean boating practices.

For additional information on the Texas Clean Marinas or Clean Boating programs, please contact the Brazos River Authority Public Information Office at 254-761-3111 or TCEQ at 512-239-1000.