Georgia Boater Education Course


GARBAGE DISPOSAL

Keeping our waters clean isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the law. The U.S. Coast Guard prohibits the dumping of plastic or any garbage mixed with plastic in any waters.

But that’s not all. If you are operating within 3 miles of shore on coastal waters, or on any inland lakes, rivers, bays or sounds, including the Great Lakes, there are additional dumping restrictions.

In these waters, it is illegal to dump plastic, any kind of packing materials, and any garbage. The only things that you are allowed to dump and might be considered waste are gray water, which is another name for dishwater, and fresh fish parts.

If you are going to be more than 3 miles from shore in coastal waters, refer to the table on this page for more information.

Also, vessels greater than 26 feet in length and operating in federal waters must clearly display a 4 by 8-inch “Save our Seas”, or S.O.S. placard that outlines waste disposal regulations. These can be purchased from most boat dealers and marinas.

Finally, remember that any untreated human waste may never be dumped in inland waters.

The U.S. Coast Guard prohibits dumping of plastic or garbage mixed with plastic in any waters.

DISTANCE FROM SHORE:

IT IS ILLEGAL TO DUMP:

Inside three miles and in U.S. lakes, rivers, bays and sounds and anywhere on the Great Lakes, no matter how far from shore

Plastic, dunnage, lining, and packing materials that float, and any garbage except dishwater/ gray water/ fresh fish parts

3 to 12 miles

Plastic, dunnage, lining, and packing materials that float, and any garbage not ground to less than one square inch

12 to 25 miles

Plastic, dunnage, lining, and packing materials that float

Outside 25 miles

Plastic

Note: Dunnage refers to packing materials such as foam or pellets.