Our Waterways in Southern and Florida Sailing Waters - Issues Affecting Clean Waters, Anchoring Rights, Cruising Rights, Pollution

This Section is dedicated to the waters we sail in and news and information about our anchoring and cruising rights, how clean are our waters and how to protect them

Mooring Fields & Anchoring Rights

Protecting Our Waterways

Is the Gulf of Mexico Florida's Toilet?

A report by the Clean Water Network of Floridain 2008 on Sewage Dumping in the Gulf of Mexico -
Click here to read an article in SOUTHWINDS on the report

Florida Dept of Motor Vehicles Boat Registration and Driver's License Suspension

Download PDF of the Florida Dept of Motor Vehicles page on proof that a suspended drivers license does not apply to losing your right to register your boat

Environmental Concerns: Boat Waste

Where Can You Dump Type I Marine Sanitation Devices (Like Lectra-San)?

Only six states (Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) have all, or nearly all, of their waters designated as No-Discharge Zones (NDZs). This means that not even treated sewage (like from a Lectra/San, a Type I MSD) can be dumped into those waters, but NDZs exist in only certain portions of other states.

Outside of NDZs, Type I MSDs can dump their treated waste into the waters legally and safely.

NDZs in the Southern states are:

  • Alabama: None.
  • Florida: State waters within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Destin Harbor, City of Key West waters*.
  • Georgia: Hartwell Lake.
  • Louisiana: None
  • Mississippi: None.
  • North Carolina: Broad Creek
  • South Carolina: Hartwell Lake, Lake Keowee, Lake Murray, Lake Thurmond, and Lake Wylie.
  • Texas: 24 Freshwater bodies (no saltwater areas).

The Florida Keys offers free pumpouts that come to your boat. Call (305) 900-0263 to schedule a pumpout or register online for routine pumpout service at www.po-keys.com. For a list of all the fixed locations: All pumpout stations in the Keys.

(Other restrictions exist for certain freshwater bodies with low water access. See the laws on the below Web site to review those.)

For a complete list of NDZs and information about them and marine sanitation devices, go to www.epa.gov.

Untreated sewage cannot be dumped in any waters unless the vessel is three miles from shore along coastal waters, and off the coast of Florida in the Gulf, a vessel cannot dump unless it is nine miles offshore.