Trash thrown overboard threatens marine life, endangers boaters, pollutes our waters and litters our beaches. Each person, from the beachcomber to the boater, needs to be responsible with his/her trash and waste. Plastic trash especially, creates serious problems in our coastal waters. Plastic, which can take hundreds of years to degrade, tends to float closer to the surface; where most marine life feeds. Once in the ocean, plastics, such as bags, sheeting , rope, nets, buoys, styrofoam and six-pack rings pose a serious danger to marine life. Sea turtles, marine mammals, fish, birds and crustaceans can suffer injury and death when they mistake plastic debris for food or become entangled in it. Plastic creates hazards for vessels because it can foul propellers and clog raw water intake systems; resulting in serious and costly damage to engines.
Because of these serious threats to the environment, the discharge of plastic is now illegal anywhere in the marine environment by all vessels - from commercial fishing boats to privately-owned pleasure boats. Violators are subject to civil and criminal penalties.