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Keeping Waterways Clean One Boat at a Time

Keeping waterways clean one boat at a time

How do you talk with boaters about a subject that is emphatically avoided in polite conversation? That is the question Jenny East (pictured below), Sea Grant Extension’s new boating outreach coordinator, is attempting to answer.

In an effort to keep waterways clean, she is charged with informing recreational boaters about facility locations for properly disposing of their sewage along the Oregon coast and Columbia River, and in the Portland-metro area.

Her job is finding innovative ways to engage with Oregon’s recreational boaters. The key will be trying different methods such as face-to-face interactions at boating events, walking the docks, and spending time meeting with marina managers and the businesses that provide supplies for boaters.

Conversations will be about connections to the aquatic environment and being proactive about the health of that environment.

East will work with the Oregon State Marine Board to post signs showing where recreational boaters can empty their portable toilets and holding tanks. “Talking about the proper disposal of human waste will take some humor,” East said. She’s got a good start. Oregon Sea Grant has produced two light-hearted public service announcement videos about floating restrooms and dockside stations for emptying porta-potties.

East is based out of the OSU Extension Service office in Washington County.

Photo by Vanessa Ciccone

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