How we take care of our boats, personal watercrafts, mobile homes, cars and other vehicles greatly influences the health of the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.

Several area marinas are doing their part to keep the water clean by participating in the Macomb County Health Department’s Marina Pollution Prevention Program. (Is yours?)

You can do your part to prevent pollution at the source by checking up on your marina and following a few simple tips at home.


Car Washing & Boat Cleaning

  • Look for non-toxic and phosphate-free cleansers.
  • Use alternative cleaners, such as baking soda and
    lemon juice. Avoid those with bleach, ammonia, lye
    or petroleum distillates (see chart).


Cleaning Alternatives

Product Better Alternatives
Bleach Borax or hydrogen peroxide
Chrome cleaner Apple cider vinegar to clean, baby oil to polish
Drain cleaner Boiling water and plunger or plumber’s snake
Engine cleaner Steam clean the engine in a dedicated service area.
Fiberglass stain remover Baking soda paste, scrub pad, “elbow grease”
Paint stripper Physically remove old paint without chemical use. Avoid products containing methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, benzene, trichloroethane, xylene or toluene.
Scouring powders Baking soda and “elbow grease”
Window cleaner Vinegar and lemon juice mixed in lukewarm water
Wood polish Olive oil or almond oil for interior wood; use water- or borax-based products.

Fuel and Oil

  • When fueling, avoid topping off! Remember that fuel expands as it warms up in your tank.
  • Store fuel only in approved containers. • Routinely check for and fix oil and fuel leaks.

Engine Care

  • Keep boat and car engines properly tuned for efficient fuel consumption and clean exhaust.
  • Use a drip pan when doing engine maintenance. Drippings left on the cement get washed into nearby drains and end up in our streams.

Sewage Control

  • Use onshore restrooms when docked, and encourage everyone to use the facilities before casting off. • Empty portable toilets only at pumpout stations or at home.
  • Clean up after your pet to prevent pet waste from washing into storm drains.


Boat and Auto