Cleaning the Coast
An increasing number of places along the Maine coast are being designated as "No Discharge" zones, meaning that boaters can't dump anything from their toilets within these particular areas. Mariners already can't dump raw sewage within three miles of shore, but these new restrictions prohibit the release of even treated effluent. The latest "No Discharge" zone is off Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, and Wells, joining zones in Casco Bay, Boothbay Harbor, and southern Mount Desert Island. The Penobscot Bay waters around Camden and Rockland are expected to be restricted later this year. So far the zones have worked because each area has designated pumpout stations where mariners can have their holding tanks emptied for free, thus mitigating the inconvenience of not being able to dump treated waste straight overboard. (In fact, the pumpout stations actually empty holding tanks so well, the odor from these receptacles is often lessened compared to keeping sewage sloshing around in there.) Let's hope that as more areas are restricted, the number of pumpout stations keeps pace.
Read more at the Portland Press Herald.