The Washington department of Ecology has open public comment on the proposal to ban all treated discharge from boats in Puget Sound. Please feel free to comment on the this proposal.

Here is our official letter to the DOE:

March 26, 2014

Amy Jankowiak

Washington State Department of Ecology

Northwest Regional Office

3190 160th Ave SE

Bellevue, WA 98008

RE:  No Discharge Zone

Dear Ms. Jankowiak:

The Board of Directors of the Swinomish Yacht Club would like to express comments against classifying Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands as a “No Discharge Zone” (NDZ).  The basis of this proposal is unfounded in targeting boaters.  Boats in Puget Sound must comply with the regulations of the Clean Water Act prohibiting the discharge of untreated waste within 3 miles of land. To accomplish this, they have several different types of handling systems that comply with the regulations as set forth -notably, storing waste onboard in holding tanks until pumping out at a shore side station. 

It appears that directing the blame towards boaters instead of scientifically focusing on the real problem is not the solution.  The various municipalities around Puget Sound consistently have large discharges both into Puget Sound and the lakes they border on.  Some of them annually report billions of gallons of untreated effluent discharge.  The focus should be upon these culprits to our water quality and not the recreational users who depend and enjoy clean water for their enjoyment.

Department of Ecology policies should be based on sound scientific evidence and not conjecture.


Tessa Aydelotte


Swinomish Yacht Club


Here is RBAW’s statement on the issue as well as other current legislative items that are currently being discussed.