Do your homework first. Review the material you received during the Dockwalker training including the Handbook and the Boater Kit Educational messages.
- Engage local marine business operators in your effort. Marine business
operators need to know about and support the Dockwalkers outreach
effort. Visit the marina manager or harbormaster before you Dockwalk
there. Tell them about Dockwalkers and show them the outreach materials
you plan to distribute. Ask them if they prefer to notify their tenants
as to when and where Dockwalking will take place, or find out if you are
welcome to come anytime. You may need to arrange to have access to the
gates and docks if these are kept locked.
- Please remember that you are an EDUCATOR, not an enforcement officer.
Limit your activities as a Dockwalker to education and outreach.
- Focus on the primary messages the boater kit targets. The kit focuses
on oil, sewage, toxic boat cleaning and maintenance, gray water, and
marine debris. This is too much to cover in one visit. What you cover
will depend on the interests and activities of the person you talk to,
but remember that oil and fuel discharge is a main topic, since you are
distributing oil absorbents. Sewage is also a primary pollution issue.
Please refer to Statewide and Delta Boater Kit Distribution and
Questionnaire Guidelines for the main messages associated to each of the
items including in the boater kits.
- Timing: You should provide as much information as possible without
being annoying or losing their attention. Keep tuned to their facial
expressions and body language to determine the attention span of your
- Kits must be accompanied by education. These kits are expensive. Part
of the reason we give them out is to get people to listen. Don’t give
them away without first doing the education. Otherwise, we’re giving
away something for free without raising awareness.
- Ask questions to generate discussion. Ask if they have ever tried
using a oil absorbent to clean oil or fuel spills. Ask if their boat has
a bilge. Ask if they have an installed toilet on board.
- Judge the attention span of the listener. Talking for too long, taking
up too much time, can be annoying. Start out by asking if they’d take a
moment for you to give then some basic clean boating information.
- Give credit to the boater for good practices. If the boater already
uses an oil absorbent to clean spills, or always uses a sewage pump-out,
acknowledge that they helping to protect the environment.
- Make sure you know about local marina waste disposal (oil, sewage, and
absorbent pad) facilities and local household hazardous waste facilities
before you start Dockwalking. Check out the Tide Tables in the boater
kits. They list marina oil and sewage facilities. Call 1(800) CLEANUP or
visit www.earth911.org and enter your zip code for local disposal
information. Please also refer to the Delta map for Delta specific
pollution prevention services.
- Be friendly and helpful - don’t make people feel like sinners. Humor
is an asset.
- REMEMBER: Boating is not one of the biggest sources of pollution. We
all need to do our part, not just boaters.
- Don’t give misinformation. It’s OK to say “I don’t know.”
Be a clean & green boater
| Top 10 Boating Tips
| Marina Oil/Sewage Services
| Dockwalkers' Program