EPA New England Topics
On the Water - Safe Boating, Fishing & Swimming
For many New Englanders, boating, swimming and fishing are the essence of summer. Keep in mind that all of these activities require clean and safe water -- and that each and every person out on the water has a role in keeping these waters clean.
This web site provides information on a host of water-related topics, including: 1) up-to-date information on your favorite beaches, rivers and watersheds; 2) where it is safe to swim or eat freshly caught fish; and 3) how boaters and marina users can help keep our waterways clean.
|Beaches, Coasts, Estuaries, Rivers, Watersheds
Learn more about the aquatic habitat that you are visiting. More...
|Fishing and Swimming?
Before you grab your swimsuit or cast your rod and reel, get some info on the water and the fish. More...
|Boats & Marinas
Information for boaters, marinas, boat manufacturers & dealers on keeping our waterways clean. More...
|No Discharge Areas
Boat sewage discharges are prohibited in most New England coastal waters. Find out what you need to do. More...
Many of New England's waterways are dredged to ensure safe navigation for recreational and commercial vessels. More...
Invasive or foreign species displace native species. Some invasive species hop a ride on boats that are hauled and dropped in different water bodies. More...
Fresh or saltwater, we've got some great information on your water body of choice. The seven links below offer information on beaches and coasts, rivers and watersheds, estuaries, and oceans.
- Beaches and Monitoring Programs
- New England Rivers & Watersheds
- Oceans & Coasts
- Marine Debris
- Healthy Watersheds
Should I be swimming in this water?
Recreational waters at ponds, lakes and coastal beaches are sometimes polluted by various sources. Before you dive in for a swim, be sure you know what you are getting into. Visit the New England Beaches - It's a Shore Thing page for state by state links to water quality and beach closures plus information on our efforts to help keep New England’s beaches clean and safe.
Can I eat the fish I just caught?
Edible fish and shellfish species in New England waters can be tainted with a variety of contaminants that may make those who eat them sick. To protect the public state and local health and fishery authorities monitor a variety of popular species and publish health advisories. For more information visit the fish consumption advisories page.
These links will lead you to many successful clean boating and clean marina programs that are underway in New England. Whether you are a boater, marina owner, boat manufacturer or boat dealer, the links below have useful information on how you can become a good "steward" for our nation's water resources.
- Connecticut Clean Marina Program, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
- Connecticut Marine Trades Association
- Massachusetts Clean Marina Guide, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management
- Massachusetts Marine Trades Association
- Pollution Prevention Marinas Project, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
- NH Marine Trades Association
- Clean Marina Program, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council
- Rhode Island Marine Trades Association
- Vermont Clean Marinas, Vermont Business Environmental Partners
- Marinas, Compliance Assistance Resources, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
- Vermont Boat & Marine Association
Other Useful Links
- Coordinating State Outreach & Assistance to Marinas & Boatyards, Regional Marina Project, Northeast Waste Management Officials Association
- Marina and Small Boat Harbors Topic Hub, Northeast Waste Management Officials Association
- Cleaning Up Marinas: The Clean Marina Program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
A "No Discharge Area" is a designated body of water in which the discharge of treated and untreated boat sewage is prohibited. For more information please visit our New England No Discharge page.
The dredging of harbors and channels is conducted in order to facilitate ship traffic on US waters. For more information on dredging, and dredged material management, go to the Dredging page.
The term "invasive species" refers to any plant or animal that enters an ecosystem beyond its historic range. Some invasive species can displace indigenous ones causing significant changes to an ecosystem. Invasive species can enter a new ecosystem by hopping a ride on the hull of a boat. For more information visit our Invasive Species page.