It’s fun going out on a motorboat and speeding through the water, feeling the wind on your face and seeing the beautiful scenery.  Who doesn’t love going out into the middle of the ocean, having a drink and having fun with your friends and family? Thousands of people love taking their motorboat for a ride.  But did you know that running a motorboat with an outboard engine for one hour can generate as much air pollution as driving a car for 800 miles?  Every year in the U.S., the total amount of water pollution from motorboats equals up to 10 to 15 Exxon Valdez oil spill disasters. Unfortunately, people only experience what’s on the surface and not what’s below.

Motorboats are dangerous to the environment and humans. In fact the Environmental Systems from Green@Stevens says that “Marine gasoline and diesel engines are among the greatest contributors of hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) pollution in the United States.”

The engine emissions also produce ground-level ozone and smog. Riding in a motorboat is not like riding in a car because there is nothing beneath the car except concrete and tar, but under a motorboat there is life!

There are coral, seaweed, fish, sea creatures and each time that the engine of the motor boat starts and propels into the water, pollutants and gasoline are shot out of the engine, covering the plants and fish. There are more oil spills and accidents with motorboats too.

According to the Save the Manatee club, On January 8, 2003, scientists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Florida Marine Research Institute (FMRI) confirmed that 305 manatees died in state waters last year. Watercraft-related manatee mortality reached an all-time record high of 95 deaths.

Statistics from the Florida Marine Research Institute show that most watercraft-related manatee deaths are attributed to impacts from the boat hull or lower unit of the motor rather than propeller cuts.

The water is polluted too because the boats add certain chemicals and metals to the water column and then an amount of the fuel that enters the motor is discharged and released into the water. Two stroke motors give off 25-30% of their unburned gas and oil mixture into the water.

The problem with the motor boat is not only with the oil and gasoline but the noise pollution and disturbance. When I am at the beach and just watching the water, the motor boats come vehemently and disturb my thoughts and peace. This loud noise does not only disturb and annoy me but disturbs the organisms in the water.

A new study has shown how the noise pollution from motorboats is a big threat to the fish and underwater sea life. The obstreperous motor boats do cause stress and an uncomfortable environment for the fish and other sea organisms. Noise pollution affects the ability of seas organisms to communicate. Since sea animals communicate by sounds and vibrations, the new rambunctious sounds from the motor boats confuse the animals so they cannot communicate.

The new study of noise pollution from motorboats gives many examples of how underwater noise also negatively impact small fish. In the study published in the journal Nature Communications, “A team of international marine biologists found that the rate at which the fishes are seized by predators can increase two-fold when motorboats are nearby. The noise emitted by passing motorboats surges stress levels among young coral fish and decreases their ability to escape from an impending predator attack. As a result, they are seized more easily.”

Even though motorboats are damaging, sailboats are not. Sailboats are an environmentally friendly alternative to motor boats. They function from the wind and do not cause noise pollution or pollution.

Even though motor boats have proven to be very harmful to the environment through air pollution, oil spills, gas leakage and noise pollution, without motorboats how would we be able to aid those in the water quickly?

When someone or something is drowning or injured in the water, people don’t send sailboats to the rescue, they send motorboats. So because motorboats are useful this way, we should only use them this way and when just cruising for fun we can use sailboats as an alternative to motor boats.

Also, if you want to have fun in the water you can use kayaks, paddle boards, swimming, surfing and diving. Restrictions on the use of motorboats will limit noise pollution for the residents, near the water, and  the organisms within the water. The restrictions of motorboats will keep the water and air cleaner and help the earth become a little greener.