Tips for Conscious Boating

At SCCF, we encourage you to protect and care for our coastal ecosystems while you boat.


Seagrass provides essential food, habitat, and nursery areas to fish species and countless invertebrates. More than 30,000 acres of seagrass beds have been damaged by boat-generated scarring in South Florida.

  • Avoid seagrass beds when possible
  • Use navigational tools
  • Trim motor and idle to a seagrass-safe depth before getting up on plane
  • Push boat to a seagrass safe area before engaging motor if you run aground


Boat strikes are among the top causes of sea turtle and manatee fatalities in Florida. Lee County ranks third for the highest number of fatal manatee collisions so far in 2023. 

  • Observe reduced speed and no wake zones
  • Wear polarized sunglasses 
  • Use marked channels to avoid seagrass beds and shallow waters
  • Be alert and aware of sea turtle nesting season when boating near beaches
  • Appoint a spotter to be on the lookout for marine wildlife
  • Report collisions ASAP by calling 1-888-404-FWCC 


Help reduce the harmful impacts of monofilament and other fishing gear on wildlife and the marine environment.

  • Never cast toward a bird or into mangroves
  • Never feed birds fish or bait
  • Learn how to unhook a bird
  • Report monofilament
  • Dispose of gear properly at recycling stations
  • Respect Critical Wildlife Area boundaries by staying stay outside the buoys



Report sea turtle sightings and algal blooms to help our scientists with their research and monitoring efforts.


  • Properly stow all loose items, including trash
  • Always use eco-friendly boat cleaning products that are non-toxic and biodegradable
  • Limit the amount of oil or fuel that spills into the water
  • Follow season, bag, and size limits to protect the sustainability of our fish


  • Join a boating club to improve your safe navigation of regional waters
  • Volunteer, attend events, and support conservation organizations like SCCF that protect and care for our coastal ecosystems
  • Plant native in your own backyard to protect water quality and wildlife
  • Take action to safeguard our water quality, habitats, and natural systems
  • Get our E-News to learn more about what SCCF does out on the water through our Marine Lab, Sanibel Sea School, and Coastal Watch

Our work is only possible with the help of people like you.