Just one quart of oil can contaminate up to a quarter million gallons of drinking water or cause an oil slick almost 2 acres in size.
Oil slicks in the Hudson are a fairly common sight, but aren’t usually offenses by large corporations. Most oil spills I’ve seen are from everyday boaters who launch or fuel their boats without taking the necessary precautions; they don’t want to pollute the river they swim in, so why are they letting their oil spill?
Motor oil tends to settle at the bottom of the bilge, and many people don’t notice it until after they pump the bilge water into the river. Oil can get in the bilge if its been spilled on the deck or if it leaks out of the tank; this often happens when boats are in storage in the off season. By properly cleaning out the boats bilge before launching, boaters can avoid these spills. Also, when oil spills on the deck during fueling, you should plug up any scuppers so that the oil cannot run out and you can clean it up onboard.
Other precautions to take to avoid spilling oil can be found at the following link: http://www.marinedefenders.com/newjerseyboaters/preventing.php. If oil does accidentally spill, you can follow these recommendations: http://www.boatus.org/clean-boating/fueling/fuel-spill-response/.