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Tips for sustainable boating adventures

The Gold Coast City Marina has prepared some great advice for boaties.  This is what they say.

Our waterways are more than just avenues for leisure; they are vital ecosystems that require our protection. Whether cruising along the coast or navigating through inland water bodies, adopting sustainable practices ensures that future generations can also enjoy the beauty of our oceans and rivers. Here are some tips to help you minimise your impact and maximise your enjoyment on your boating adventures.


  1. Plan Your Course: Before setting sail, familiarise yourself with the local marine environment. Avoid sensitive ecosystems like seagrass beds and coral reefs, which are crucial habitats for aquatic life.
  2. Moor & Anchor Smartly: When mooring or anchoring, choose designated areas whenever possible. If anchoring in open waters, opt for sandy spots to minimise damage to delicate underwater ecosystems.
  3. Respect Wildlife: While getting up close to marine animals is tempting, maintain a safe distance to avoid disturbing their natural behaviours. Remember, we are visitors in their home. For example, during whale season in Queensland, Prohibited vessels must not approach closer than 300m to any whale or dolphin. If a prohibited vessel unintentionally moves to within this distance it should slow down and avoid the whale or dolphin, moving away from the animal at a speed of less than 6 knots, to at least 300m.
  4. Leave No Trace: Just as you would on land, pack up all your rubbish, including food scraps. Leaving trash behind not only pollutes the water but also poses risks to marine life.


  1. Maintain Your Engine: Regular maintenance not only keeps your engine running smoothly but also reduces fuel consumption and emissions, benefiting both your wallet and the environment.
  2. Slow Down: Take it easy on the throttle. Slowing down not only conserves fuel but also allows you to appreciate the scenery and wildlife around you.
  3. Keep Your Hull Clean: A clean hull reduces drag in the water, improving fuel efficiency and minimising your environmental impact. Regularly inspect and clean your hull to keep it free from fouling. You can find all the expert trades you need for your boat among our business partners. Contact us or check our Marine Trades Directory.


  1. Choose Eco-Friendly: Opt for biodegradable cleaning supplies and boat care products and use water to clean your boat to minimise harmful chemical runoff into the water.
  2. Pump It Out: Discharge sewage at designated pump-out facilities to prevent contamination of waterways with harmful bacteria and pollutants.
  3. Wash Wisely: When washing your boat, use designated wash-down areas equipped with proper filtration systems to prevent pollutants from entering the water.
  4. Ditch the Disposables: Say goodbye to single-use plastics on your boat. Invest in reusable alternatives to reduce plastic waste and protect marine life from ingestion and entanglement.

By incorporating these simple yet effective practices into your boating routine, you can play a significant role in preserving our precious waterways. Remember, every small action counts towards a healthier marine environment for all.


In a significant stride forward in marine conservation and education, the Gold Coast City Marina & Shipyard (GCCM) has partnered with The International SeaKeepers Society (SeaKeepers). As the first shipyard in Australia to join hands with SeaKeepers, GCCM is leading the charge in promoting ocean conservation within the yachting community and beyond.

Founded in 1998, SeaKeepers has been at the forefront of marine science, conservation, and education for over two decades. Utilising privately owned yachts and vessels as platforms for research and outreach, SeaKeepers has facilitated scientific discoveries and raised global awareness of ocean issues.

GCCM’s partnership with SeaKeepers underscores its commitment to environmental stewardship and sets a new standard for responsible marine practices. By mobilising yacht owners and encouraging participation in SeaKeepers’ initiatives, GCCM aims to make a meaningful impact on ocean conservation and research. Learn more about this initiative in our SeaKeepers blog.


Through SeaKeepers’ DISCOVERY Yacht Program, GCCM’s customers and community have the opportunity to contribute to oceanographic research while cruising. By collecting valuable data and participating in research projects, yacht owners can play a vital role in advancing marine science and conservation efforts.

The Marina Partner Program further strengthens the collaboration between GCCM and SeaKeepers, promoting best boating practices and raising awareness of the importance of ocean conservation. Together, GCCM and SeaKeepers are empowering the yachting community to protect the marine environment and preserve it for future generations.


GCCM is at the forefront of marine conservation, committed to preserving the health of our oceans. With a focus on sustainable practices, wildlife protection, and clean-up projects, GCCM sets a standard for responsible maritime management. Through education, innovation, and collaboration, GCCM invites boaters and the community to join in safeguarding our precious marine ecosystems. Read more about our Marine Conservation Initiatives.

Read our Environmental Statement of Purpose to see how we contribute further to protecting our oceans.

The partnership between GCCM and SeaKeepers represents a significant step forward in marine conservation and education. By joining forces, these two organisations are leading the way in promoting responsible boating practices and protecting our oceans for generations to come.

As boaters, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the marine environment and preserve it for future generations. By following sustainable boating practices and supporting initiatives like the DISCOVERY Yacht Program, we can all play a part in safeguarding our precious waterways.

Together, let’s be stewards of our oceans and leave a positive legacy for the future.