Litter Laws

It is illegal to litter on either Alaska’s state waters or federal waters. In the event of accidental waste discharge, contact the Coast Guard’s Department of Environmental Conservation Area Response Team.

Protecting Alaska’s Marine Environment and Mammals

  • Boaters should stay at least 300 feet away from marine mammals or more if animals display a change of behavior.
  • Time spent viewing marine mammals should be kept to a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • Never try to pursue marine mammals, restrict their path or encircle them.
  • Always leave marine mammals with a clear escape route.
  • If a marine mammal approaches, put the engine in neutral and let the animal pass.
  • If a marine mammal displays erratic behavior or appears disturbed, cautiously leave the area.
  • Never handle or feed young marine mammals.

Alaska’s Aquatic Nuisance Species

American waterways have been under threat from foreign aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates. Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) are transferred from boats and boating equipment that originate from external waterways. Once introduced to a new waterway, the ANS will detach from the contaminated boat and spread like wildfire. ANS include: Milfoil, Zebra Mussels and Quagga Mussels.

Why are ANS such a serious threat?

  • They have no natural predators in U.S. waters.
  • Some ANS can actually survive out of water, making transfer easy.
  • They reproduce quickly.
  • They have harmful effects on the native wildlife, habitats and ecosystems.

Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species

Step 1) Rinse your boat with environmentally friendly soap and hot tap water (at least 104°F).

Step 2) Spray your boat with high-pressure water (250 psi).

Step 3) Feel the hull for gritty surfaces. Rub down these areas with towels, spray again with hot water and dispose of the towels in the garbage.

Step 4) Clean anchors, live wells, buckets and other items that were in the water or held water. Do this away from the shoreline and never release live bait from one body of water to another.

Step 5) Dry your boat and equipment before moving it to another body of water.

For more information on Aquatic Nuisance Species, visit: