MAINE is a watery coast, and boats have always been a part of coastal life. Moorings, fuel, and services are readily available west of Schoodic Point. East of there, resources for cruising boats become scarcer, and they cater mostly to commercial boats and equipment.
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Big changes are happening with respect to pump-outs. Federal law prohibits the discharge of untreated sewage from boats with permanently installed heads within three miles of the coast. For guidelines on managing onboard human waste, see Introduction, page 9. In the past, considerable stretches of the Maine coast lacked pump-out facilities, but recent laws mandate marinas of a certain size to offer this service. Nearly 70 pump-out stations will be on line by the spring of 2002, and that number is expected to climb to 100.
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Disposing of your waste, however, is not the primary business of marinas, boatyards, or fuel docks, so don't expect it to be their top priority. We recommend being a good customer first, then a customer in need of a pump-out. Plan on combining your fueling up with your pumping out, and call ahead for convenient times. If you discover pump-out facilities that are not in working order, please report them to the boat pump-out coordinator of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection at 1-800-452-1942.
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Use of holding tanks is mandatory on the Saint John River, but nearly every marine facility there offers pump-out service, often for free.