BoatUS Foundation expands cigarette litter prevention program

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The BoatUS Foundation is looking to expand its anti-cigarette litter program to more marinas for 2011. Interested marinas can apply for the program until May 2.

Selected marina participants will receive funds to cover the cost of ash receptacles and a supply of portable ashtrays. Marinas are asked to install the receptacles, distribute the portable ashtrays, and educate their customers about the importance of proper butt disposal.   

In 2010, the 43 marinas that participated in the 2010 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program saw a 63 percent average reduction in the amount of cigarette litter, according to the group.

"When a cigarette butt is discarded at a marina, there is a fair chance it will find its way into the water," said Susan Shingledecker, the BoatUS Foundation's director of environmental programs. "Many people assume butts are made from paper that will break down over time, and don't think of them as litter. However, cigarette filters are plastic and when tossed overboard or washed into storm drains, creeks and waterways they can last for decades, resulting in an unsightly mess and harming fish and other wildlife."

The program is a partnership with Keep America Beautiful, a nationwide non-profit organization that encourages individuals to take greater responsibility for improving the environment in their local community.

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