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San Francisco Boaters: Bring your expired flares to the Collection Event on April 14

by Scott Croft 22 Mar 15:47 PDT
What to do with old marine flares? Bring them to a special collection event on Sunday, April 14, in the Marina District at East Marina Green Triangle. © Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally

The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging San Francisco boaters to take advantage of a marine flare collection event held by the San Francisco Department of Environment (SF Environment) on Sunday, April 14, at East Marina Green Triangle in the Marina District of San Francisco. Boat owners are encouraged to drop off old, damaged, or expired hand-held flares, aerial flares and smoke signals to ensure safe and proper disposal.

"There probably isn't a Bay Area boater who hasn't had to store old, expired flares aboard their boat because there is simply no way to safely dispose of them," said BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs Chris Edmonston. "We applaud the San Francisco Department of Environment for helping to address this age-old boater's dilemma through this pilot collection event."

Marine flares are carried aboard recreational boats in the event a vessel may need to signal for emergency response. Because of a mandated 42-month expiration date from the date of manufacture, marine flares need to be replaced about every three seasons of boating. Yet, there are currently only two collection sites in California that will accept and dispose of outdated flares. This presents a safety hazard and disposal challenge for Bay Area boat owners.

The San Francisco Department of Environment is partnering with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, and the California Coastal Commission to host the inaugural marine flare collection event for San Francisco boaters on Sunday, April 14. The collection event was funded by a $29,903 state grant from CalRecycle to develop a pilot program to address proper disposal of expired marine-signaling devices.

Boaters may schedule an appointment during the collection event to make it easy to drop off expired flares. To schedule a drop-off time, contact Huy Le, Hazardous Waste Coordinator at the San Francisco Department of Environment: 415-355-3760 or . Only marine-signaling devices will be accepted at this collection event.

Free boating-safety kits, including information and tools to promote safe and environmentally sound boating practices, will be available for all attendees. Boaters who bring their outdated marine flares also will be entered for a chance to win a U.S. Coast Guard-approved LED marine flare.

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