Pollution of the seas from garbage dumping is a global problem. The international treaty to prevent pollution from ships (MARPOL) attacks the plastic pollution problem. It is against the law to dump plastic trash into the ocean or into navigable waters of the United States. Regional, state, or local regulations may further restrict dumping garbage.

Plastic does not easily decay, and it's dangerous to animal life. Thousands of animals die each year after becoming entangled in or eating plastic trash. It can also be a hazard to boats if caught in a propeller or water intake. The pollution laws apply to all boats regardless of size. Any violation may result in a civil penalty up to $25,000 and/or criminal penalty up to $50,000, and/or 5 years imprisonment.

Although you'll find legal zones for discharging garbage, responsible boaters will not dump any garbage or waste into the water.

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