In our todays world evaluating environmental issues are fundamental for a responsible behavior. Here are a few aspects concerning seaplanes.
Compared to boats, ATV´s and other transport vehicles, seaplanes leave absolutely no
trace of their visit in the wilderness.
In a recent 5 year study on the environmental effects of seaplanes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who are responsible for the waterways in the U.S.A., concluded:
- Air Quality: no impact
- Water Quality: no impact
- Soil Quality: no impact
- Wildlife: no impact
- Fisheries: no impact
- Hydrology: no impact
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service owns a large fleet of seaplanes that is used for the safe and efficient surveillance and tracking of wildlife.
The U.S. National Parks System is one of the biggest users of seaplanes in the World – it considers the seaplane essential for the management of their parks.
There are many National Parks in the U.S.A where seaplanes and boats provide the only access.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a fleet of seaplanes which are used extensively for biological work, including sea turtle and mammal surveys. The mission of the NOAA is to describe and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and to conserve and manage the U.S. coastal and marine resources.
Seaplanes are used to monitor the activities and resources in the 1,252 square mile Channel Islands Nautical Marine Sanctuary situated in the Santa Barbara channel off the coast of Southern California. The sanctuary’s primary goal is the protection of the natural and cultural resources. The sanctuary is an area of national significance because of its exceptional natural beauty and resources.
The Washington State Department of Ecology employs seaplanes to sample water quality – the seaplane is the only form of transport (excluding rowing boats and kayaks) that does not contaminate their findings.
- Seaplanes are one of the few forms of transport allowed on the Great Barrier Reef.
- A seaplane’s propeller is entirely above the water and thus does not disturb sediments or marine life, nor does it contribute to marine noise pollution.
- Seaplanes generate no more than a 2-3 inch wake – not enough to be a factor in shoreline erosion.
- Seaplanes do not spread non native species.
- Seaplanes do not store or discharge oily bilge water or sewage.
- Seaplanes do not discharge gallons of fuel and oil into the water as many other powered watercraft do (as much as three gallons per hour for a small two stroke engine)
- Seaplanes do not discharge the contents of chemical toilets overboard.
- Seaplanes are not treated with toxic anti-fouling paints.
- The exhaust from a seaplanes engine is discharged into the air well above the waters surface where it can dissipate without impacting water quality.
- Aviation fuel does not contain MTBE – a toxic additive found in automotive and marine fuel.