NEW YORK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation declared the New York side of the Lake Erie shore line a “no discharge zone,” which means that boats are completely banned from discharging sewage into the water, according to a press release.

The EPA reviewed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposal to establish a no discharge zone for the lake and determined that there are adequate facilities in the area for boats to pump out their sewage, stated the release.

Boaters must now dispose of their sewage at one of the lake’s specially-designated pump-out stations. This action is part of a joint EPA and New York State strategy to eliminate the discharge of sewage from boats into the state’s waterways, noted the release.

The no discharge zone for the New York State portion of Lake Erie is a 593 square mile area and 84 miles that includes the waters of the lake from the Pennsylvania-New York State boundary, as well as the Upper Niagara River and numerous other tributaries, harbors and bays of the Lake, including Barcelona Harbor, Dunkirk Harbor and the Buffalo Outer Harbor.

Lake Erie and its harbors, bays, creeks and wetlands support fish spawning areas and habitat, commercial and recreational boating, and recreational opportunities.