thumb_SD_BayCopper Reduction Program

Recreational boating is a popular pasttime in Southern California, where the bays and harbors are filled with thousands of boats. While this leisure activity brings significant benefit to California's economy, it can also cause environmental challenges.

Water quality impacts from copper-based hull paints have been identified in marina basins throughout California. The copper in the paint is a biocide that leaches into the water, causing contamination that is harmful to marine life, including fish and sea lions.

A biocide is a substance that slows or stops the growth of living things. When applied to boat hulls, biocides reduce the growth of barnacles and other organisms that can hamper boat performance. The copper biocide in hull paints acts similarly to pesticides used on lawns to prevent infestations of insects or weeds.

In San Diego Bay, Shelter Island Yacht Basin has been identified as an area where high copper levels exceed federal and state standards. A regulatory order requires the Port of San Diego, marinas, yacht clubs, hull cleaners and boaters to reduce copper pollution in this area by 76 percent by 2022.

The Port is taking actions to promote a clean bay and clean marinas. It recently developed a Copper Reduction Program comprised of these five categories:

In-Water Hull Cleaning Permit

Grant Available for Shelter Island Boat Owners

Public Comments


Boaters Benefitting from Eco-Friendly Hull Paint Grant

Contact: Marketing & Communications (619) 686-6388 - Published on .

shelterislandmarinaNearly 30 Shelter Island boaters have benefited from a Port of San Diego grant designed to help them switch their copper boat hull paints to eco-friendly alternatives.

The grant, awarded from the State Water Resources Control Board's 319h program, can save boaters up to 75 percent on stripping and painting costs for boat hulls . The $600,000 was allocated specifically to help Shelter Island Yacht Basin boaters who voluntarily convert from copper hull paints to eco-friendly hull paints.


Port Meets Shelter Island Yacht Basin Copper Reduction Target

Contact: Marketing & Communications (619) 686-6388 - Published on .

shelterislandmarinaThe Port of San Diego's efforts to reduce copper levels in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin are making progress through a combination of boater education, regulation and incentives.

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board recently found the Port is in compliance with the Shelter Island Yacht Basin Total Maximum Daily Load's (TMDL) first target: a 10 percent reduction of copper. The measurements came from data associated with the Shelter Island Yacht Basin TMDL Monitoring and Progress Report that the Port submitted to the Regional Board in March.


New Tool Launched to Help Boaters Calculate Hull Paint Conversion Costs

Contact: Tanya Castaneda, (619) 686-6330 - Published on .

hullpaintexpo1 1The Port of San Diego has launched a new online tool to help Shelter Island Yacht Basin boat owners calculate the cost of converting their vessels to eco-friendly hull paints.

Boaters can save 60 percent or 75 percent on stripping and painting costs for boat hulls, thanks to a $600,000 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board. The grant funds are allocated specifically to help Shelter Island Yacht Basin boaters who voluntarily convert from copper hull paints to non-biocide hull paints. As of May 2013, 20 boats have undergone the eco-friendly conversion through the grant program.


Port to Host Free Expo for Boaters

Contact: Barbara Moreno (619) 686-6216; Tanya Castaneda (619) 686-6330 - Published on .

hullpaintexpo1 1Members of San Diego's boating community are invited to a one-of-a-kind expo where they can learn about eco-friendly hull paints and grant funding available to help make the switch.

The Port of San Diego will host its 3rd annual Eco-Friendly Hull Paint Expo on March 16, 2013, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Shelter Island Boat Yard, 2330 Shelter Island Drive in San Diego.


More Grant Money Available for Eco-friendly Hull Paints

Contact: Marketing and Communications (619) 686-6388 - Published on .

sandiegoyachtclub2The Port of San Diego is announcing new financial incentives to encourage boat owners who moor on Shelter Island to switch to eco-friendly hull paints.

An existing program provides a cost offset for the removal, or stripping, of copper hull paint; new grant funding now also encompasses up to 75-percent of the cost to apply eco-friendly paint.

Boat owners can choose one of two options.  

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