Copper boat paint ban stirs up controversy in San Diego

The Log, a Southern California fishing and boating newspaper, reports on the controversy over copper-based boat bottom paint and its effects on the environment.

Copper-based paints are used by boaters to keep barnacles and algae from encrusting boat hulls. While copper-based paints protect boats, they can be bad for sea life when the paint dissolves into the water.

In 2005 The San Diego Regional Water Quality Board started phasing out copper-based paint over the next 17 years. Copper-based paint is toxic enough to be classified as a pesticide by the State of California, which is considering a statewide ban.

While that sounds like good news for the environment, boaters don’t have a viable replacement yet to protect their vessels. Sherwin-Williams paint company is reported to be working on a zinc-based alternative.

What do you think? Do you know of any possible alternatives in the works to copper-based paint? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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