San Diego event to focus on benefits of non-copper hull paints

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San Diego port officials will be spreading the word about non-copper paints during the city’s fourth Eco-Friendly Hull Paint Expo on Saturday.

Two boats that have been operating with eco-friendly hull paint will be hauled out of the water for display. There also will be a hull-cleaning seminar where boat owners and hull cleaners can share tips and best practices about the use, cleaning and maintenance of eco-friendly hull paints, according to the port.

In 2008, port officials launched a two-year antifouling paint study after the area was cited in 1996 by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board for high levels of copper in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin, according to The Log.

The board’s regulatory order requires the port, marinas, yacht clubs, hull cleaners and boaters to reduce copper pollution in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin by as much as 76 percent by 2022.

The port has identified a variety of copper-free hull paints that it has found to protect the environment without reducing boat performance. The port also has reached out to inform boat owners and commercial operators of the benefits of making the switch to environmentally friendly hull coatings.

Expo visitors will be able to talk to port representatives, paint manufacturers and boatyard personnel and hear from fellow boaters about the advantages of using non-copper hull paint. Port of San Diego staff members will be there to discuss how boaters can qualify for a grant program that assists Shelter Island Yacht Basin boaters in converting to eco-friendly hull paints. The program, which began in 2011, will expire next May.