Baykeeper is launching a new region-wide initiative to reduce pollution from Bay Area boatyards. Boatyards are both a vital part of the Bay’s maritime industry and a source of Bay pollution – paint residue and other toxic substances are often washed from these waterfront facilities directly into the Bay. Fortunately, simple pollution control efforts can often significantly reduce boatyard pollution.
Common boatyard activities such as pressure washing, sanding and painting can release heavy metals such as copper, lead and zinc, as well as fiberglass and detergents. Without proper containment, these pollutants are washed into the Bay and nearby creeks and sloughs.
A major concern is bottom paint, which contains high levels of copper and zinc. These metals are toxic to salmon and other Bay life forms.
Baykeeper’s Clean Boatyards Initiative includes providing technical assistance to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control in developing new boatyard Best Management Practices. As part of our work with planning for the America’s Cup, we are advocating for increased boater education about boatyard pollution and how boaters can help protect the Bay.
In addition, Baykeeper is exploring citizen lawsuits under the Clean Water Act against boatyards with the greatest pollution problems. We have also developed a list of commonsense pollution controls to help boatyards keep toxic pollution out of the Bay.