The Unified Port of San Diego is currently proposing that independent hull divers and companies employing hull divers be required to carry permits in order to conduct in-water hull cleaning. The fuel stoking this fire is an abundant amount of dissolved copper polluting San Diego Bay. Copper is used in hull paints as an anti-fouling agent, and when inexperienced divers clean the hull, paint chips containing copper particles slough off into the water. This leads to copper accumulation in the bottom of the bay where all marine suffers, not just the little guys attaching themselves to boat bottoms. While the Port is gathering additional information on the permitting process, including further comment from the public, boaters can be proactive by taking precautionary measures when hiring hull divers.
Consider the Environment
· Use only certified CPDA (California Professional Divers Association) divers to clean the hull of your boat.
Research Leads to Knowledge
· Use non-toxic/non-copper paint alternatives the next time you paint the boat.
Knowledge is Power
· Know what type of paint is on your hull and pass this along to your diver. What type of paint is on your hull, how old is it, and when the last time the hull was cleaned? This allows the diver to choose the correct brush & technique when cleaning.
Clean Your Bottom Frequently
· Hull cleaning on a regular basis limits the amount of pressure needed to rid the fouling agents. Less pressure means less copper leaching into the bay.