The Port of San Diego plans to mandate a pause on in-water hull cleaning on vessels in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin for an eight-week stretch this winter. The pause is part of a proposed pilot study, which aims to provide understanding of how in-water hull cleaning impacts water quality, specifically copper levels, as the Port faces a 2022 deadline to reduce elevated copper levels in the Shelter Island Yacht Basin.
The proposed in-water hull cleaning pilot study was presented to the San Diego Board of Port Commissioners on June 15 and the board voted to mandate an eight-week pause on in-water hull cleaning for the study to be conducted.
The study will involve four weeks of water quality sampling in the fall of 2021, followed directly by eight weeks of water quality sampling during the mandated no in-water hull cleaning in the winter of 2021/2022, and then another four weeks of water quality sampling after the pause.
A Dissolved Copper Total Maximum Daily Load for the Shelter Island Yacht Basin set by the regional water board in 2005 due to copper levels that exceeded federal and state water quality standards requires a 76 percent reduction of copper loading by 2022.
Copper hull paint has been identified as the largest source of dissolved copper in the area and the Port has led many efforts aimed at reducing levels as part of its copper reduction program. Read on.