The Program

The Port of San Diego is now offering more grant money  to boaters who choose to use eco-friendly hull paints. Currently, the port currently provides a cost offset to remove or strip the copper-based hull paint. Now, they are extending that incentive to include up to 75% of the cost for San Diego boaters to apply eco-friendly paint.

There are two options are available for boat owners changing hull-paint types. The first option is for the boat owner to receive a cost offset to strip the pre-existing copper hull-paint and to apply a non-biocide hull paint. This option will cover 75% of the new eco-friendly paint application, but keep the paint-stripping cost at the current rate of $6.40 per square foot.

The second option will give boaters a 60% cost offset to apply a newer non-biocide hull paint that includes a specialized primer to seal the boat without having to remove the existing copper-based paint.

These new options will allow boat owners to apply a safer, non-biocide paint for approximately the same amount it would cost to apply the copper paint. The Port’s environmental programs manager, Karen Kolman, explains, “We’ve listened to the boater’s concerns about the upfront cost of using non-biocide paints…this program now makes the transition possible because much of the upfront cost will be removed.”

So How is This New Effort Possible?

According to the Port of San Diego, the State Water Resources Control Boards 319h Grant Program has allotted $600,000 in funds that will be available through June 30, 2014 or until the funds are gone. However, there are a couple of restrictions to this program. For instance, the funds are only available to boat owners within the Shelter Island Yacht Basin and boaters are responsible for costs that exceed the grant amount.

Copper-Based Paint

Copper-based paint has been used for hull paint because of its effectiveness in keeping organisms from attaching themselves to the bottom of boats. However, the 1996 San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board deemed Copper-based paint  very harmful to sea-life, as the copper in the paint leaks into the bay poisoning sea life.  The San Diego Port plans to reduce the level of copper in the Shelter Island area by 76% by 2022.

Find Out More

View a short video created by the Port of San Diego explaining the Non-Biocide program: Non-Biocide Hull Paint Video

For more information on the Non-Biocide Paint effort by the Port of San Diego please visit

*Information and photo received  from the Port of San Diego news article entitled, More Grant Money Available for Eco-Friendly Hull Paints, published on October 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM PDT.