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A binational, supply-side evaluation for managing water quality and invasive fouling species on California’s coastal boats

Johnson, Leigh T., Fernandez, Linda M.
Journal of environmental management 2011 v.92 no.12 pp. 3071-3081
boats, cleaning, coastal water, coasts, coatings, copper, development policy, economic sustainability, energy use and consumption, fouling, friction, invasive species, leaching, paints, research policy, risk, risk assessment, risk management, water policy, water quality, California, Mexico
Integrated solutions are needed for sustainable management of risks posed by recreational boats to coastal water quality and ecosystems. Fouling organisms roughen vessel hull surfaces, creating friction that slows sailboats and increases fuel consumption by powerboats. Hull fouling control strategies for recreational boats that are stored in the water may include antifouling hull paints, newer alternative hull coatings, periodic in-water hull cleaning, and excluding propagules by surrounding the boat with a slip liner or raising it above water on a lift. Copper discharged to harbor waters from antifouling paints via passive leaching and in-water hull cleaning may elevate dissolved copper levels above government standards. Invasive species carried among boat-hull fouling organisms may be introduced as boats move among coastal areas. Some of these species tolerate copper in antifouling paints and copper-polluted harbor waters. Policy development must consider supply-side capacity, as well as economic and environmental sustainability, in managing these issues. This paper presents a supply-side evaluation useful in developing policies to co-manage water quality and invasive species risks for recreational boats navigating along the coasts of California, the Baja California peninsula and California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Supply-side perspectives on services, materials, costs, and boat owner behaviors, such as residence and travel patterns, awareness of hull-coating choices and selection of hull coatings, are determined. Analyses include evaluation of risks, risk management capacity and costs, and role of education in risk management. The issues raised are broadly applicable, as they are appearing on research and policy agendas in diverse coastal areas.