Pollution cleanup in Marina del Rey being planned

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Newlywed couple enjoys the picture-perfect views of Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey, Calif. (Jillian Rose Photography/Marina del Rey via AP Images)

Newlywed couple enjoys the picture-perfect views of Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey, Calif. (Jillian Rose Photography/Marina del Rey via AP Images)

MARINA DEL REY (CNS) – Plans are underway for the first extensive pollution cleanup in Marina del Rey.

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board today will consider rules that would force boaters to strip copper paint from the bottoms of their boats and replace it with a less toxic alternative, the Los Angeles Times reported.

To clean copper already in the water, the plan also calls for the county to spend at least $147 million dredging the nearly 50-year-old marina, the nation’s largest manmade recreational boating harbor, according to the newspaper. Almost all of the marina’s more than 4,500 boats have bottoms covered in copper paint.

Recent water quality analyses showed copper concentrations in Marina del Rey’s water as high as 12 parts per billion, almost four times the regional board’s standard of 3.1 parts per billion, The Times reported. Officials say it has the highest concentration of copper of any marina in California.

Officials estimate paint stripping will cost $6,000 for a 40-foot boat. It’s not clear where the funding for the dredging would come from, but boaters fear they will end up paying for that work too, The Times reported.

Officials and environmentalists have sought to ban copper paint at bays and marinas from San Francisco to San Diego, but Marina del Rey is seen as a key test case.

At low levels, copper is beneficial to humans and other mammals because it can help with the metabolism of carbohydrates and other functions. But at greater concentrations, the metal is highly toxic, especially to aquatic life.

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