NGC at Seattle Boat Show to Create Cleaner Washington Waters

For recreational boat owners in the State of Washington, there’s more to boat-bottom paint than meets the eye—and the law. Fortunately, there’s a place where boaters can go this weekend to learn more about the upcoming new regulations.

Representatives from Northwest Green Chemistry (NGC) and the Clean Boating Foundation will be at the Seattle Boat Show on Saturday and Sunday to help consumers sort through the new paint requirements. The 2015 show—the largest boat show on the West Coast—kicks off tomorrow and runs through Jan. 31 at the CenturyLink Field Event Center in downtown Seattle.

“The new paint law will affect virtually every recreational boat in the state, so it’s important for boat owners to know what they need to do to be in compliance,” says Ken Zarker, NGC’s interim Executive Director. “We have some very knowledgeable people who will be available at the show to offer some guidance to boaters.”

The new paint laws, which start to take effect in 2018, bar sales of any recreational boats under 65 feet in length in Washington if their antifouling bottom paint contains copper. By 2020, no bottom paint that contains more than 0.5 percent copper can be sold for application to such recreational boats in the state. The measures were approved with the aim of reducing copper as a source of water pollution. Marine life in Puget Sound, in particular, has suffered damage attributed to copper-based paint.

As part of the effort to educate boat owners, Northwest Green Chemistry has created a Scorecard for Alternatives to Copper-Based Antifouling Paints. The scorecard was developed to assist the boating community in selecting paints that will prevent or slow organic growth on boat hulls without harming vital fish and plant life in waterways. The alternatives listed on the Scorecard were selected with assistance from the Clean Boating Foundation and Northwest Marine Trade Association. The performance of these alternatives has been researched and many are easily obtainable in retail stores and online. NGC intends to update the scorecard as more information and/or more alternative paints become available in the coming years.

You can find Northwest Green Chemistry at the Seattle Boat Show at the Clean Boating Foundation booth, located in East 606. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.