Gary brings up the conundrum many sailors seem to ignore. On one hand, we love the sea. For myself, that includes the multitudes of life of which the sea has been traditionally abundant. On the other hand, we paint the bottoms of our boats with that which kills this very sea life. For the most part, we paint our hulls to ensure the thru-hulls don’t clog, and for sailing efficiency. However, as our society becomes more efficient in the ways of killing that which is inconvenient to us, we are able to paint our hulls less frequently with increasingly toxic metals.
We accept this as sailors, and most work to minimize other habits which might contribute to the fouling of the sea. However, there is no doubt that when we pressure wash our hulls, the toxic metals that are released are significant. That we, as sailors, and the industry which supports us failed to take due care, the government has stepped in.
Would anyone here accept the toxic consequences of a Love Canal, should a business decide to dump their toxic chemicals next door to your residence? Well, the metals that come off a pressure washed boat, when dumped in the sea, are just as poisonous. Sure, the business may be inconvienced in providing runoff abatement. And as a customer, we will probably see increased yard bills. But let’s face it, without government intervention, these toxic metals would continue to be dumped in the bay and continue to kill sea life. Is that really acceptable to true sailors?
When one refuses to take responsibility for their action, should the rest of society pay the price? Or should the responsible ones create a governmental body that protects the interests of society?
Anyway, that’s my $.02 on the subject.