Marina del Rey is quite polluted, most severely by copper from the paint on boat hulls, and boaters and LA County will have to be quick about cleaning it up. The State Water Resources Control Board ruled last week that the harbor has to reduce the amount of seven toxic pollutants in the water—lead, zinc, copper, pesticides chlordane and DDT, and a synthetic chemical known as PCB—and the copper in particular has to come down 85 percent in just 10 years—a tall order considering that Shelter Island harbor in San Diego was given twice as long to make a 75 percent reduction. (And it's roughly half the size of MdR's harbor.) Some officials are saying MdR's being set up for failure with such tight constraints, according to the Daily Breeze.
MdR has the worst copper pollution in the state ("It was terrific for keeping growth off, but there was a trail of dead fish in your wake.") and some of the pollutants are also carcinogens that can contaminate fish and affect humans, according to a release from the SWRCB. For the cleanup, boat-owners will be required to take the copper-based paint off their 4,700 boats and replace it with less harmful alternatives. (They're complaining about it.) The decision also calls for "dredging or applying a new layer of uncontaminated sediment" to the marina to stem the effects of copper that's already settled on its bottom.
The plan still needs to be approved by the Office of Administrative Law and the Environmental Protection Agency before it goes into effect, but LA County has already asked the water board to reconsider because it plans to pour $4 million into more "site-specific studies" of the water.
· Boaters, L.A. County brace for impact of Marina del Rey cleanup plan [DB]
· State Water Board Approves Revised Plan to Restore Marina del Rey Harbor [Official release]
· The Paint On Marina Del Rey's Boats Is Poisoning The Water [Curbed LA]