Conceptual issues in designing a policy to phase out metal-based antifouling paints on recreational boats in San Diego Bay

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Environmental Management, 2009, 90 (8), pp. 2460 - 2468
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In marine areas throughout the world where recreational boats are densely located, concentrations of copper in the water are being found to be in excess of government standards, due to the hull coatings used on these boats. Copper-based hull coatings are intended to be antifouling in that they retard the growth of algae, barnacles and tubeworms; but alternatives exist that can eliminate the harm that copper contamination does to marine organisms. A variety of policy options are available to mandate or provide economic incentives to switch to these less harmful alternatives. This paper puts forth a conceptual framework for thinking about how to design and evaluate alternative policies to transition to nontoxic boat hulls, drawing from the authors' experience designing a policy for use in San Diego Bay. Many of the issues raised are broadly applicable to environmental problems where the solution involves a large-scale replacement of durable consumer goods.
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