Byline: Todd Jeffries
Once again, boaters seem to be the main (and only) focus of the major effort to rid San Diego Bay of its copper deposits. And our water quality-controlling and waterway-controlling agencies don’t seem to care that, as The Log pointed out in its April 27-May 10 issue editorial, there are many other contributing factors to the problem of copper in our waterways that probably cause far more copper deposits than boats.
Why aren’t they focusing their regulatory efforts on container ships and Navy vessels that are also coated with copper-containing antifouling bottom paint — vessels that dominate the bay and put football-field-size painted surfaces in the waters of San Diego Bay every day?
Well, according to our friends at those agencies who are so willing to go after recreational boaters with both regulatory guns, the agencies have not been given “permission” to regulate Navy or commercial vessels. And so, the agencies have simply chosen to pretend that these huge ships cause no pollution.
There. Wasn’t that easy?
Basically, the tactic of focusing on recreational boats to address high levels of copper in local waterways amounts to a “copper cop-out.” They plan to ignore the real causes of high copper levels that the agencies can’t do anything about, and focus instead on the little guys who are easier to boss around.
The approach makes no sense, but it allows them to prove they’re “proactive” in addressing the problem of copper in local waters.
And, or course, those agencies won’t even address the findings of new studies that show these high copper levels actually aren’t causing any major harm to our marine life. That information is, evidently, quite inconvenient right now. As the old saying goes: “Your tax dollars at work.”