Friday, December 9, 2011

Boating association honors Upthegrove for championing copper paint phaseout

Applying copper-based biocides to the underside of boats and other marine vessels helps keep the growth of algae and barnacles in check. But these “anti-fouling” paints  leach copper into our waterways that is toxic to aquatic life, and are extremely costly for boatyards to clean up.
That’s why lawmakers passed a bill last session to begin transitioning away from copper-based anti-fouling paints to other effective but less toxic alternatives.  The bill was a great example of the business and environmental communities coming together in order to protect Washington’s “Evergreen Legacy” – in this case, our precious waterways and marine life - as well as our small businesses.
Yesterday, the Northwest Marine Trade Association – which represents 640 small businesses across Washington – gave its “Legislator of the Year” award to Rep. Dave Upthegrove for his leadership on the bill.  Rep. Upthegrove was the bill's House sponsor, and as chairman of the Environment committee helped ensure its smooth passage.  In his acceptance speech to the NMTA, Rep. Upthegrove noted that Puget Sound has played a large role in his life going all the way back to his childhood, when he and his brother would play at Seahurst Beach in Burien.  His district is also home to boatyards that benefit from cleaner, safer marine vessel paints.
You can read the press release about his award here.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.