RBAW Monthly Newsletter

- December 2023 -

Save the Date: Legislative Day in Olympia, January 25!

RBAW is again partnering with the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) for Legislative Day in Olympia.

Please mark your calendar and join us on January 25, 2024 to highlight our legislative interests and raise awareness of our multi-billion dollar contribution to Washington State's economy.

Hearing directly from businesses and constituents can have a huge impact on our efforts. You’ll participate in meetings with legislators throughout the day and enjoy a reception at the Olympia Yacht Club at the end of the day.

We hope you’ll plan on attending. For now, save the date — January 25!

Copper Based Antifouling Paint Ban Still in Limbo

The ban on the use of copper based antifouling paint on recreational vessels less than 65 feet was passed by the Washington State Legislature in 2011. Copper is an effective biocide that works well in marine anti-fouling paints. It is licensed as a pesticide Federally and in all states. However, the Federal EPA has determined that it can be toxic to sensitive marine organisms at levels as low as 3.1 parts per billion. The EPA also recommends that site specific studies be done to determine which organisms, if any, are harmed and at what levels of dissolved copper that harm occurs.

For example, in 2007 a water effects ratio study was conducted in San Francisco Bay. The outcome showed that no organisms were impacted up to a level of 8.4 parts per billion. All marinas in the bay showed copper levels below that threshold. This despite the fact that copper levels did tend to be higher near marinas because of the numbers of painted hulls concentrated there.

 Copper, the most common toxic chemical that antifouling paints release into the water, has been determined to be a toxic hazard to sea life and especially to salmon. However, it is also quite effective at retarding the growth of marine bio organisms that grow on boat bottoms and negatively affect performance and the preservation of boats.

As part of the law, the WA State Department of Ecology agreed to study antifouling paints and how they affect marine organisms and water quality. Reviews of science on antifouling paints and their hazards, showed that non-copper antifouling ingredients might be more environmentally harmful than copper. As a result, the law phasing out copper paints was postponed.

Another problem with implementing the law is that no feasible, reasonable and readily available alternative is on the market for boat owners to use. Regardless of three in depth studies supplied to the Legislature, non-copper based bottom paint solutions have not met the feasible, reasonable and readily available criteria so the ban continues to be postponed.

The most recent report was released by the Department of Ecology in November and according to their website, there is no clear understanding yet of what meets the criteria. The Department states that if a safer alternative meeting the above criteria is found by June 30, 2024, then the law will restrict the use of most copper-based antifouling paints beginning January 1, 2026. Wooden boats are exempt as are commercial vessels, military including the US Coast Guard and recreational vessels over 65 feet.

If no safer and effective alternatives are found by June 30, 2024, the ban will not take effect. The Department will then continue to study scientific literature and submit a new report by June, 2029. Meanwhile the Department is conducting testing on a variety of antifouling paints in conjunction with Washington State University.

In the meantime, the Department has opened a public comment period regarding the latest report just released – “Antifouling Paints in Washington State: Third Report to the Legislature” and can be accessed on the Washington State Department of Ecology website along with an online form for comments or the public may email Iris Deng at iris.deng@ecy.wa.gov. Deadline for comments is January 17, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

Boating Safety Stocking Stuffer

A Coast Guard approved alternative to the Type IV throwable flotation required in vessels.

The Coast Guard has adopted these for installation on their rescue helicopters for water rescue operations.

Available at chandleries, on-line and other big box outlets.


Designed for ultimate safety on boats, this is the smallest throwable Type IV PFD on the market. It meets carriage requirements and legally replaces the other throwable Type IV devices on recreational vessels.

  • Built To Last: The most reliable safety device you hope to never have to use. Made with the highest quality materials in the USA. 
  • Advanced Safety: Auto inflates in the water and can be re-packed and re-armed. Highly visible in search and rescue situations.
  • Compact Design: Fits almost anywhere, in a backpack or ditch bag. 9x smaller than the ring buoy, 5x smaller than the square cushion.

Made in the U.S.A and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard 
From the manufacturer web page:  https://throwraft.com/

    They want to hear from Boaters! Northwest Straits Commission - Anchorage Preferences and Eelgrass Survey

    As we shared with our members in October, the Peak Sustainability consulting group (on behalf of the Northwest Straits Commission) recently conducted focus groups to document anchorage practices and preferences shared by recreational boaters. The Northwest Straits Commission is working with multiple partners in Washington State and British Columbia on a campaign to promote recreational boating awareness regarding anchoring near eelgrass.

    Following the completion of the boater focus groups, a survey has been created to gather additional information from a wider audience of recreational boaters. This survey is primarily intended for those who boat in the Salish Sea. The Salish Sea extends from the north end of the Strait of Georgia and Desolation Sound to the south end of Puget Sound, and west to the mouth of Juan de Fuca.

    Boater participation in the survey will help provide direction and next steps in this important campaign to help bring awareness regarding the importance of eelgrass. Boaters can take the 10-minute survey HERE. The survey will be available through January 8, 2024.

    Boaters love our beautiful waters, rich in marine life with salmon, crabs, and other marine species that rely on eelgrass beds for their habitat. While many factors negatively impact eelgrass, boaters can play a role in helping to protect eelgrass by anchoring outside of eelgrass beds.  Your participation in the survey is much appreciated.

    Port of Bremerton is Washington's Port of the Year

    Article by Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA)

    Congratulations to our Contributing member, the Port of Bremerton, which was recently named Washington's 2023 Port of the Year by the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA). This award is given to the public Port that has shown outstanding work in growing their local economy, improving local quality of life, and upholding the values of being a public Port. 

    “From investing in public infrastructure and facilities that grow jobs to collaborating with partners and being on the leading edge of electrification, the Port of Bremerton exemplifies the role Washington’s public ports fill for our communities and state,” said WPPA Executive Director Eric ffitch. “What they’ve accomplished is beyond impressive and has a real positive impact on our industry, the people they serve and our shared environment. We are pleased to recognize the Port of Bremerton as our 2023 Port of the Year.”

    NEW Contributing Member Sponsorship Opportunities!

    Do YOU have a referral for a potential Contributing Member?

    Support the recreational boater, and what's important to them!

    Please refer them to our Executive Director, Katie Bohocky, CAE

    Platinum Sponsor - $10,000

    • Educational Speaking Consideration
    • Exhibitor Table at Annual Member Meeting
    • Ability to Offer Discounts to RBAW Members
    • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
    • Sponsor Directory Listing on RBAW Website
    • 2 Social Media Spotlights with Information of your Choice
    • Sponsor Logo on Exhibit Booth Banner
    • Sponsor Logo on Annual Meeting Banner
    • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Member Communications
    • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

    Gold Sponsor - $5,000

    • Ability to Offer Discounts to RBAW Members
    • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
    • Sponsor Directory Listing on RBAW Website
    • 1 Social Media Spotlight with Information of your Choice
    • Sponsor Logo on Exhibit Booth Banner
    • Sponsor Logo on Annual Meeting Banner
    • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Member Communications
    • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

    Silver Sponsor - $2,500

    • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
    • Sponsor Logo on Exhibit Booth Banner
    • Sponsor Logo on Annual Meeting Banner
    • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

    Bronze Sponsor - $1,000

    • Named Sponsor & Logo on RBAW Website Home Page
    • Business Card Ad & Logo in RBAW’s Newsletter

    Click here for a .pdf of these sponsorship opportunities!

    Interested? Contact our Executive Director to purchase yours today!

    Upcoming Events!

    Membership Committee Meeting
    January 3, 2024
    | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Held by Zoom only

    Board Meeting
    January 4, 2024 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    Held by Zoom only 

    Legislative Committee Meeting
    January 15, 2024
    | 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
    Held by Zoom only

    Finance Committee Meeting
    January 16, 2024
    | 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
    Held by Zoom only

    Legislative "Boating" Day in Olympia
    January 25, 2024 – Reception at Olympia Yacht Club
    Held In Person only

    Board Meeting
    February 1, 2024 | 6:00 - 7:30 PM
    Held by Zoom and In Person

    Seattle Boat Show
    February 2 - 10, 2024 | Booth EAST 929
    Venue: Lumen Field Event Center

    Follow us on social media and join our boating community!

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