Marine Servicenter, a boatyard near the Anacortes Marina, has been fined $30,000 for allowing polluted stormwater to reach Fidalgo Bay.
The state Department of Ecology, which issued the fine Tuesday, is also requiring the company to install a stormwater treatment system.
The problem, according to Ecology, is that work such as the sanding of boat hulls has allowed copper and zinc to accumulate at the facility and then get carried into Fidalgo Bay with stormwater.
Copper and zinc can harm endangered chinook salmon and other marine life found in Fidalgo Bay. According to Ecology, copper can confuse salmon, making young fish susceptible to predators and adults unable to find their home rivers for spawning. Zinc can kill the fish.
“Marine life is very vulnerable to these pollutants,” Heather Bartlett, manager of Ecology’s Water Quality Program, said in a news release. “Other boatyards successfully prevent this sort of pollution with stormwater treatment and we expect no less of this facility.”
Because paints that protect boat hulls from barnacles and algae contain copper and zinc, stormwater treatment is needed at many boatyards.
The $30,000 fine will go to the state’s Coastal Protection Fund, which is used to pay of grants for water quality projects.