Environmental impacts of pleasure craft oil spills : with special reference to southern California coastal marinas
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

All these words:

For very narrow results

This exact word or phrase:

When looking for a specific result

Any of these words:

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

None of these words:

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Publication Date Range:


Document Data


Document Type:






Clear All

Query Builder

Query box

Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Environmental impacts of pleasure craft oil spills : with special reference to southern California coastal marinas

Filetype[PDF-313.52 KB]


  • Description:
    This report was prepared to answer two questions, "What are the environmental impacts of pleasure craft oil spills in Southern California coastal marinas?" and "On which pleasure craft operations should spill prevention programs be focused?" Environmental impacts were first placed in the context of socio-economic impacts. The boating industry contributes $11.0 billion to the California Gross State Product and generates 183 thousand jobs, including recreational boating and sport and commercial fishing by 876,965 registered and documented boat owners. Boating also provides important social welfare benefits of recreation and aesthetic enjoyment of time spent on the water. However, the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund expended $865 thousand to clean up pleasure craft and commercial fishing vessel oil spills in California during 1996 and 1997; in 1997, 93% of this cost was due to groundings of vessels. Private parties and state and local governments expended an additional, but unknown, amount on spill cleanup. Nationally, pleasure craft spilled less than 1% of the total volume of oil and fuel reported to the United States Coast Guard for 1993. In Southern California, pleasure craft spills accounted for 1% - 3% of the volume reported to Coast Guard Marine Safety Offices in 1996 and 1997. Diesel oil accounted for the largest volume of reported oil spills in Southern California, followed by gasoline, lubricating oil and waste oil. Primary, known causes of pleasure craft spills reported in San Diego were sinking, fueling and bilge pumping. These statistics indicate that education on safe boat handling, regular maintenance, fueling system redesign, bilge and waste oil management, and proper fueling practices would be effective in reducing spills. Bilge water pumpout facilities may provide larger boats an effective means of bilge oil management. Pleasure craft fuels and oils are relatively light-weight petroleum products that are released repeatedly in small quantities. They do not have the smothering effect of large, crude oil spills, but may accumulate in confined waters. Refined oils are generally more toxic than crude oil. The primary chemicals of environmental concern in pleasure craft oil and fuel are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH5). PAHs become adsorbed onto particles in marine water and sediment. They may cause behavioral changes, physiological and reproductive effects, reduced growth and feeding, deformity, cancers, mutations and ecological changes in marine species. Three stations in Southern California harbors are among the top 25 sites in the United States for PAH contamination. Marinas with storm drains have higher levels of PAHs and other organic compounds. It is difficult to determine the specific effects of boating activities on marine ecosystems, in part because it is difficult to separate their contributions from those of storm drains to petroleum hydrocarbon contamination of marinas and harbors. Outboard motors and atmospheric discharges of marine engines are also concerns, but were not the focus of this report. Recommendations for action include: conduct and also foster boating community leadership of environmental stewardship and pollution prevention education programs; encourage redesign of vessel fueling systems and engine spaces; promote regular maintenance and safe boat handling; establish effective oil recycling systems; encourage watershed management, spill reporting, and reduction of disincentives for reporting; encourage a uniform system of regional reports on pleasure craft spills and their causes and make annual data readily available; install bilge water pumpout stations if appropriate; and encourage focused studies on pleasure craft oil spills.
  • Sea Grant Document Number:
  • Document Type:
  • Place as Subject:
  • Rights Information:
    Public Domain
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • File Type:

Supporting Files

  • No Additional Files

More +

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at repository.library.noaa.gov

Version 3.26