Oceanside Gets State-of-the-Art Bilge Pumpout for Boaters

Los Angeles (Nov. 17, 2015) — The Bay Foundation (TBF) Boater Education Program is proud to announce the unveiling of a state-of-the-art bilge pumpout and oil-water separator in Oceanside Harbor using the latest in science and technology. This facility will directly improve ocean water quality by making safe and proper disposal of oily bilge water easy and efficient for boaters. The timing for this is especially important with the coming El Niño. As the intense El Niño rains drain into boat bilges, those bilges will need the services provided by this new facility; more rain equals more pumpouts.

The ribbon-cutting will take place Dec. 11 at 1 p.m. at the Coast Guard Building, north of the launch ramp at 1350 N. Pacific Street, Oceanside, CA 92594. Despite a large and active boating community up and down the coast, this is only the third facility in Southern California, with the other two located in Santa Barbara and Channel Islands Harbors. The Bay Foundation continues to seek support for these projects with a goal of having bilge pumpouts in every major harbor in Southern California in the coming years.

This project serves as a model for a successful and streamlined public-private process, and brings a valuable asset to the boating community who previously had no lawful option for the proper disposal of oily bilge water, other than pumping it into containers and bringing it to the harbor office.

The bilge is the lowest compartment on a vessel. Rain and wash water can collect in a bilge as well as oil, fuel, antifreeze, and other hazardous materials from the engine. This mix of water and hazardous materials can be difficult, costly, and inconvenient to properly and ethically dispose.

The danger? One pint of oil can produce a slick of approximately one acre (about 209 feet square) on the surface of water, which is harmful to marine life and can stick to everything it comes in contact with from beaches and bird feathers to boat hulls and docks.

TBF’s Boater Education Program is focused on finding tools to help boaters protect the environment as they recreate. The bilge pumpout complements the Absorbent Pad Exchange, where boaters can dispose of oil soaked absorbents and receive clean absorbents for free. The Absorbent Pad Exchange is located at the Harbor Administration Office.

For more information on the Boater Education Program, contact Victoria Gambale at vgambale@santamonicabay.org or (213) 620-2271.