The Port of San Diego is offering new financial incentives, designed to encourage boat owners who moor at Shelter Island to switch to eco-friendly hull paints.

Grants will finance up to 75 percent of the cost to apply the new paints. An existing program offers cost offset for the removal of potentially harmful copper hull paint, according to a port district statement.

Boat owners can now choose one of two options, including one allowing cost offset for stripping existing copper hull paint and for applying a non-biocide hull paint. The original rate of $6.30 per square foot for paint removal remains in place, and the program will now cover 75 percent of the replacement paint’s costs.

The second option gives boaters a 60 percent cost offset for applying one of the newer non-biocide hull paints with a specialized sealing primer that eliminates the need to strip the existing paint. Karen Holman, the port district’s environmental programs manager, said new options were offered following concerns among boat owners about up-front costs for paint replacement.

Funding from a state program is limited to boat owners within the Shelter Island yacht basin, and available through June 30, 2014. More information is at

Copper-based hull paints prevent organisms from attaching to boat hulls, but copper leaching into bays has been found harmful to marine life, port officials said.