Port of LA offers grants to replace old motors in small boats

The port of Los Angeles is best known for its freight, but it also has about a dozen marinas.
The port of Los Angeles is best known for its freight, but it also has about a dozen marinas.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

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Owners of small boats at the Port of Los Angeles could qualify for a grant to replace their old motors.  

The Port’s Marina Engine Exchange Program will pay 75 percent or up to $2,000 to replace an old high-polluting boat motor with a new one that meets current California emissions standards.  

So far, the program has spent $50,000 on replacing motors in about 30 sailboats and dinghies. It now has the funding to replace 30 more. 

Port spokesman Phillip Sanfield said that being near a boat with an old motor can be "kind of like being behind a diesel bus, on [a] smaller scale." 

He said while the port is known for its cargo, it also has about a dozen marinas where 3,000 owners keep their boats. Sixty out of 3,000 boats may not sound like much, but Sanfield says every little bit helps the port’s ambitious effort to reduce pollution.

"This is an attempt to help the boat owners with very small recreational boats here at the Port of Los Angeles," Sanfield said.  

Here are the details from the port on who qualifies for the grant and how to apply: 

In order to qualify, an applicant’s boat must have an operational, two-stroke outboard motor no greater than 10 horsepower and be located in a Port of Los Angeles marina. Upon engine replacement, the boat must remain in a Port of Los Angeles marina for at least one year.

For more information or to obtain an application form, email the Marina Engine Exchange Program at engineexchange@portla.org or call (310) 732-0312. Deadline to apply is July 31, 2013 – or until available funds have been distributed.