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MAKE THE MARINE FLARE SWITCH

Through leadership, policy, and pilot programs, CPSC has been at the forefront of marine flare recovery projects and policy development in California. These projects expand circular systems with reduced-cost burden on local government and ratepayers through producer engagement and green design. Since 2019 CPSC has been working on marine flare pilot projects, starting with the HD 31 Huntington Beach grant. Following increasing success over the years, CPSC has conducted more marine flare collection events and handed out more reusable electronic marine flares than any other entity. We are eager to launch this necessary campaign, the first in the nation, so California can continue to lead in marine flare stewardship. 

To protect California communities and environments, CPSC has partnered with multiple federal, state, and local jurisdictions. The collaborations with the California State Parks and Coastal Commission’s California Boating Clean & Green Program, and CalRecycle, alongside special district Delta Diablo, the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, and the West Contra Costa County Integrated Waste Management Authority (RecycleMore), Alameda County, Marin County, the City of Oceanside, the Port of Los Angeles, have allowed CPSC to further our educational efforts across California. Thanks to our combined endeavors, collection of expired marine flares and education on safe marine flare management, including the advantages of reusable distress signals, have never been higher.

For more information, email: info@calpsc.org

In Collaboration With

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WHAT ARE MARINE FLARES? 

Marine flares are visual distress signals used to summon help on boats in the event of danger. They are required by the U.S. Coast Guard for boats operating on coastal water, the Great Lakes, territorial seas, and waters directly connected to them. The U.S. Coast Guard requires that boats always carry three visual distress signals. The flares must be approved for both day and night use or have three for day use and three for night use. The flares must not be expired and must be easily accessible.

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THE PROBLEM

Single-use pyrotechnic marine flares expire and must be replaced approximately every 42 months. Due to their classification as hazardous waste, however, proper disposal of these flares is restricted and extremely expensive as they must be transported as explosives. The difficulty in disposing of them means boaters often discard their flares in improper ways. Flares are often stored past expiration, tossed in regular garbage, or even thrown into our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Pyrotechnic marine flares contain many toxic chemicals, including perchlorate, that can leech into our drinking water and damage our environment when they are improperly thrown away. Currently in many counties in California, there are no safe disposal options for single-use marine flares. View the webinar and graphics below to learn how you can properly dispose of your single-use flares and reusable alternatives.  

THE MARINE FLARE SOLUTION

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In absence of permanent collection options, CPSC has partnered with special district Delta Diablo, the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, and the West Contra Costa County Integrated Waste Management Authority (RecycleMore), Alameda County, Marin County, the City of Oceanside, the Port of Los Angeles, CalRecycle, and California State Parks and Coastal Commission’s California Boating Clean & Green Program. The coalition behind these events urge residents to stay alert for future collection events and consider switching to reusable electronic visual distress signal devices (eVDSDs). These devices are not only reusable, but they are also safe to use, and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Thus far, over 2 million pyrotechnic marine flares have been kept out of the environment due to increased use of eVDSDs. To learn more about eVDSDs from the vendor, watch the Sirius Signal eVDSD demonstration video at https://bit.ly/eVDSDdemo

2024 COLLECTION EVENTS

Follow us on social media @marineflareswitch and join the listserv to get updates about the 2024 collection events. 

Use the 1-800-CLEANUP number or Earth911 website (http://search.earth911.com/) if your jurisdiction does not maintain its own 24- hour hotline.

DISCOUNTS ON eVDSDs 

CPSC has partnered with Sirius Signal to provide boaters with a discount on eVDSDs. 

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Residents of Del Norte, East Contra Costa, West Contra Costa, San Mateo County, and the City of Oceanside can get a special discount on reusable eVDSDs by Sirius Signal. See if your jurisdiction has a discount code by viewing the map below. 

TheProblem
TheSolution
What is a marine flare?

INFORMATION ON MARINE FLARE PILOT PROJECTS IN CALIFORNIA

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CPSC has partnered with Alameda County, special district Delta Diablo, the Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority, the West Contra Costa County Integrated Waste Management Authority (RecycleMore), and Marin County, alongside the City of Oceanside, the Port of Los Angeles, CalRecycle, and the California State Parks & Coastal Commission’s California Boating Clean and Green Program to collect expired marine flares. In addition to collection, this collaboration continues to educate residents about marine flare management safety. This includes the advantages of reusable distress signals, to protect communities and local environment.

Recreational boaters in grant areas can take their expired marine flares to the collection events at their local Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility during special events. Only expired marine flares from residential boaters will be accepted. Flares from commercial crafts or any organizations, nor any other HHW materials, will be accepted during these special collection events.

 

Check out the videos below to learn more about the hazards of pyrotechnic marine flares and the benefits of switching to reusable eVDSDs. 

Policy

POLICY AND ADVOCACY FOR RESIDENTS AND THEIR COMMUNITIES

CPSC is working to find sustainable policy solutions to handle marine flare disposal. Much of this conversation focuses on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR is a strategy which places shared responsibility for end-of-life product management on producers, rather than consumers, alongside all other entities involved in the product chain. This strategy also encourages better product design or redesign that mitigates negative impacts on human health and the environment. Alongside EPR solutions, CPSC is working to phase out single use pyrotechnic marine flares, get state government sponsors, coordinate collection, and provide grants.

 

The goal with EPR and sustainably based policy solutions is to ultimately save local government and garbage rate payers money, while reducing fire and health risks. CPSC is working with local governments on ordinances to address these problem products, and will continue to do so as we explore all policy solutions. Contact us at info@cpsc.org for more information. 

Senator Blakespear introduced SB 1066: The Marine Flare Producer Responsibility Act, on February 12, 2024, which would establish a first-of-its-kind EPR program for pyrotechnic marine flares in the State of California. The bill would create a program that would require producers to marine flares to fund and operate a convenient collection system to manage expired or unwanted pyrotechnic marine flares. Join the listserv or follow @marineflareswitch on Instagram and Facebook for regular updates on SB 1066 (Blakespear) and other marine flare legislation.

JOIN THE CPSC MARINE FLARE LISTSEV
 

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Marine Flare Press

MARINE FLARE PRESS AND MEDIA