Boatyards and marine pollution
The hypothesis that the water samples obtained from the boatyard will have the highest level of copper content has been proven to be true.
One of the sources of marine pollution in our oceans is the shipbuilding and repair industry. Although the industry helps support the local economy and provides jobs for people who live nearby, it poses a lot of environmental problems due to the discharge of antifouling paint and other chemicals pollutants. Discharge of heavy metal wastes into the sea will eventually end up in our food chain as copper is known to harm marine life, and may lead to poisoning of our seafood suppliesn.
The science fair project may be repeated by collecting water samples from other locations, such as ship ports or beaches along busy shipping routes.
The experiment may also be modified to test for other pollutants such as oil or organic chemicals.
Pressure washing overview - http://www.mass.gov/czm/marinas/pressurewashing/pw_info.htm
Marine pollution - http://courses.ma.org/classes/oceanography/swong/home.html
Small shipyards and boatyards in Oregon - http://www.pprc.org/pubs/shipyard/oregon/rt_rept.html
Be careful when gathering water samples at the boatyard. Adult supervision required.