The use of copper based coatings to prevent biological growth has been widely practiced in the past. However, leaching of the copper has increased the concentrations in harbours/marinas and affecting marine life and the environment. It is therefore timely to develop a sustainable method in which no copper is added to the sea. Herein, we are proposing the use of cross linked polyethylene mine (PEI) coated on conducting carbon cloth as a copper adsorbing material and electrochemically triggered release of copper. Our approach is to use copper-binding polymers to capture the copper naturally present in the sea, and release it upon an electric stimulus, creating a biocidal copper flux across the coating–water interface. This would form a never-ending cycle of copper uptake and release.