Blips on the Radar: Los Angeles County seeks nearly $150,000 for copper studies

What Happened: An application for a grant to help fund a study to evaluate strategies for reducing dissolved copper concentrations in Marina del Rey was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Dec. 15.

County officials hope to collect water from Marina del Rey harbor and study its contents. The results of the study would help the county evaluate its strategies to reduce copper concentrations in the harbor and have the thousands of boats in Marina del Rey potentially covert to low-leach-rate copper paints for their respective hulls.

In 2014 the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board required an 85 percent reduction of copper levels in the harbor’s water by 2024. The board specifically identified copper-leaching boat hull paints “as the main source of dissolved copper pollution in Marina del Rey harbor,” according to county staff.

What’s On Tap: If the Board’s application is approved, Los Angeles County would receive $149,461 to fund a study to evaluate strategies for reducing copper levels in Marina del Rey as part of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program.

Orange County approves cooperative agreement to manage Newport Harbor moorings

What Happened: A cooperative agreement between Orange County and Newport Beach to manage mooring services in Newport Harbor through Dec. 31, 2020, was unanimously approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors on Dec. 15.

Jurisdiction of the harbor is divided between Newport Beach and Orange County. There are more than 1,200 moorings in Newport Harbor managed by the city and county governments.

What’s On Tap: Newport Beach will pay Orange County $1,603,781 to jointly manage mooring services in the harbor between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020. Harbor Patrol will execute the management services during the five-year cooperative agreement while Newport Beach will establish rents for moorings on city tidelands. City and county officials have the option to renew the cooperative agreement in 2020.

BoatUS panel forecasts top recreational boating issues

What Happened:
A panel of 11 boating advocates convened in mid-December to discuss the top issues impacting recreational boaters in 2016 and the near future. The national leadership panel met in Williamsburg, Virginia, to gain a better understanding of topics such as fractional boat ownership, an online fuel dock spill prevention course, life-jacket policy, alternatives to flares, boater user fees, boating safety requirement, challenges to anchoring, invasive species and uniform titling laws.

Other discussion points included the federal Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, funding for dredging projects through Water Resources Development Act and potential changes to the nation’s ethanol fuel mandate via the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Panelists included a former U.S. Power Squadron chief commander, a former Cal Boating commissioner, one-time president of Recreational Boaters of California, a U.S. Sailing director, representatives from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and many more.

What’s On Tap: Panelists will likely be advocating for making new boat ownership and rental models available to help, such as boat clubs or fractional ownership opportunities, promote boating. The panel’s membership would also look into how to manage the personal watercraft (kayaks, standup paddleboards) market and search for ways to replace pyrotechnic flares with alternative products safer for the environment.

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