Blips on the Radar: Newport Beach, UCI partner for Marina Park boating program

What Happened: Newport Beach’s City Council approved a partnership agreement with the University of California, Irvine to operate a year-round boating program at the new Marina Park.

UCI has partnered with Newport Beach since 2009 to manage a summer boating program. The program focuses on boating education, recreation and safety.

“The Recreation & Senior Services Department and the University share a common mission and set of values in providing quality programs and accessibility to boating for all abilities through excellent customer service, creativity and innovation, with an emphasis on fun and learning through recreation programs,” according to a staff report. . “From this continued community partnership the expansive program will be offered year-round with the highest of standards for education in boating.”

City staff stated the UCI-Newport Beach summer boating program yielded $38,570 in revenues for Fiscal Year 2015; reported expenditures for the same fiscal year totaled $28,928.

What’s On Tap: The summer boating program will become a year-round event and provide lessons on boating safety, education and recreation.

“Programs will include classes in the areas of sailing, stand up paddling and kayaking. Annual program revenues are forecasted to grow to $400,000,” city staff stated, adding the partnership will face between $260,000 and $300,000 in expenses.

UCI will be responsible for expenses.

Marina Park is scheduled to open in December.

Coastal Commission tables discussion of Linda Isle dock project

What Happened: The California Coastal Commission postponed a discussion on an application to remove 896 square feet of private dock and replace it with an 884-square-foot dock made of composite material. Commissioners were scheduled to discuss the dock removal and replacement as part of its regular calendar on Sept. 9.

Coastal Commission staff recommended commissioners approve the proposed plan but stated in a report the size of the new concrete dock could pose certain problems.

“The proposed dock has not been designed to the minimum required standards found in the city of Newport Beach Harbor Resources Division Harbor Design Criteria Guidelines and Standards that would result in less water coverage while still being able to provide for a usable dock system,” city staff said. “As a result of a larger dock structure, there would be cumulative impacts to biological productivity of coastal waters resulting from increased water coverage, increased shading of soft bottom habitat, habitat displacement and decreases in foraging habitat for sight foraging marine birds.”

Original plans reportedly included a pier platform but were apparently altered when the project would impact nearby eelgrass.

What’s On Tap: Commissioners will reconsider the Linda Isle dock project at a later date.

Port of San Diego commemorates former South Bay Power Plant with public art

What Happened: The Port of San Diego officially commemorated the site of the former South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista with a formal dedication of a 25-foot high public art monument on Sept. 10.

Michael Leaf, a Chula Vista artist, memorialized the South Bay Power Plant, which operated on the local waterfront for more than 50 years, by building a 165-foot artistic monument with goods salvaged from the demolished factory. The South Bay Plant was decommissioned in 2010 and imploded three years later.

Leaf’s memorial is called “Powering the Arts;” it is located at the southwest corner of Chula Vista Bayfront Park.

What’s On Tap: “Powering the Arts” is expected to be a part of the larger Bayfront Master Plan, where city officials hope to revitalize Chula Vista’s waterfront with a new hotel, open space and residences.

County approves lease transfer for Marina del Rey Hilton Garden Inn

What Happened: The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved on Sept. 1 a lease transfer for a 134-room and nine bungalow hotel at Admiralty Way and Palawan Way in Marina del Rey. A leasehold interest for Hilton Garden Inn will transfer from IWF Marina Int. to Chatham MDR for $45,050,000.

Hilton Garden Inn was completed in 2014 and is adjacent to Marina del Rey Harbor’s Basin E, which is home to two yacht clubs and a sportfishing company.

The leasehold transfer was considered in the best interest of the entire marina, as Chatham MDR was considered the best option available to ensure a hotel remains in operation at Admiralty and Palawan ways until the county lease expires in 2067.

What’s On Tap: Chatham MDR will assume responsibility for the hotel’s leasehold. Visiting boaters will continue to have Hilton Garden Inn as an option to check-in and stay.

Avalon receives SAVE grant

What Happened: Avalon’s City Council approved receipt of a $32,400 state grant to help fund the Harbor Patrol’s efforts of disposing abandoned vessels from the city’s navigable waters.

Cal Boating awarded Avalon the grant as part of its Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (SAVE) program. Avalon applied for the grant funding in July and was notified of the award on Sept. 2.

What’s On Tap: Avalon will provide a 10 percent match of the grant. Harbor Patrol staff will use the grant funding to cover the costs of disposing any abandoned vessels found in Avalon Harbor.

Shellmaker continues its efforts to remove scow from bay

What Happened: A representative from Shellmaker addressed the Newport Beach Harbor Commission on Sept. 8 to update its efforts to break up and remove its barge, Gemini, from the bay.

The company expects to continue its attempt to remove the barge from the bay through October. Shellmaker has already invested tens of thousands of dollars in attempting to lift and remove the barge.

Gemini became submerged in July 2013; the barge’s owners did not have insurance on Gemini when she sank. State grants for derelict boats are not available to bring Gemini up to the water’s surface; the scow is a commercial vessel and the state’s grants are only available to recreational boaters. According to city staff, everything was stripped from the scow before it became fully submerged; only the shell of the barge is underwater.

What’s On Tap: No substantive updates were provided at the Sept. 8 meeting, according to Harbor Commission staff. Shellmaker will reportedly continue breaking Gemini down into pieces and moving them out of the harbor through October.

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