DP Boater Liaison Program Reports on Local Issues

Byline: Ambrosia Brody

DP Boater Liaison Program Reports on Local Issues

DANA POINT — The Dana Point Boaters Association (DPBA) Boater Liaison Program — a new initiative that provides Dana Point Harbor boaters a forum to ask questions of public officials and agencies, make suggestions and share their views — has garnered much response from the harbor community, and the association is currently preparing a report on multiple topics submitted by the public. That report, with combined responses from DPBA and OC Dana Point Harbor, will be released later this month.

“We reviewed every submission, then organized the submissions into specific topics, then selected which topics to bring to harbor management for discussion,” said James Lenthall, vice president of DPBA. “We presented 16 issues for their consideration, and then met with all parties to discuss each item in detail.”

According to Lenthall, DPBA board members presented the association’s position on the topics raised, and harbor management offered their responses. “On some issues we were on the same page, or very close to it,” he explained.  “Some issues required negotiation and compromise.”

On those one to two issues in which there was no movement, DPBA asked OC Dana Point Harbor officials to fully articulate their position, so that boaters could better understand it.

“In coordination with harbor management, we are now preparing a report with our combined responses,” Lenthall said.             Although the group is not yet ready to share details of the report, boaters can expect news on the Harbor Revitalization Plan, Harbor Department budget management, parking issues, boat slip waiting list management, Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol rules enforcement, and Embarcadero dry boat storage policies.

“We are working with them, as we would any member of the public, to address issues, questions and recommendations,” said OC Dana Point Harbor director Brad Gross. “They provided about a dozen questions varying between recommendations on how to improve our recycling program to wait list management, parking gates, additional boater amenities, dry boat storage and the revitalization project progress.”

Gross also pointed out that “contrary to popular misconception, there is one department that all harbor users can reach out to for all their questions,” which is OC Dana Point Harbor. The department can be reached by calling (949) 923-2236, or boaters can use the county’s online reporting tool at ocgov.com/howdoi/report/.

Details of the DPBA Boater Liaison Program report will be provided to boaters and on the DPBA website: danapointboaters.org.

The Boater Liaison Program was launched with the intent of improving boater satisfaction and advocacy in the harbor, according to DPBA. The program is designed to give boaters a forum, where they can get their opinions and concerns heard by the various entities that manage and oversee operations of the harbor.

Boaters submit a question, suggestion or issue of concern via the association’s website, and then DBPA board members will take those concerns and ideas to the appropriate agencies for their consideration and response. The board will then communicate that response to the submitter.

“We have been very pleased by the quality and thoughtfulness of the issues raised by our boaters (and other harbor users) through our Boater Liaison Program,” Lenthall said. “They have clearly demonstrated their interest and engagement in their harbor.

“We’ve also been encouraged by the cooperation and consideration that the Dana Point Harbor Department staff — including their contracted marina operators and Harbor Patrol — have given to this program,” Lenthall added. “We can report that they truly took this process seriously.”

To submit a request, visit danapointboaters.org and click on the Boater Liaison Submission Form. Boaters will then be required to provide their contact information, which agency they want the board to raise the issue with, and a description of the issue.

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