Santa Barbara Harbor announces slip lottery list, plans for El Niño

SANTA BARBARA — El Niño, marina redevelopment and a slip lottery list were among the many items up for discussion at the Santa Barbara Harbor Commission’s Nov. 19 meeting.

Marina One Replacement Project

Bellingham Industries will begin work on Phase 6 of an eight-phase redevelopment of Marina One beginning Jan. 4, 2016. Fingers H and I are included in the sixth phase; concrete docks, electrical system, dock boxes, power centers, and domestic and fire water systems will be upgraded, according to harbor staff.

Waterfront Facilities Manager Karl Treiberg said main tasks of the Phase 6 rebuild include demolition of H finger and installation of a new dock and utilities. Treiberg anticipates the sixth phase, including vessel relocation, will be completed within six weeks.

“We’ve made it through five phases so far. In all five phases there wasn’t a single day that was very bad with respect to storms,” Treiberg said. “We had some storms but nothing like what we’re expecting this year. We’ll have to work hard to accommodate transient boaters.”

The Phase 6 bid amount was $1,496,702, according to Treiberg. The project is funded by a Cal Boating loan.

Slip Lottery List

Harbor Commission Chair Bill Spicer pulled tickets from a cylinder to fill 50 slots on the slip lottery list; those names qualified as candidates to fill one of the 38 boat slips available in Santa Barbara Harbor. The Waterfront Department received 237 requests to participate in the slip lottery.

“This is not a lottery drawing for a slip permit in Santa Barbara Harbor,” said Harbor Operations Manager Mick Kronman.

The selected names were ranked in order of when their respective ticket was pulled from the lottery cylinder. Those selected were granted the right of first refusal of 38 available boat slips in Santa Barbara harbor. 

Boat slips revert to city control once vacated.

El Niño Preparations

Santa Barbara’s Waterfront Department is preparing for predicted El Niño storms. The department announced plans to combine existing protocols, proposed protections, storm cleanups and notifications to minimize impact from the storms.

“I think everyone’s seen in the news just about every night the predictions of a rough winter ahead of us, based upon El Niño,” Treiberg told commissioners, adding the sea surface temperature off the Santa Barbara coast is about 5 to 10 degrees warmer than normal. “El Niño frequently, but not always, correlates with powerful winter storms in Southern California. Everybody hopes this is going to be the drought buster. It’s prudent to take some extra precautions … with the expectation there will be some big storms.”

Treiberg explained to commissioners how El Niño would likely impact Santa Barbara’s waterfront.

“The waterfront’s biggest vulnerability isn’t so much from heavy rain falls and creek and river runoff. [The biggest issue is] the coincidence of large waves and high tides,” Treiberg said.

Preparations include installing emergency generators at the harbor and Stearns Wharf, constructing a sand berm on waterfront property, placing concrete highway barricades (K-rails) to prevent flooding and providing sandbags for local businesses. City officials also plan to clean up debris after each storm passes. Waterfront staff plans to use the Reverse 9-1-1 system during intense storms.

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