BlipsNews Briefs

Blips on the Radar: Oceanside accepts grant funding for sewage pumpout station

What Happened: Oceanside City Council voted to direct the Harbor Board of Directors to accept a $19,200 grant from the state’s Division of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating) to pay for the replacement of a boat sewage pumpout station at the Coast Guard dock. The pumpout station at the Coast Guard dock is about 10 years old.

“Because of the harsh environment and constant use, while the current pumpout is currently operational, it has deteriorated to the point that future repairs will exceed 50 percent of the cost of a new unit,” city staff stated.

Oceanside’s Harbor Division applied for the Cal Boating grant in 2014; the grant was approved in August 2015.

What’s On Tap: Cal Boating requires the new pumpout equipment to be installed by March 1. Oceanside must maintain the new pumpout station for at least seven years from when the grant was accepted.

City staff estimates the new pumpout station will cost $25,600; the remaining $6,400 will be covered by city funds.

Newport Beach City Council adopts Harbor Commission objectives

What Happened: The Newport Beach City Council unanimously adopted the Harbor Commission’s 2016 goals and objectives on Jan. 12. Commissioners spent the final quarter of 2015 drafting its goals and objectives for this year and brought the proposal to council members during their first meeting of 2016.

“These objectives are intended to support the mission of the Harbor Area Management Plan and the two most essential responsibilities of the Harbor Commission,” said David Girling, the commission’s chair.

The commission’s two responsibilities, Girling added, are to ensure Newport Harbor’s long-term welfare and promote the harbor as a preferred and welcoming destination.

What’s On Tap: The commission’s goals and objectives for 2016 include: preserving water-dependent commercial activities; creating an exemption to the harbor’s speed limit for sanctioned sailing events; establishing a shared vision of charter boat standards; supporting the city’s eelgrass mitigation plans; helping Harbor Patrol address the derelict vessels issue; evaluating public moorages and alternatives; investigating new launch ramp possibilities; advocating for completion of the Central Avenue Public Pier; and publishing an updated version of “The Complete Cruising Guide to Newport Harbor.”

City completes emergency sand maintenance work at Grand Canal

What Happened:
Emergency sand maintenance work at Balboa Island’s Grand Canal was completed and the city’s contract with Metro Builders and Engineers Group has been closed, according to a Newport Beach City Council on Jan. 12. The final cost of completion was $282,680. Council members awarded the contract in September 2015 to restock and re-profile sand embankments along the Grand Canal’s east and west seawalls.

“Given the age of the existing seawalls, the unknown deterioration of the tieback systems and the expected El Niño winter storms, staff determined that immediate emergency work was necessary to protect life and property through the restoration of sand … to maintain seawall stability,” city staff stated.

Work was officially completed Oct. 30, 2015, according to city staff.

What’s On Tap: City staff submitted a permit application to the California Coastal Commission to dredge the center portion of the Grand Canal.

Gemini to be lifted, removed from Newport Harbor

What Happened: Gemini, the sunken Shellmaker scow in Newport Harbor, will be lifted from its mooring space and taken to the Port of Los Angeles to be scrapped, according to Newport Beach Harbor Resources Department. The Harbor Patrol collaborated with Newport Beach’s Public Works Department and Harbor Commission to work with Shellmaker to find a way to lift the company’s scow from the harbor floor, where it had been since July 2013. Gemini’s owners did not have insurance on the scow when it sank.

Shellmaker hoped the scow would be a serviceable barge for Newport Bay’s boaters and used for dredging projects.

Associated Pacific Constructors agreed to lift the scow from the harbor floor and transport it to the Port of Los Angeles. Shellmaker, in exchange, agreed to transfer two moorings, including the one where Gemini is currently located, to Associated Pacific Constructors.

What’s On Tap: Associated Pacific Constructors will likely start work in mid-February. The scow would be lifted, cut into pieces, transported to the Port of Los Angeles, and recycled.

“We have a concrete path forward that will work. There is no more guesswork,” said Newport Beach Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller. “Shellmaker has been part of the solution.”

Los Angeles County seeks grant funds for Marina del Rey TMDL program

What Happened: The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors approved a grant application on Jan. 19 to help pay for Marina del Rey’s copper reduction program. A Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) was approved for Marina del Rey in 2014 and requires the venue to reduce by 85 percent the amount of copper content entering local waters from boat hull paints.

What’s On Tap:
County officials are seeking $400,000 from the California State Water Resources Control Board to help Marina del Rey meet its TMDL goal by 2024. Funding would specifically help the county pay the $3,000 to $5,000 per boat lift required to reduce copper levels from each vessel. The total program budget estimate is $534,476. About $118,000 will be provided by the Department of Beaches and Harbors; The Bay Foundation is expected to chip in $16,117.

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