Standing Watch

Huntington Beach establishes new commission for Harbour

Southern California’s often-overlooked waterfront will finally have an oversight committee.

HUNTINGTON BEACH — It’s not quite a new Sheriff in town but Huntington Harbour will finally have a formalized oversight committee addressing day-to-day issues at one of the most overlooked boating destinations in Southern California.

The city of Huntington Beach recently voted to establish a Harbor Commission for the Huntington Harbour area. Its purpose would be advisory, with members of the commission providing advice to the City Council on infrastructure, safety, water quality and Municipal Code amendments.

Sitting on the commission would be seven members, approved by Huntington Beach’s City Council. Two council liaisons would also serve on the commission. Each commissioner’s term would last for four years; all commissioners are limited to serving two terms.

The issues commissioners would discuss and deliberate are no different than any other advisory board of its type would encounter: dredging, water use, watercraft and vessel operation, capital improvements and long-range planning.

Huntington Beach’s decision to create an advisory board to oversee the harbor area is a long time coming. Huntington Harbour is the last waterfront venue in Southern California to not have some sort of formal committee or agency advising on or governing issues affecting the waterfront. Orange County’s northernmost harbor, of course, is quite unique. Many of the slips and docks at the waterfront venue are attached to private residences. Local boaters have to navigate through a national wildlife refuge a naval weapons station en route to the open ocean.

Through it all Huntington Harbour might be closest thing to an undiscovered frontier. The Log, to be sure, rarely covers the happenings or musings of Huntington Harbour, save for the one-time cover story on watercraft/vessel safety or occasional piece on Christmas boat parades.

Perhaps the creation of a Huntington Harbour Harbor Commission means stories about Orange County’s northernmost waterfront will finally earn some steady coverage in The Log. We’ll obviously learn more about this outpost of a harbor as the commission begins to take shape in 2019, but let this news also serve as a reminder of what the other harbors in Southern California already have – a forum to air grievances, discuss policy and otherwise participate in the public process. (This is not to say Huntington Harbour boaters haven’t had a public process to participate in, though local boaters haven’t had a dedicated committee or commission dedicated to them as their counterparts up and down the Southern California coast.)

It’s quite intriguing, really, how Huntington Harbour could have went this long without a dedicated advisory board or committee to give policymakers input on what matters most to local users of the north Orange County waterfront. Huntington Harbour boaters and watercraft users will certainly have their own set of issues to address with the new harbor commission, once it’s officially formed and operational.

The broader takeaway here, of course, is the recent Huntington Beach City Council action shows a specialized committee or commission for harbor-related topics is a necessity when it comes to public process and involvement. Boaters and other watercraft users from Chula Vista to Santa Barbara now have some form of representation on the local or regional level. It’s imperative for boaters and watercraft users to actually interact with their respective committees and commissions.

There are, after all, so many issues directly affecting boaters and watercraft users, such as water quality, slip fees, navigational hazards, sea level rise, marine debris and the co-existence of boaters with kayakers and standup paddleboard users, to name a few. Some issues are the same regardless of location, others are specific to a certain marina or harbor, but the point remains the same: policymakers won’t address your needs unless you’re actively involved with the process.

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2 thoughts on “Huntington Beach establishes new commission for Harbour

  • Dee Wood

    YES! Huntington Harbour needs representation and involvement of local residents. We have an abundance of issues, including aging infrastructure and boat access through Anaheim Bay; cleanliness and storm run-off pollution. Hopefully our best and brightest will step forward to provide needed leadership!

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Standing Watch/Take Action

In this section you will find resources and supplemental information on what you can do to Take Action. Submit additional information or tips on this issue to

Below is a list of all the harbor committees and commissions in Southern California. Most of these agencies or advisory boards meet monthly. Stay in touch with them regularly and speak out about the issues affecting your harbor or marina.


Oceanside Harbor and Beaches Advisory Committee
Ted Schiafone
Twitter: @CityOfOceanside


Port of San Diego (San Diego, Coronado and Chula Vista)
Port President and CEO Randa Coniglio

Commission Chair Garry Bonelli
Oceanside Beaches and Harbors Advisory Committee


Dana Point Harbor Advisory Board
Chair James Lenthall

Supervisor Lisa Bartlett

Shannon Levin


Newport Beach Harbor Commission
Chair David Girling

Vice Chair Scott Cunningham

Assistant City Manager Carol Jacobs



Long Beach Marine Advisory Commission
Elvira Hallinan
Manager, Long Beach Marine Bureau


Tamalyn Sayre
City Staff


Port of Los Angeles
Gene Seroka, Executive Director


Redondo Beach Harbor Commission
Stephen Proud, Waterfront Director
310-318-0631, ext. 2246


Los Angeles County Department Beaches and Harbors
Michael Tripp


Ventura County Harbor Department
Director Mark Sandoval


Ventura Harbor Port District
Commissioner Everard G. Ashworth


Santa Barbara Harbor Commission
Scott Riedman
Waterfront Director/Harbormaster

Mick Kronman
Harbor Operations Manager