By Len Bose
There's lots going on in the harbor in the upcoming weeks, along with a few topics on which we all need to stay aware of.
It's always good when a plan comes together and shows proven results. Harbor Resoures has received a grant from the state referred to as the Vessel Turn in Program or (VTIP).
This allows recreational boat owners to surrender to the city their unwanted boats for demolition.
Twenty boats have been removed from our harbor over the last year using the VTIP grant. I watched an old Islander 30 sailboat being towed by the reaper, a commercial mooring barge, last week, and it's kind of sad because I can remember when Islander 30s were new.
Our harbor is becoming more attractive every day with the removal of these unwanted boats.
The Harbor Commission will recommend to the City Council a trial run for a secondary anchorage in the turning basin in front of Lido Village, or what I refer to as next to Z Mark.
The trial could start as early as the Memorial Day weekend and run through Labor Day. Special attention will be given to the amount of activity the anchorage draws, along with the noise level.
Do we need a second anchorage? Yes, we do. This trial is good for the harbor, and I look forward to reporting this summer's findings.
While we are near Lido Village, next to the Elks Lodge, the city is making plans for a guest dock at the end of Central Avenue. It just so happens that the Newport Harbor Yacht Club membership is deciding whether to build a new clubhouse and, as part of that agreement made with the Coastal Commission, NHYC is to provide more public access to the harbor by building this new public dock.
Should membership vote not to build a new clubhouse, the city is making funds available to build the dock anyway. The concept for the dock would be for small boats and dinghies providing access, from the water, to Lido Village, and the conceptual walkway that could wrap around Lido Village to Mariners Mile.
By now most of you have heard that the Adrell properties were sold earlier this year. The investment group that purchased the properties has purchased much of Mariners Mile.
Will anything happen soon? I would guess not, although I can tell you what my gut is feeling.
My greatest fear is we will have a continuation of similar structures like the Balboa Bay Club extending down the mile resembling Marina del Rey. This could lead to further noise restrictions on the harbor, particularly from increased waterfront residences.
This has to be paid attention to.
I wish that more of our harbor's powers that be would address the old-style channel markers and do something with these obstacles to navigation.
You might recall the old No. 8 channel marker and how a larger vessel ran into and crushed it in half. You also might recall how long it took, with the Coast Guard, to remove this old marker and replace it with a much smaller floating buoy marker.
Just before the boat parade last Christmas, a larger boat rammed into the No. 11 channel marker and broke it in half. The Coast Guard quickly replaced the channel marker with a new floating buoy.
The concern is that the old channel maker, mostly obscured under water, is still in place.
Why do we still have these old-style channel markers in the harbor? And do we have to wait for a larger vessel to crush these markers before we have to replace them and let a year pass before we remove the old pilings?
What many of you might not know is how many smaller vessels run into these old markers and how much damage the markers make.
The new RPG 54 and Newport Beach Eelgrass Mitigation Plan has been in place now for a couple of months, and the good news is that people are now starting to inquire about dredging their slips. Forty residents have picked up information packets on how to start the dredging process.
The concern is how many people will actually be able to get a dredge in front of their slips. One of the big parts to this puzzle is where you place the sand if you do not have beach in front of your house. Without a beach, one has to place the sand on a barge and take it out to a dumping area.
This can be cost-prohibitive. The question now is how to find ways to more effectively remove and dispose of sand.