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updated: 2010-07-07

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News Items

(Update on transferability, see News p. 2)

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Moorings Management Awarded To Harbor Patrol

Updated 10:30PM Tuesday, 5/11 This Tuesday, May 11th, City Council did award the mooring administration contract for Newport Harbor to the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol. Since its earlier announcement that it would recommend Bellport Group be awarded the contract, the City dug deeper into the issue of 24 hour, seven days per week service. Having 'round the clock Harbor Patrol handle the job turns out to be a larger issue than a convenience to mooring permit holders. Likely due to imminent local and homeland security needs underscored by recent human smuggling and drug smuggling activities in our local waters, the City reexamined its early decision.

Sheriff Hutchens' and Lt. Long's commitments, to work with the City to meet City service requirements as well as the needs of local boaters, shed new light on the Harbor Patrol's role in Newport Harbor. Their commitments, along with the Sheriff's offer to not immediately ramp up fees to bid level, but instead to phase in over a five year span, appear to have cured the City's reluctance to recommend the Harbor Patrol for continued mooring management in Newport Harbor.

Unanimous Decision

Staff's recommendation to City Council, to award mooring management to the Orange County Sheriff's Harbor Patrol, was unanimously approved. Although the recommendation had been placed on the consent calendar for Tuesday, May 11th's City Council meeting, Councilman Nancy Gardner asked that it be pulled for her question. After her question about the importance of 24/7 service, with no other questions or comments from council or public, mooring management was awarded to the Harbor Patrol. With letters of support for Harbor Patrol from NMA members, we stood ready to speak. But with approval pending, it proved expeditious to stand mute. Read the mooring administration (pdf - 923KB) pdf icon staff report.

Newport Harbor's significant blessing and vulnerability is its almost entirely residential waterfront character. Simply put, keeping the Sheriff's Harbor Patrol on the front lines to deal with moorings and transient boaters serves homeowner, business, and community safety and security interests. The Harbor Patrol actually comes out cheaper in the long run on the basis of numbers alone, without even factoring in the value added from the deputies' training and intel. Given the Harbor Patrol's decades of service in the harbor, law enforcement capability, knowledge of who and what belongs where, tactical intelligence and training, boaters, residents, homeowners and homeowners' associations, and businesses should share vocal support for the council decision.

The Consent Calendar – Huh?

Staff's recommendation to award mooring managment had been placed on the consent calendar for Tuesday, May 11th's City Council meeting. The item was in fact pulled from the consent calendar by Councilman Nancy Gardner. A non-boater, she did not understand the need for 24/7 service. Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller explained how the City often rents unoccupied moorings and that permit holders often happen to return from Catalina or elsewhere to find themselves in need of Harbor Patrol assistance to reclaim their mooring. The Harbor Patrol will happily relocate a visiting vessel to another open mooring, even if that visiting vessel is unoccupied. This important element complements the City's prerogative to earn rental income from unused moorings and delivers to permit holders the standard of excellent service the Harbor Patrol has offered for decades. Special thanks goes to those who wrote in support; your letters were like missiles unfired on a warplane returning home from a sortie.

Fees study/appraisal

The City has announced it is working on an RFP for a new harbor appraisal including moorings. This follows about a year after the previous $120k three-part harbor valuation study (pdf - 2.71MB) Dowload staff report icon was deemed not usable for many reasons. Letters from NMA members and statements of NMA Board members on that study can be found on the Harbor Fees page.

The NMA has been included in discussion about problems with the previous appraisal in preparation of this new RFP. The City is determined to evaluate fees promptly because of its forecasted budget deficit. For a comparison of fees in other harbors with moorings, see the 2010 Mooring Fee Survey, below.

Coastal Marina Permit

In March we told you about the Coastal Marina permit proposal by the SWRCB. The RBOC put the word out that marina operators and yacht clubs needed to write the SWRCB immediately on this proposal. Since the RBOC Call to Arms the SWRCB has come to the negotiating table with the people who run the Clean Marinas program. This voluntary program is a public–private partnership of marina operators who foster Best Management Practices in marinas statewide. The SWRCB is considering whether the Clean Marinas program can implement enough of its requirements, through voluntary compliance, to obviate the requirement of Coastal Marina permits.

Randy Short, president of Almar Marinas, called the Coastal Marinas Permit the biggest threat to the marina industry in 20 years. The RBOC opinion is that the current reprieve from the SWRCB, while it’s investigating the Clean Marinas initiative, warrants immediate laying–down of pens; so please, no more letters until further advised!

2010 Mooring Fee Survey

The NMA has updated the NMA mooring fee survey (best version for printing – pdf – 819KB pdf icon) for harbors in southern California. Or read the mooring fees survey in web page format with clickable links. It shows what harbors elsewhere in California charge for a mooring permit. It also includes berth fees, liveaboards, and transferability. For comparison, see the 2008 mooring fees study (Word doc--50KB ) (or view as webpage).

Harbor Resources Department
829 Harbor Island Dr., Newport Beach, CA

949) 644-3034, fax (949) 723-0589

Do you need to reach Harbor Resources?
Email Harbor Resources with your input.

NMA Newsletters

Your eyes are now reading lines of the NMA Electric Pennant, our online newsletter, available only online. It has a hardcopy cousin, NMA Pennant, mailed to all dues-paid NMA members, and is the official newsletter of the Newport Mooring Association. After members receive it via postal mail, recent and past editions are available on the Newsletters page.

Mooring Loan Permission Form

Need to loan a mooring to a friend? Here is the form you fill out, print, sign, and send to the Harbor Department.

Annual Meeting

The NMA annual meeting at the American Legion Hall on Monday, May 3rd drew about 100 members eager to catch up on issues from mooring administration and the Coastal Marinas permits to the mooring administration redraft, dinghy dock exensions, and transferability. Presentations from Bill Moses, Carter Ford, Lt. Mark Long, Harbor Resources Director Chris Miller, and Harbor Commmissioner Karen Rhyne brought everyone up to date. The smart few who stayed for the most reasonably priced dinner on the bay out back had the best time!

NMA Board Meeting

The Board of Directors meets monthly to review projects and conduct business. Mooring permit holders are welcome to attend. The date and time of the next board meeting is:


Mooring Appraisal Critique

The Newport Mooring Association has received, from an MAI-designated independent appraiser, a critique of the City's appraisal of Newport Harbor moorings. Specifically, it addresses the direct comparison of yacht club moorings to individually permitted moorings with no adjustments. We suspected that such a comparison was not valid, but what does a professional have to say about this? Read the appraiser's critique (pdf--320 KB)pdf icon.

Harbor Patrol News

The Sheriff's Department has named a new Orange County Harbormaster, Lt. Mark Long. According to this story in The Log, he looks forward to building community support and developing relationships with the community of harbor users. We'll go farther working together. Congratulations, Lt. Long!

With the reassignment of Deputy Joel Monroe, a new mooring master has been named; he is Deputy Carlos Contreras. We understand he has hands-on mooring knowledge, as he is a permit holder himself!

Harbor Resources News

Manager Chris Miller presents the Harbor Commission with an update on projects and issues each month. Here is a link to his April 2010 Update (pdf--1.55 MB) pdf icon. Click here to find other updates on the Harbor Resources site.

News from Newport Beach

What's going on in Newport Beach? Click to info about (derelict) boat auctions. When the news feeds below are working, the blue boxes will contain City and harbor news. Click any headline to open that story in a new window. If the blue box is empty, the feed is broken or has no news. Some browsers may still click to open the RSS feed button news feed direct from the City of Newport Beach.

City of Newport Beach Live RSS Feed

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CERT volunteers needed

Source: News RSS Feed - City of Newport Beach
Published: 6 Jul 2010 | 12:00 am PDT

Mayor's Mid Year Update

Source: News RSS Feed - City of Newport Beach
Published: 2 Jul 2010 | 10:30 am PDT

Refuse Collection Reminder

Source: News RSS Feed - City of Newport Beach
Published: 21 Jun 2010 | 12:00 am PDT

July Is Smart Irrigation Month

Source: News RSS Feed - City of Newport Beach
Published: 17 Jun 2010 | 12:00 am PDT

Building Department

Source: City of Newport Beach News
Published: 16 Jun 2010 | 9:08 am PDT

Disaster Preparedness Training

Source: News RSS Feed - City of Newport Beach
Published: 15 Jun 2010 | 12:00 am PDT

Building Department Staff Meeting

Source: City of Newport Beach News
Published: 9 Jun 2010 | 8:51 am PDT

Building Department

Source: City of Newport Beach News
Published: 1 Jun 2010 | 12:22 pm PDT

Building Department Staff Meeting

Source: City of Newport Beach News
Published: 26 May 2010 | 9:24 am PDT

Building Department

Source: City of Newport Beach News
Published: 19 May 2010 | 8:41 am PDT

Building Department Staff Meeting

Source: City of Newport Beach News
Published: 12 May 2010 | 8:09 am PDT

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boxes show news filed to within the last hour

Here's harbor and moorings news from Google News, and other sources, to within the last hour.

Newport Harbor Live RSS News Feed

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Field set for upcoming Governor's Cup - Daily Pilot

Two teams from Newport Harbor Yacht Club and one from Balboa YC among international field. Newport Harbor Yacht Club member Chris Segerblom, ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 5 Jul 2010 | 7:51 pm PDT

Waves up to 15 feet hit the Wedge - OCRegister photographer John Salanoa reported that the Wedge - just north of the Newport Harbor jetty - was still showing in the 10-to-15 foot range. ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 5 Jul 2010 | 11:19 am PDT

Fourth Festivities on the Water: Boat Parade and Fireworks

By Capt. Mike Whitehead


Happy Birthday America on this Fourth of July!

I will be celebrating the Fourth in Lahaina at the Kaanapali Beach Club for a week.  Almost immediately after my radio show tomorrow, I will head to the John Wayne Airport to catch a flight to Maui…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 2 Jul 2010 | 7:53 am PDT

SCHS surfers lead at NSSA Nationals - OCRegister

San Clemente High has 81 points to 68 for the next-closest school, Newport Harbor. Finals are Saturday at Huntington Beach Pier. ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 2 Jul 2010 | 5:49 am PDT

Mooring fees could go up - Daily Pilot

The fee to rent a slip overnight in Newport Harbor is $5, which hasn't changed in at least 20 years, city officials said. Other harbors in California charge ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 30 Jun 2010 | 7:48 pm PDT

Legal administrators take Newport Harbor sunset cruise - OCRegister

As the sun set over the harbor, legal administrators from about 20 Orange County law firms enjoyed food, refreshment and beautiful scenic views of Newport ...OCRegister (blog)…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 30 Jun 2010 | 1:18 pm PDT

Discover Catalina just offshore - Daily Pilot

Santa Catalina Island was made nationally famous after a 1958 song, but SoCal residents can explore it after a mere 26-mile sea voyage from Newport Harbor. ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 29 Jun 2010 | 7:18 pm PDT

Predicting the Weather, and Part 2 of the Island Tour

By Capt. Mike Whitehead


I am receiving a lot of positive feedback about my weekly boater’s weather and sea conditions predictions.  Many of you mentioned that you do not know where to find a boating forecast, as almost no weather reports include the sea conditions, and when they do…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 28 Jun 2010 | 12:29 pm PDT

OCC Course Prepares Boaters for Catalina Anchoring - The Log Newspaper

NEWPORT BEACH — Experienced boaters understand that a quick getaway to Catalina Island takes a little planning, since moorings tend to fill up fast during ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 25 Jun 2010 | 2:09 pm PDT

New public docks offer more space, short-time use - Daily Pilot

The big news is these new docks will offer a lot more room for people trying to get out to their mooring or to the people who are harbor cruising and want a ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 24 Jun 2010 | 9:06 pm PDT

A ‘Three-Hour Tour’ of the History and Islands of Newport Harbor, Part 1

By Capt. Mike Whitehead


Boaters set their waypoint to 33° 35.100 N and 117° 52.600 W, where they will locate a red and white vertically striped floating mid-channel bell buoy directly in front of a man-made rock jetty entrance.  The buoy is locally known as the sea lion buoy,…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 18 Jun 2010 | 7:12 am PDT

Sea Lions Don’t Get Everyone’s Seal of Approval

By Capt. Mike Whitehead


Summertime is on the fringe of my radar screen and that means throngs of locals and tourists will be enjoying the harbor, but they are not alone.  Many people forget that our harbor is active with the native pinniped population that has been causing some…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 14 Jun 2010 | 9:14 am PDT

New Company Attempts to 'Wrangle' Sea Lions from Boats - The Log Newspaper

NEWPORT BEACH — A third sea lion deterrent service has launched in the harbor, adding to the number of businesses that offer protection to keep moored ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 10 Jun 2010 | 4:47 pm PDT

Clean Marinas Program May Replace Proposed Coastal Marinas Permit - The Log Newspaper

If the permit plan is adopted, it would require marinas along the coast with 10 or more slips and/or moorings to obtain a permit and enforce a variety of ...…

Source:: NMA Newport Harbor News
Published: 10 Jun 2010 | 4:47 pm PDT

Docking at the Newport Indy

By Capt. Mike Whitehead


I want to welcome you aboard my weekly Harbor column in the new Newport Beach Independent,  a newspaper for locals written by locals. 

Some of you may remember me as the host of the Boathouse TV Show that began on Newport’s local cable and then…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 4 Jun 2010 | 7:14 am PDT

NAC – Best Kept Secret in Town

By Len Bose

Billy Whitford, exective director of the Newport Aquatic Center

This past Wednesday, I went down to the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) to meet with Billy Whitford, the executive director of the NAC, to talk about our harbor's best kept secret. We talked…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 27 May 2010 | 1:24 pm PDT

No Excuses

By Len Bose

A shot of the bay on Taco Tuesdays.

There are many reasons how lucky I was when I met my wife Jennifer. Her understanding for my passion to go sailing is rarely questioned by a roll of her eyes when I remind…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 20 May 2010 | 6:15 pm PDT

Little things make big things happen

By Len Bose

What a week in the harbor we just had! Opening Day at BYC & BCYC, the “old” No. 8 channel marker ”Newport Ramming Rod” has been removed, the sheriff's department will continue managing the moorings and Newport Beach…

Source:: On the Waterfront
Published: 13 May 2010 | 11:00 am PDT

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Jiggling Jellyfish

There are fewer moon jellyfish around than earlier in the summer. Have you seen them? Did you know that NASA took some of them into outer space for study?

You may find your answer in our list of FAQs.

We always appreciate your continuing support and valued opinions.

Plastic in the Bay

Fish, birds, and marine mammals are innocent victims when it comes to plastic in the water. Plastic in the bay is just a tide change away from being plastic in the ocean. Please pick some up; help it find a trash can.  green badgeLearn more from the people at SCCWRP.  Algalita tells us there is six pounds of plastic floating in the central North Pacific Ocean for every pound of surface zooplankton. Fish, birds, and marine mammals mistake it for food. Scientists performing necropsies on deceased Laysan albatross at Midway Atoll have found so much indigestible plastic in the birds' stomachs there is no room for food. This NMA website is certified powered by 100% wind energy; we're doing what we can to minimize our impact on the environment.

Slippery Sea Lions

If you need to rethink your sea lion deterrents, please see the NMA Pinniped Pointers page in the NMA documents library. This year sea lions are "loving" the area south of Lido Isle, "F," "H," & "J" fields, and private piers in this area. Your continuing effort to keep sea lions off of your boat helps all of us. Sea lions have sunk about ten boats in Newport Harbor, recently including a 1950's Star Wikipedia icon boat.

At the February Harbor Commission meeting, a shortened time frame for notification of permit holders of sea lion problems was approved. Formerly a permit holder had 10 days to effect sea lion deterrents; now the permit holder has just seven days (pdf--40KB) pdf icon from the first warning letter.

Find previous copies of the News page in Ye Olde News Archive.

About us -

The Newport Mooring Association is responsible for promoting the business and personal interests of mooring permittees and persons holding property, real or personal, adjacent or attached to, residing on, or anchored to tidelands or public property in, upon, or adjacent to Newport Harbor, as those interests relate to the use of the bay area.

Newport Mooring Association
P.O. Box 1118
Newport Beach, CA 92659-0118

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