Buoys marking proposed boundary were placed
If you prefer, click to the latest realignment update down the page.
Over the last several years, the Harbor Commission has approved updated boundaries for all of the harbor’s mooring fields; the new boundaries substantially reflect the way we have used our harbor for decades. An area which was proposed set slightly differently than it has been is being tested on-the-water before sending the proposals onward toward eventual updating of the Newport Harbor nautical chart 18754.
The Mooring Master Plan Subcommittee (MMPSC) of the Harbor Commission placed buoys along the proposed south boundary of "H" & "J" mooring fields. The buoys are deployed so boaters may experience the proposed boundaries on the water. Buoys are also placed at the E end of "H" field to represent the E end of planned mooring relocations from the unworkably overcrowded interior of "H" field. Specific boats to be moved have not been identified at this stage. The Log ran a story about this on Sept. 18, 2008.
In the current test of the approved “H” and “J” field boundaries, some neighbors voiced objection over the proposed boundary at the E end of “H” field and its SE corner. While the Harbor Commission originally approved this proposal (minutes of 14 Feb 2007) because it strikes a reasonable balance of the needs of all users, a few residents recently voiced opposition and asked that the approved boundary be reconsidered. The Mooring Master Plan Subcommittee and the Harbor Commission will be considering this input and trying to resolve the situation to maximize everyone’s use of the harbor.
The buoys now deployed for a second test will be discussed at upcoming MMPSC and Harbor Commission meetings. If you would like to share your feedback on the test, please contact Chris Miller at Harbor Resources.
At the October 15, 2008 Harbor Commission meeting, this "H" field mooring issue was the first item on the agenda. the Harbor Commission heard a balance of input from mooring permit holders and other tidelands users and evaluated the staff report. The Harbor Commission elected to approved "Option 2" but deleted the request that the southeast corner of "H" forever remain clear of moorings. Commissioner Lawrenz pointed out that the tidelands are public waters, over which, in his opinion, the Harbor Commission, could not make such sweeping reservations which favor one interest group over another.
As of March 2009, the proposed mooring field boundary "corner point" coordinates are in the process of being plotted with the help of the City of Newport Beach GIS department, working from the scaled electronic drawings approved by the Harbor Commission following several years of research, work, and public outreach, efforts in which NMA members contributed. The coordinates, in the datum and format requested, in tabular form, will be presented to the USCG and to NOAA, and the proposed boundaries will be plotted onto nautical chart 18754 for Newport Harbor for their use as well. The CFR's will need to be updated and likely Local Notice to Mariners issued to inform of the updates.
It appears that zero moorings will be lost in the process of boundary realignment. Fewer than ten moorings will require eventual relocation to other fields, while a number of moorings will need varying degrees of re-positioning within their respective fields. Mooring repositioning, and identifying exactly which moorings to move, is still many months away. No target dates can be established until the boundary realignments have received formal agency approvals.
Currently (Winter/Spring 2010) the realignment is undergoing USCG evaluation. The evaluation begun at the local USCG district office has been advanced to the Alameda, CA office.
Next steps in the project will be updated here, as the project makes its way on to NOAA, supervised by Harbor Resources Supervisor Shannon Levin.