Commission Considers Shade by Mariners Park Bleachers

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Fishing Line Disposal Also Considered for Balboa Pier

The bleachers and field currently at Mariners Park.
— Photos courtesy city of Newport Beach

The Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission will review a request from the Newport Harbor Baseball Association on Tuesday to install two permanent shade structures over spectator bleachers at Mariners Park Field.

The youth baseball nonprofit believes the shade structures will enhance the fan experience and be comparable to the shade enjoyed by the PONY baseball league that plays at Bonita Canyon, Association Jared Eisenberg wrote in a letter to city staff.

“We are excited for the shade project at Mariners Park to not only support the Newport Harbor Pony Youth Baseball league but the entire community,” Eisenberg wrote in a prepared statement. “This project will elevate the experience for families while enjoying watching their young athletes play baseball in a positive fun environment.”

The structures would include a 20-foot by 12-foot polyethylene fabric canopy fastened to a 10-foot-tall steel structure, according to a staff report.

The Association has agreed to foot the bill for the procurement, installation, storage, and repairs of the permanent shade structures, including related damage to park property, according to a staff report. It was not immediately clear Thursday how much the project will cost.

On Tuesday, the PB&R will also discuss a proposal from Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker Whale Watching & Sportfishing to sponsor, construct, and maintain at least five microfilament fishing line recycling containers on the Balboa Pier for at least three years.

The program’s goal is to keep wildlife, beaches, and piers clean and safe from improperly disposed of fishing line. Fishing line isn’t biodegradable and can remain in the environment for over 600 years, Davey’s Locker marine education programs manager Jessica Roame wrote in a letter to city staff.

“It can entangle and kill wildlife, and cause boat damage,” Roame wrote. “Even when we dispose the line in trash bins, it still goes into the landfill which creates the same hazards for wildlife, unless it’s cut into smaller pieces. One solution to this problem is to have recycling containers available to fishermen to properly discard their used line.”

The proposal is to erect at least five, 3-foot-tall by 6-inch-wide fishing line containers, along with signage, at approved fishing locations on the Balboa Pier. City employees will install the containers and volunteers will check the containers weekly for recycling content and inspect monthly for long-term maintenance.

Signage on the containers would contain Davey’s Locker and Newport Landing Logos and potentially the official city seal. Roame’s contact information would also be displayed for public comments and questions.

Microfilament discarded in the Balboa Pier’s containers will be collected and shipped to the Berkley Conservation Institute for recycling. The Institute was developed by fishing tackle manufacturer Pure Fishing, Inc. to support conservation and angler recruitment efforts, according to its website.

The California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean and Green program, and the BoatUS Foundation have already placed containers at many locations throughout the state.

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