Newport Beach City Council members approved updated regulations for Title 17, or the Harbor Code, at their Feb. 11 meeting.
The changes are aimed at improving water quality, safety, and shared public access to City-owned docks, among other changes, city Public Information Manager John Pope explained in a Feb. 13 press release.
The recommendations were developed by a subcommittee of the city’s Harbor Commission with extensive input from the public, city staff and other members of the Commission.
“The Harbor Commission led a very inclusive process, with great suggestions coming from the recreational boating community, commercial harbor operators and local residents,” Harbormaster Kurt Borsting said in a prepared statement. “This level of public participation sharpened the recommendations, and hopefully will result in higher community buy-in as we all work together to protect and improve Newport Beach’s crown jewel.”
Under the new Harbor Code, the Harbor Department will now inspect vessels for proper marine sanitation systems and require dye table testing to guard against illegal waste dumping in Harbor waters, Pope explained.
Other updates address permitted lengths of off-shore moorings and increase public notifications on proposed development projects. The Harbor Department will also play a greater role in assisting boat owners with the humane deterrent of sea lions.
The revisions also help clarify the Harbor Department’s evolving role after its first two years in operation, Borsting said.
“Our primary mission is to be stewards and ambassadors of this amazing Harbor,” Borsting said. “This update will help us educate the Newport Beach boating community and visiting boaters on how to best achieve that shared goal.”