Newport Harbor Foundation Raises $550K to ‘Take Our Harbor Back’

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Dennis Durgan

The Newport Harbor Foundation announced that it has raised over $275,000 at its kick-off luncheon at the Balboa Bay Resort earlier this month.

More than 175 community leaders, harbor residents and elected officials joined in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Duffy Electric Boat. NHF Chairman Dennis Durgan also announced a $1 million-dollar anonymous matching gift bringing total funds raised to over $550,000 at the event.

“The Foundation’s successful kick-off affirms our mission to ‘Take Our Harbor Back’ from the multiple government agencies that now control it,” said Dugan. “Over the past 60 years we’ve let the harbor’s control slip through our fingers. The Orange County Sheriff patrols the harbor when Newport’s police and fire departments should. The City of Newport Beach’s police, fire, and harbormaster should have sole jurisdiction over these functions. The County controls lucrative tideland leases. After decades of benign neglect, it’s time for us to properly manage our harbor.”

Guests enjoyed the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Duffy Electric Boat.  Newport Beach councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield built the first Duffy Electric Boat as a sixteen-year-old growing up on Newport Harbor. Over the past half-century Duffy has built and delivered 30,000 Duffy Boats throughout the world. He is recognized as the largest electric boat manufacturer in the world.

“Today I was touched by the community’s outpouring of financial support for my family business and Newport Harbor – the heart of our city.  Now the hard work of ‘Taking Back Our Harbor’ begins,” stated Councilman Duffield.

The Newport Harbor Foundation’s mission is to “Take Back Our Harbor” from the multiple government agencies that now control it. The 501 C3 non-profit Foundation was formed in 2019 by a group of concerned Newport harbor residents.

Duffy Duffield

According to material received from the Newport Harbor Foundation, the County Sheriff patrols the harbor when Newport’s police and fire departments should. The County controls lucrative tideland leases. After decades of benign-neglect, it’s time to properly manage our Harbor. This begins with creating our own Harbor Public Safety Department. The Foundation will purchase a fire boat and four patrol boats to jump start the Newport Harbor Public Safety Department. This is the first step to “Take Back Our Harbor.”

The Harbor is one of Orange County’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a thriving economy that is home to over 1,000 businesses that employ nearly 10,000 workers. Charter cruises, ferry services, shipyards, fueling facilities, sailing, fishing, as well as retail stores and hotels generate $1 billion in annual economic activity across the nation. Improving the Harbor’s ecosystem is one of our primary missions. Without constant dredging and proper management, our Harbor will deteriorate over time. Working with the city, the Newport Harbor Foundation will provide the resources to improve our treasured asset for future generations.

Visit https://newportharborfoundation.org for more information.

When he was sixteen years old Marshall “Duffy” Duffield” placed the motor from a secondhand golf cart into the hull of a beat-up motorboat. In 1970 at nineteen years old he incorporated the Duffield Electric Boat Company and launched the first the Duffy boat. With over 30,000 sold worldwide the Duffy boat is recognized as the finest electric-powered watercraft available. The original Duffy Boat (1967) was on display at the luncheon.

Visit https://duffyboats.com/history-50-years for more information.

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