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 Dana Point Boaters Association
Catching Up...
DP Councilman Bill Brough
OC CEO Mike Giancola
California Coastal Commission
Orange County Grand Jury
Boaters Liaison Program Update
Thank You
Mission Statement
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 August 17th, 2013

Sorry you haven't heard much from us lately.  We've been really busy with Dana Point Boater Association activities as well as family commitments that seem to come up about this time every year.  Oh yeah, there are those full-time "side jobs" too (aka our real jobs <grin>) that your DPBA leadership team members somehow manage to attend to, in addition to the time we devote to protecting our beautiful harbor.   


Seriously, below is a rundown on several projects in the pipe now.  As always, we want to hear back from you.  Please don't hesitate to email us whenever you find appropriate. 



Rodger Beard, President

The Dana Point Boaters Association.

PS, we've recently updated the DPBA website with our latest one page historical perspective, the timeline for Dana Point Harbor Revitalization.  Click here to view.

Dana Point City Councilman Bill Brough
Let's start with a mention of the meeting three weeks ago with Dana Point Councilman Bill Brough, who is now running for the 73rd State Assembly seat.  Before our meeting in the harbor, Bill was not aware of the complexities involved with Harbor revitalization, seen from a recreational boaters' perspective, but he listened closely to what two Dana Point Boaters Association Board members had to say on this subject.  While Bill is not a boater himself, he is a very much a local obviously, and we believe he left us with a fuller appreciation of the multifaceted recreational uses of our harbor, especially recreational boating.  We suggest that Bill is the obvious best choice to represent Dana Point boater interests in Sacramento.
Orange County CEO Mike Giancola
Two weeks ago, your Board of Directors met for well over an hour with new Orange County CEO Mike Giancola at his office in Santa Ana.  We soon discovered that Mike as in depth knowledge of the harbor.  It turns out he and his family lived in San Clemente until quite recently and they've been a regular recreational visitors over the years.  Beyond this, Mike actually worked in the harbor early in his career as an OC Parks staff member.  

Hence Mike already gets the importance of the harbor beyond its uses as a commercial center. So to start off, we explained the history of Harbor and from a recreational boater perspective.  In particular, we contrasted the objectives of boater families versus commercial development interests.  We focused on the early years of redevelopment planning process, from 2001 to 2006, where many, since corrected planning errors were made.  A couple of examples we discussed were that until DPBA was formed and the boater community became fully aware and vocal, there were proposals advocated by Santa Ana to eliminate 1140 in-water slips for boats 30' and under, as well as to build a massive waters-edge convention center to replace the existing Marina Inn.  This would have been included lots of meeting rooms, a multiple story parking garage, a resort swimming pool, several restaurants and tennis courts.  The scheme then was that this would be possible because the associated dedicated boater parking would not be needed were those 1140 slips eliminated.

There was no question that Mike understood and fully appreciated our point of view.

On the subject of the significant reduction in dry boat storage ahead, if plans were to go ahead without further mitigation, Mike had an idea that we left our meeting really excited about.  As many locals know, there is a large, ex-landfill site becoming available off Ortega Highway and Mike asked if it might do duty as a boat storage facility.  We quickly agreed, pointing out that there is already a critical shortage of space available in the South County for both boat and R/V storage.  This shortage will only get worse with the start of the harbor reconstruction project (400 boats must leave the Embarcadero while the boat barn is being built) and the planned conversion of the huge El Toro facility to other Great Park related uses.

Need we add that with the massive revenue shortfall Santa Ana faces these days, this initiative makes even more sense?  After all, preparation costs would be nominal versus other alternatives (as limited as these alternatives might be) and the net revenue would be both significant and relatively immediate.  

The good news here is that Mike committed to look into this further.  We are pleased and impressed, and will of course be following up. 

Note that this initiative would not eliminate the need for the still proposed off site recreational boating storage facility adjacent to the San Juan Creek channel, on property owned by the South Coast Water District.  We continue to work with SCWD and others on this matter and anticipate it will happen, in some form yet to be determined.  Note that harbor reconstruction cannot proceed until this arrangement is finalized.  Sadly though, others in Santa Ana have so far not chosen to be supportive, or even interested at this point.

California Coastal Commission
Friday afternoon two DPBA board members participated in an hour and a half stakeholder discussion hosted by OC Dana Point Harbor (OC DPH) at the Sailing and Events Center.  The purpose was to solicit feedback on a draft of the baseline study report required by the California Coastal Commission as stipulation of their approval of the revised Dana Point Harbor Local Coastal Program (LCP).  The specific objective of the report is to establish the legal and permitted baseline counts for the number of slips, dry boat storage spaces and parking for boaters and other uses.  The Coastal Commission deemed this appropriate as the LCP itself calls out the adjustments relative to these numbers that are authorized during reconstruction. 

We will scan and post our copy of the draft report on our website soon, which by-the-way we obtained after the meeting by purchase through the County's new Public Information Request process, just as soon as we can.  But first there's a 18" x 11" chart that we need to deal with.

Speaking in general terms here, based on a quick read at the start of the meeting, as well as lengthy discussion, the report seems comprehensive, unbiased and it apparently is accurate.  We will need to do more study before reaching a final conclusion however.

During stakeholder discussion we made two requests:
  1. Review the list of legal and permitted changes within the report versus the detailed report that your Dana Point Boaters Association submitted to OC DPH, the City of Dana Point and the Coastal Commission some five years ago on this same subject.  For some reason the DPBA report has been overlooked despite the many, many long workdays DPBA team members spent in Long Beach combing the Coastal Commission archives doing the research necessary to prepare it.
  2. While we are not aware, at least pending feedback from other boaters, of any changes in the layout of slips since 2003, the year for which the last harbor flyover photos are available, we requested that Google or Bing Maps be consulted and verbiage be added to the report based on these additional references.  Thereby to assure outsiders that the 2003 data referenced within the report is still accurate some 10 years later.
We wish to acknowledge and recognize this effort on OC DPH's part to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the Coastal Commission's directive.  We think the final version of this report will also serve a historical purpose. and as such should be made widely available to the general public.

Upcoming Meeting with Orange County Grand Jury
While we cannot discuss the scope or even the specific agenda, as frankly we don't know yet, but we wanted to advise our membership that have been invited to sit down with the OC Grand Jury to discuss Dana Point Harbor Revitalization.
A face-to-face meeting is scheduled late next week in Santa Ana.  We have of course accepted this invitation which followed a their voice mail and a brief conference call last week. 

When we have something more to report (and are allowed to do so) we will of course do this.  If you have any thoughts as to subject matter as well as suggestions or advice, please do touch base with us by email at
Boaters Liaison Program Update
As you may aware, your boaters' association has established a Boater Liaison Program (BLP) in cooperation with OC Dana Point Harbor whereby boaters and others can have us take issues and opportunities for improvement before OC DPH, their operational managers and the Dana Point Harbor Patrol to discuss workable solutions.  A major benefit is that the BLP program allows boaters can go on record personally or remain anonymous as they see fit. 

In July we sat down to discuss the first group of BLP submissions.  Click here to see an graphical overview of who has participated so far. 

We'll be sitting down again with the stakeholders on October 17th and will of course keep you posted when this meeting occurs.  Because we have a little more time, we're extending the deadline for submissions to September 30th.  So if you still would like to participate this round there's still time. 

This program has become a genuine instrument of change within the harbor, and we're sure you'll agree that any opportunity for refinement and/or improvement in Dana Point Harbor should be addressed. 

Besides, submitting a BLP is really quick and easy to do.  Click here while you're thinking about and spend less than 5 minutes on behalf of your fellow boaters as well as other recreational users of Dana Point Harbor.

Thank You
At the Dana Point Boaters Association, our mission is to advocate for the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating.  We strive to improve the family-friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented activities we all enjoy in our harbor.  As Dana Point boater advocates, our strength comes from your support and participation.  We are proud of the achievements we've made together on behalf of our boating community, and we won't give up.  But we can't do it without you.  If you haven't already, please become a DPBA member.  Join here
Questions should be directed by email to (  Or call us at (949) 485-5656 and leave a voice mail and we'll get back to you soon.
Dana Point Boaters Association
P.O. Box 461
Dana Point, CA  92629
Mission Statement:
The Dana Point Boaters Association advocates the preservation, enhancement, and expansion of affordable recreational boating resources.  We work to improve the family friendly atmosphere and breadth of water-oriented actives we all enjoy in the harbor.  We serve as the watchdog by ethically protecting the rights of all boaters and representing them when collective action is most effective.  We actively gather information and communicate our views to educate boaters, external interests, and public officials.  We build and maintain constructive, working relationships to achieve common goals with other harbor stakeholders.  We will pass on our harbor to the next generation of recreational boaters in better condition than it is today.