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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

New Newport Beach Harbor Master prepares for busy summer

NEWPORT BEACH, California. The city of Newport Beach has used Paul Blank as its latest harness, just in time for the busy summer season.

On average, more than 6.9 million visitors visit Newport’s beaches, bay and recreational port annually.

Before the weekend of Memorial Day, Blank managed to work and work with the Newport Beach Police Department to coordinate efforts should any emergencies arise during the holidays.

” A big priority if I take on this role is a better connection between the port department and the Newport beach police and lifeguard departments, ” Blank told The Epoch Times.

“We are excited to welcome everyone to Newport Harbor, and are prepared and ready for the busy summer months ahead.”

Epoch Times Photo
Newport Beach Harbaas Paul Blank

Before becoming a boss, he served two four-year terms at the city’s port commission until it ended in 2020. The commission advises the city council on policies and programs for Newport Harbor.

As a heart boss, Blank will manage the day-to-day operations of the port division and oversee a staff of one full-time employee and 17 part-time employees. The staff of the harbor department serve as ‘ambassadors’ of Newport Harbor and provide instruction and assistance to residents, visiting boaters and the general public.

The port division also coordinates between resource agencies, regulatory agencies and private organizations, as well as civic associations and coordination with other city resources such as public works and community development.

Blank will be at the forefront of approving, conditional approving or rejecting applications related to the uses and activities for which a permit must be issued.

The department also conducts regular inspections of public and private facilities and structures on or across the waterways of the port or ocean, as well as other waters where the tide in the city decreases and flows.

The department also coordinates the use of anchorages and moorings and manages, among other things, the responsibility for the city’s guest harbor at Marina Park.

In the harbor, there are constantly concerned youths jumping off bridges like the Lido and 38th Street bridges. In the past few weeks, enforcement personnel have written about 10 quotes and warned jumpers about the dangers, encouraging them to have fun in other parts of the harbor and beaches.

“We do not want to kill all their pleasure,” Blank said. “The kids we quoted knew they should not jump and were very respectful of our officers who in turn encouraged them to keep having fun – not to climb and jump off our bridges. . “

Another concern that the department will address is the abundance of unlicensed businesses around the port that led in part to the closure of the pandemic. From unlicensed electric boat rides to sport fishing excursions, Blank will lead a renewed enforcement effort that will mitigate congestion, unwanted noise and address safety issues.

Blank replaces former boss Kurt Borsting, who held the post for almost two and a half years before retiring in March. He is the third predecessor to be appointed in the three years since the post in 2017.

A majority of the waterways that make up Newport Harbor are considered timelines and are owned by the state of California. In 1978, state legislators allocated the largest tidal lands to the city, acting on behalf of the state as ‘landlords’, to enforce state rules such as the introduction of rental rates for slips and moorings.

Newport Harbor is one of the best small boat harbors in the country and houses more than 9,000 recreational and commercial vessels, as well as a vibrant ecological reserve.

The Back Bay Ecological Reserve, located in Upper Newport Bay, consists of nearly 800 acres and is one of the few remaining estuaries (where fresh and salt water meet) in Southern California. The reserve houses about 200 species of birds and other wildlife.

According to Visit Newport Beach, the port is an important part of the economic structure of the city, resulting in annual revenues of nearly $ 12 million.

Blank, a longtime resident of Newport Beach, is a skilled boatman who has served in leadership positions at the Balboa Yacht Club, Corona del Mar Residents Association and Catalina Island Conservancy.


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