SUP Alliance Board members Paul Sampedro and Kristin Thomas, presented on behalf of Standup Paddle Alliance at the California Department of Boating and Waterways and Aquatic Center Director’s Conference held in Dana Point Harbor at the OC Sailing & Events Center on October 16, 2012.
The 35 conference participants were boating directors from public access boating educational centers throughout the state, which includes colleges, municipal and non-profit boating centers that provide on-the-water programs for enhancing boating safety education. Most of the boating centers represented currently provide (or are planning to provide) educational SUP programs and SUP rentals to the general public. Paul and Kristin were able to reinforce SUP safety and the pillars of the alliance to individuals who will spread the information to their constituents throughout California.
Standup Paddle Alliance would like to thank everyone for their support in helping us rally the SUP and outrigger communities in support of the Save Baby Coalition. As the picture above depicts, Baby Beach in Dana Point Harbor is how it will remain with out the proposed docks.
The Save Baby Beach Coalition was founded in 2011 to protect and ensure Baby Beach at Dana Point Harbor remain free of any encroaching development as proposed by the original Dana Point Harbor’s environmental impact report (EIR) which as planned was going to severely block public access to the basin in front of Baby Beach and negatively affect the overall environment and use of the area. With the help of over 750 individual citizens, Standup Paddle Alliance and many other groups and friends, volunteers worked, signed petitions, extended outreach through social media, provided detailed information to the local communities and clearly communicated our specific grievance with the plan and recommendations to the county. Our goal was to ensure that any future plans for Dana Point Harbor improvement protected key areas for the public, bathers, boaters, paddle sports and the areas they use from adverse development.
In response to both oral and written comments, the county revised the EIR and removed the plans to expand docks in and around Baby Beach and lessens the impact to the educational basin. This effort worked to reduce all significant and avoidable impacts to a level of insignificance and achieve all our goals to mitigate the concerns of the public. County and harbor officials also claimed that the coalition would be involved in discussing and potentially influencing any design alternatives that may be considered as the project moves to a design phase. We believe that the good faith efforts to recognize the broader communities’ concerns was heard and look forward to having the county continue to work with the coalition and the public at large as the county moves from concept, design to development. Given the response and assurances by the county, we are confident that the revised design in the SEIR eliminates the adverse impact at Baby Beach area that was originally proposed. We look forward to working with members of the coalition, its partner organizations and county employees by working collaborative and addressing the communities concerns of the public throughout the OC Dana Point Harbor improvement project.
The coalition wishes to thank everyone who made this possible!
Awhile back I put a post on Facebook trying to rally some interest to get locals together and attend an open house that Dana Point Harbor was putting on. The reason I posted it was to try and point out what they are planning to do at Baby Beach. Unfortunately the commission decided not to show any of the drawings of the proposed Baby Beach dock expansion but a least we had a chance to engage them in some conversation about the proposed expansion. The conversation consisted mostly with them trying to reassure us that the expansion was going to be very minimal.
In any case those of us that use Baby Beach to launch any kind of water craft have a cause to be concerned. One of the reasons we formed the Alliance was to help out with issues such as these and now we have one in our own back yard that is very close to being approved if we do not act soon. Diane Wenzel had an expert on this issue come to a resent board meeting for the Dana Point Aquatic Foundation and he enlightened us on the process and how far they were down the track on this thing. The key point we all took away from this meeting was “we are late getting involved but it’s not too late yet”.
Above you will see an image of the proposed dock expansion at Baby Beach. When you look at this drawing please notice how far the docks extend into the existing launch area, the number of proposed slips and the new location of the pump out station. We will keep you all informed as to our next step in addressing this issue. If you would like to help stop the encroachment of Baby Beach please contact us.
Standup Paddle Alliance
CA (Western United States)