RBOC Call to Action - May 9 & 10 Newport Beach Copper Workshops

RBOC is urging Orange County boaters to attend one or both public workshops on Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10 in Newport Beach and to provide comments to prevent new copper reduction programs that will mandate boat paint conversions, hull cleaning best management practices, hull cleaning certification programs and education programs.

Key Points for Boater Public Comments:

No toxicity has ever been found to be associated with copper in the last 8 years in Lower Newport Bay. The City engaged in studies to measure the presence of toxicity associated with elevated copper concentrations.

Significant management actions taken by the State that will lower dissolved copper in the Bay. The Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) adopted new regulations that began July 1, 2018 and will be in full effect by July 2020.

The new regulations put limits on copper concentrations in anti-fouling paints that are expected to reduce dissolved copper concentrations by 30% after about five years as boats convert to the new copper paints over time.

 Copper sources outside the bay are expected to be reduced through the brake pad initiative.

In 2010, SB 346 was adopted, and required the reformulation of brake pads to reduce their copper content which is believed to contribute about 50% of the copper in urban runoff. That reduction in copper loading from the watershed is expected to be effective within the next five years.

The regional board needs to work with the state to develop paint formulations that provide the needed anti-fouling while meeting standards, in the event that the copper concentrations in the State approved paints create an environmental concern. Boat paints are regulated by the state. The City, County or other agencies do not control the decision of an individual boat owner in the selection of legal copper based paints. The State has invested significantly in the two copper reduction initiatives mentioned above.

Boaters urge the regional board to postpone the basin plan amendment and to have the State examine the effectiveness of the current reduction efforts over the next five years prior to requiring further actions that may not be necessary.

May 9, 2019

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Marina Park Community Center – Event Room, 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, CA 92663

May 10, 2019

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Newport Beach Central Library – Friends Room, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92660

Unable to attend \ Want to Ensure Your Comments are Received?

Email them to the regional board: to Linda Candelaria, PhD at RB8.CuTMDL@Waterboards.ca.gov

Links to References:

Details on the May 9 and 10 workshops

City of Newport Beach Fact Sheet

RBOC August 2018 public comments

Register Today for the March 6 California Boating Congress

Please join on March 6 for the 4th annual "California Boating Congress" that is being co-hosted by RBOC and a number of boating industry associations.

This event is where the marine industry and boating community come to Sacramento to advocate on issues affecting this important part of our State’s economy and culture.

There will be industry and government leaders speaking in the morning and participants will have the chance to meet with their Legislators in the afternoon. Don't miss this opportunity to chart the future of boating policy in California.

For the schedule, additional details and to register, go to www.calboatingcongress.com or contact Mariann Timms at 209.334.0661 or email at timms@marina.org.

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Register Today for the 3rd Annual California Boating Congress February 27-28

For more information, and to register, visit www.calboatingcongress.com or contact Mariann Timms at 209-334-0061.

For the third year in a row, the California Boating Congress [CBC] will bring the marine industry and boating community together at the California State Capital to advocate for issues affecting this important part of our state’s economy and culture, and chart the future of boating policy in California.

This year’s Congress will kick off Tuesday evening, February 27th, with a cocktail reception for attendees at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento, 1209 L. Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, with the main event commencing Wednesday, February 28th at the Hyatt Regency at 8:30 AM.

Robert Newsome, Vice President of Engineering Standards, Membership & Marketing for the National Marine Manufacturers Association will be the keynote speaker, and will provide an important overview of the economic and recreational impact of boating in California.

Breakout sessions focused on specific boating issues will follow the morning coffee break, giving attendees an opportunity to find out more about topics of interest. These morning sessions will cover a variety of topics, including the flood of current and pending regulations, the State Lands Commission’s programs to remove abandoned vessels, proposed changes at the Boating & Waterways Commission, the new California Vessel Operators requirements, and other important industry and recreational advocacy programs.

Lunch will be served at the Hyatt, and then attendees will proceed to the State Capital for meetings with individual legislative representatives throughout the afternoon. Opportunities to meet with state representatives will be scheduled by organizers, and early registrants will get priority for scheduling with their State Legislators, so mark your calendar for February 27 – 28, 2018, and register EARLY!

This important public event is the result of collaboration between the MRA and eleven other boating related groups, including the Worldwide Boaters Safety Group, California Yacht Brokers Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference, Personal Watercraft Industry Association, California Sportfishing League, California Delta Chambers & Visitors Bureau, Recreational Boaters of California, Bay Planning Coalition, Sacramento Valley Marine Association, and California Association of Harbor Masters & Port Captains.

"Based on the success of the last two California Boating Congresses, and the participation of three additional co-hosts for this year’s event, we are expecting the 2018 CBC, and our voice at the Capital, to grow substantially,” said Mariann Timms, MRA Operations Administrator.

For more information, and to register, visit www.calboatingcongress.com or contact Mariann Timms at 209-334-0061.

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Save the Date - 3rd Annual California Boating Congress

RBOC encourages California boaters to save the date for the 3rd Annual ‘California Boating Congress’ set for February 27 - 28, 2018 at California State Capital.

The 2016 CBC set the bar, and last year’s California Boating Congress proved the value of communication between boaters, the marine industry, and California state legislators and regulators .

RBOC is a proud co-host of this event.

For the offiical press release: click here

For the Save the Date postrcard: click here

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RBOC Urges All Boaters to Speak Up Now for Cal Boating

RBOC is urging boaters to contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation [State Parks] and urge it to ensure that implementation of a Transformation Team’s recommendations do not diminish the leadership, transparency and accountability of the Division of Boating and Waterways [DBW]. 

It is critical that State Parks hear directly from boaters. The state’s 4 million recreational boating enthusiasts, the tens of millions of fuel tax and registration fee dollars we pay to the state each year, and the several billion dollar impact the boating community has in the state’s economy, deserve a policy leader with the stature and authority of the current Deputy Director, managing a division with effective and efficient programs and services that provide value to the recreational boating public.  This structure, with authority, accountability and transparency, is critical.

  1. Email - To send an email directly to State Parks: click here.  Please take action as soon as possible, and not later than September 1.

  2. Attend - To state your position in-person, attend one of the open houses that State Parks will be holding in Sacramento and San Diego.  

    1. Monday, August 15, from 6 to 9 pm, at the Resources Building Auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. 

    2. Thursday, August 25, from 6 to 9 pm, at the San Diego City Hall Chambers, 202 C Street, 12th Floor, San Diego CA 92101.

Parks Director Lisa Mangat will be talking about Parks transformation and organizational structure, especially as it relates to Boating and Waterways.  DBW is  inviting boaters to come listen, ask questions, and share our thoughts.

More on this Issue

One of the recommendations of a State Parks Transformation Team is to “fully integrate” the services of the Division of Boating and Waterways into the Department of Parks and Recreation.

This is set forth within this document: click here

An excerpt from the recommendation document:

The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program was established as a division in 1982. More recently, in 2012, the Department of Boating and Waterways was merged with the department. The current organizational structure separates these important recreation services from the rest of the services provided by the department. Visitors would be better served by fully integrating these services into the rest of the department.

For the State Parks Transformation Team page: click here

For the FAQ portion of the site: click here

Excerpts from the FAQs:

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division or the Division of Boating and Waterways?

No. The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) and Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) are both leaders in recreation. The goal of the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project is to enhance and strengthen the services State Parks provides to the public.

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate any of the services from OHMVR and/or DBW?

No. The goal of the project is to better support all of the programs and services provided by State Parks.

Would the special funds from OHV and DBW be intermixed with non-special funds?

No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

Is State Parks proposing a new organization model in order to gain access to the special funds from OHV and DBW?

No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

Will staff from be laid off when this organizational structure happens?

The new structure may result in shifts in how personnel will be organized, however no staff will be laid off through this process.

More About DBW

DBW provides a number of programs and services for the boating community - with no state general fund dollars. These include:

  • Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Grant Program
  • Aquatic Center Grant Program
  • Aquatic Pest Control Program
  • Boating Clean and Green Campaign
  • Beach Restoration and Erosion Control Program
  • Boat Launching Facility Grant Program
  • Boating Accident Program
  • Boating Law Enforcement Grant Program
  • Boating Law Enforcement Training Program
  • Boating Trails Program
  • Capital Outlay Program
  • Clean Marina Program
  • Facilities Division
  • For-Hire Licensing Program
  • National Boating Infrastructure Grant Program
  • Small Craft Harbor Loan Program
  • Vessel Pumpout Program
  • Yacht and Ship Broker Licensing Program

Take Action Today to Protect Recreational Boater Funds from Being Pirated for Commercial Vessel Cleanup

California Boaters are encouraged to contact their elected representatives on the Assembly Transportation Committee today and to urge a “no” vote on AB 2092 [Frazier] in the Assembly Committee on Transportation unless the bill is amended so that recreational boaters’ funds will not be used to rid the waterways of abandoned commercial vessels.

To take action: click here

The bill is currently scheduled to be considered, and voted on, at the April 18 hearing of the Assembly Transportation Committee. 

Call-to-Action: Contact Regional Board re Copper in Newport Bay

Boaters are encouraged to take action to protect the use of copper-based anti-fouling paints on the hulls of their boats in Newport Bay.

CLICK HERE to use our new Online CALL to ACTION to electronically submit your letter or contact the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board and send this message below:

I urge that the board delay a revised total maximum daily load [TMDL] for copper that would impact the use of copper-based anti-fouling paints on boat hulls in Newport Bay until the following essential actions take place:

  • A site specific study of Newport Bay has been conducted. This will provide detailed information that is accurate and can serve as the basis for informed scientific decisions.

  • The USEPA approves the Biotic Ligand Model [BLM] for determining copper toxicity in salt water.  This approval is forthcoming and would facilitate accurate site-specific information regarding Newport Bay.

  • Alternatives to copper-based anti-fouling paints are available, affordable and effective. It is critical that recreational vessels have anti-fouling surfaces on their hulls for effective operation and prevention of invasive species.

Based on statements made at the July 28 scoping meeting held by the regional board, there is a significant absence of accurate information regarding Newport Bay, boats in the bay, and copper paint alternatives. 

The requested actions are essential to provide the information that will inform decisions that will protect the environment and preserve recreational boating.


The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board is developing a draft revised total maximum daily load [TMDL] for copper in order to reduce the amount of copper released from boat hulls in Newport Bay.

The TMDL could impact the ability of boaters to use copper-based anti-fouling surfaces on the hulls of their boats.

The Board may release a proposed TMDL in the very near future, in the form of a basin plan amendment.

RBOC is working with local boaters, clubs and organizations.