On April 3, San Diego County implemented a ban (since eased) on recreational boating amid the coronavirus pandemic. This week Governor Newsom closed all Orange County beaches. Similar bans on access to coastal waters have been enacted across the state, often in response to observed or perceived violations by local communities. The governor was clear that closing OC beaches was in response to his observations of crowds in violation of state orders.
It is counter to the mission of your Dana Point Boaters Association to suppress the recreational boating experience in any way. Quite the opposite - an active, thriving, enthusiastic boater community is essential to our harbor's success. Yet, we are also aware during these strange and unprecedented days that short-term sacrifices are being made for our long-term health and success.
We may or may not agree on the value of the social distancing orders, or the legitimacy of restrictions on access to recreational areas. But we have seen in our neighboring communities to the immediate north and south that violating the orders has resulted in the hammer coming down. And if you were in our harbor last weekend, surely you witnessed that we were no different than many local beaches.
Please, let's not be the next target of a coastal lockdown.
These days will pass soon enough, and the long slog through this crisis will seem brief in hindsight. In the meantime, please enjoy your boats, kayaks and paddleboards. But let's strive to do so in a way that doesn't risk losing the great fortune we have to enjoy our harbor, especially during these challenging days. If you choose to spend time enjoying our harbor, do so with only the same people you are already huddling with at home. Practice social distancing. Let's do our part of flatten the curve so we can return to normal life soon.
Be smart. Be safe. Take care.
Thank you for your support.