The Dana Point Boaters Association is the champion of recreational boating and the jewel that is
Dana Point Harbor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Let's Tell Our Stories

by Anne Eubanks

Holiday Greetings Boaters,

Our newsletters are usually written in the third person, but this one being personal to me, is written subjectively.

I attended the January 15th Swearing-in Ceremony for Katrina Foley. It was a very uplifting and inspirational event; not what you usually see at political ceremonies. As Supervisor Foley spoke with great energy about her Office’s accomplishments, it dawned on me that public officials are very passionate about subjects they understand. Subjects that have been researched, subjects they have been briefed on, and subjects that, with solutions, can benefit the public are what they champion.


Dana Point Boaters Association has been very vocal on the lack of adherence by Orange County regarding The Tidelands Grant and the Public Trust Doctrine. Have we adequately explained what this lack of regard means to current and future boaters, not just in Dana Point but throughout California? This also applies to the blatant lack of compliance by Dana Point Harbor Partners regarding the Local Coastal Plan and the Coastal Development Permit. These are very complicated documents so let’s try to make it simple.


Every few years, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) does an economic impact study on how recreational boating impacts each state’s economy. Click here for the most recent report for California. To summarize, recreational boating in California has a $13 billion impact on California’s economy. NMMA also breaks out the impact based on California Congressional districts. Dana Point is located in the 49th Congressional District. Click here for District 49’s report. To summarize, recreational boating in the 49th Congressional District has a $363.8 million economic impact on the District’s economy, with 1293 jobs supported, 92 businesses supported, and 14,142 registered boats (this does not include documented boats). Folks, this is not chump change!


From the non-boaters perspective, boat owners tend to be categorized as wealthy yacht owners, which we, as boat owners know, couldn’t be farther from the truth. The NMMA Economic Impact Study on recreational boating in the U.S. notes, “61% of recreational boaters have an annual household income of $75,000 or less, and 95% of boats are towable boats smaller than 26 feet.” Now one may better understand why the loss of available day-use boating parking in Dana Point is a critical issue!


How is the California dream defined today? For many, it is the opportunity to live and recreate in a state with great year-round weather, an opportunity to succeed, and the allure of great outdoor sports. You can’t think of California without thinking of surfing, swimming, boating, hiking, camping, or just hanging at the beach. Why would someone invest in a boat when all these other outdoor activities don’t cost nearly as much? Maybe by sharing why we love boating and the impact, it has on our lives; our public officials can better understand.


My story of why I got into boating began in 2007. A friend called me and said she was going to take sailing lessons and asked if I would like to take lessons with her. I am always up for a new adventure and said yes. We took six weeks of sailing lessons, passed our certification, and then looked at each other and said what’s next? How do we continue this great experience? We decided we could financially swing owning a boat if we did it as a partnership. We bought the biggest boat we could buy which would fit into a 26’ foot slip. At the time, 26’ temporary slips were the only slips available. We closed on a Catalina 28, and the adventures began. I have to chuckle, though, reminiscing on the first time we tried to put her in the slip on B Dock in the West Basin with the fickle wind direction. It took us several stressful tries, but luckily Tony Cozad was standing on our dock and yelling out some helpful tips. Thank you, Tony! You will always be our hero!


B Dock in the West Basin had some great boaters on it. They were helpful, fun, and all-around good people. We all watched out for each other’s boats and developed great comradery.


I love day sails out of Dana. The marine life is incredible and experiencing it from your own boat is magical. It is not unusual to end up in the middle of a super pod of dolphins frolicking all around you or to have blue whales breach without you knowing they are there. The connection one experiences with the marine environment and the ocean is mystical. The peace that comes when sailing is indescribable. Stress is gone, and one is completely out of thought. To me, it is meditation at its highest level.


When the great recession hit, I got laid off from my job even though I was a top producer. The layoff was strictly because my territory wasn’t in the footprint of the bank. In recreating myself and figuring out a new financial path, I knew giving up the boat wasn’t an option. It had become an important part of my life. Luckily everything worked out. Years later, my boat partnership bought a larger boat, and now my grandchildren love to be on the boat, and my grandson is learning to sail. My two granddaughters are still too young to learn, but they will be old enough soon, and the fun is just beginning for them. Girls can be just as proficient as boys at sailing, and I am sure I will see a little competition brewing. Sailing is a great family bonding activity and great for mental health.


Yes, we should all be thankful for the Public Trust Doctrine, which recognizes the public right to many natural resources, including “the air, running water, the sea, and its shore.” The public trust doctrine requires the sovereign, or state, to hold in trust designated resources for the benefit of the people. The foundational principle of the Public Trust Doctrine is that it is an affirmative duty of the state to protect the people's common heritage in navigable waters for their common use.  This is not just for the people in Dana Point but all Californians. Public Trust land isn’t designated for exorbitant profit by private companies.


Have you heard about the new California Initiative entitled Outdoors for All? Its mantra reads:


"We believe in the right of all Californians to have access to recreational opportunities and enjoy the cultural, historic, and natural resources found across the state."

"While California tackles important global challenges, a critical challenge confronts the state’s communities: Too many Californians cannot access the state’s parks, beaches, and outdoor spaces, or the state’s array of museums and cultural and historical sites. While many Californians get outside into nature frequently, millions never have the opportunity. Given this, the state needs to expand all Californians’ access to parks, open space, nature, and cultural amenities. This priority requires reshaping funding and programs to expand opportunities to enjoy these places."

So how about it, Dana Point Boaters, please share your stories of why boating is important to you and your families and why it needs to remain affordable. Maybe telling our stories is more impactful than trying to dissect the law. Send you stories via our BLP link, and we will share them with our City and County Officials. Some of them will surely take heed. This will also provide a great history about our Home Port.

Legal Endeavors are Expensive

Lastly, legal endeavors are expensive, and we appreciate all who have donated to our legal fund.

Please consider doing so today. If you haven't donated, consider an ongoing monthly donation by clicking the box "Make this a monthly donation," click here. These legal costs keep mounting as we continue moving forward with the Class Action Lawsuit. Your information will remain private. 

In the meantime, please continue to submit your comments on slip rate increases and other subjects by Click Here.
All donations are private and your identity will never be shared

Your Dana Point Boaters Association Directors, Advisors, and Advocacy Members Thanks You For Your Support!

From: Anne Eubanks, President | (949) 485-5656 | Email Us! | DPBA Website

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