The Marin IJ recently reported that the Richardson’s Bay Regional Agency has filed its plan with the Bay Conservation and Development Commission to keep the anchorage clear of marine debris and derelict vessels. In December, the BCDC directed the agency and Sausalito to submit plans by March 31 on how they will remove boats that are not seaworthy.
In the plan, the RBRA is determining the feasibility of a mooring field for people who want to keep their seaworthy boats on the anchorage. The plan also contemplates a program to allow owners of vessels who are already anchored in the bay to remain there as long as they can perform proper maintenance.
Funding the entire transition plan will cost anywhere from $4.2 million to $4.5 million, and the RBRA is working to apply for federal and state grants.
There are 125 vessels on the water according to Curtis Havel, the RBRA harbormaster. Twenty are unoccupied and 70 to 80 could be considered marine debris, he said.
If the economy continues to slide downward due to the coronavirus, Havel predicted a possible surge of people buying less-than-seaworthy boats to anchor in the bay—which he believes is what caused the 2008 spike in anchor-outs.
Meanwhile, in January, attorneys representing Galilee Harbor requested that the BCDC temporarily rescind a condition of its Settlement Agreement with the Harbor to provide and maintain a public launching float.
The request was written by Riley Hurd, of the firm Ragghiantil Freitas LLP. It states: “At this time, the launching float has been inundated by the anchorage community located on Richardson Bay. This intense and unintended use has resulted in a dangerous and untenable scenario for the residents of Galilee, and has also caused significant damage to the launching float due to overuse.”
The document goes on to point out: “It is critical to acknowledge that the impacts occurring at the dock are the result of a small percentage of the overall anchorage community. Unfortunately, this small group has made the situation unsustainable for all.”
After requesting suspension of the launching ramp condition for two years, attorney Hurd pointed out: “The Commission should be aware that the City of Sausalito is in full support of this amendment request, and is prepared to accommodate boat-dwellers seeking to come ashore at the municipal dock located at the Turney Street boat ramp just a quarter mile down the street from Galilee. The Turney Street dock is a much more appropriate landing point given that it is a public area where municipal services are more readily available and scheduled police patrols occur (as opposed to non-policed private land).”
When the request was filed at the beginning of the year, the BCDC, moving at its standard glacial pace, said it would hold a hearing on the matter in March. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, so now things are on hold indefinitely. Whenever talks resume, we’ll report the results here.