Over the years November and December have taken on a lot of personal meaning for me. Of course, there are the primary holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each reminds us all to count our daily blessings and find meaningful connection to others. But there are also other traditional holiday celebrations, like Dia de Los Muertos and Hannukah, that foster the same sentiments. As we move into the holiday season, I wish each of you and yours well and good tidings as 2023 draws to a close.

And what a 2023 it has been. Your Long Beach Marinas and beaches have seen some impressive weather these past twelve months. Storms in January, February, March and July brought epic rainfall to Long Beach and with it lots of storm-related debris. All in all, our Beach Maintenance and Marine Maintenance teams will have gathered and removed nearly 6,000 tons of refuse material from our beaches and marinas in 2023. That’s over 13 million pounds. To put that in perspective our annual average for debris removal is about 1,800 tons. All of this done while continuing to address core services such as facility maintenance, restroom cleaning, dock maintenance, graffiti removal, homeless encampment cleanups, and the list could go on and on. I could not be prouder and more impressed by the amazing effort of our Beach and Marine Maintenance crews.

All the while our Marina Operations staff has continued to fill slips and book guest stay reservations. An item Operations staff has worked tirelessly on these past two years has been abandoned and derelict vessels in our marinas. Since January of 2022 Operations staff have removed 51 unseaworthy vessels from our marinas and waterways. These vessels can and do become navigation and environmental hazards. Due to the dedicated work of Operations staff, in partnership with Marine Patrol and Marine Safety, our Long Beach Marinas system is a safer place on the water and on the docks because these 51 boats have been removed.

Lastly, some individual recognition. First, I would like to say welcome aboard to new full-time Marina Agents Paul Docherty and Matthew Billinghurst. They are currently working out of our Alamitos Bay Marina Office and are doing a tremendous job. Second, congratulations to Vilma Hernandez. Vilma has been appointed to the position of Marina Supervisor. A longtime Marina Agent, Vilma, has taken on the supervision duties in our Shoreline/Rainbow area. With Vilma’s appointment and placement Eric Skelly, Marina Supervisor, has transferred to take the lead at the Alamitos Bay Marina Office.

And in conclusion a bittersweet congratulations and farewell to Eric Woodson, Marine Maintenance Superintendent. Eric has accepted a role to lead the Street Sweeping & Parking Control team in our Long Beach Public Works Department. While not going too far from his Marina home, Eric’s last day will be November 10. One of the reasons I came to the Marine Bureau was to be a part of this great team of employees. Eric has been everything I could ask for in a peer and colleague. Most importantly, he is a good man and that radiates in everything he does. I have learned a lot from him in his time with the Marine Bureau and the Long Beach Marinas have benefited from his professionalism, drive and leadership.

Stay well and safe boating,      
Todd Leland
Marine Bureau Manager    

Marina Offices are open and accepting new vessel permit applications. To provide more comfortable and efficient customer service we have moved to a hybrid front desk/window service at ABM and Shoreline offices. Note – Many requests can still be readily handled by phone or email. 
TENDERS & DINGHIES – Over the past several months we have seen an increase in marina fairway incidents involving moored tenders and dinghies. In each incident the tender or dinghy causing an issue has been moored outside the allotted “overhang” limit of the permitted slip. In November and December, the Marine Bureau will start red-tag noticing tenders and dinghies that are moored outside the allotted space for permitted slips. In January 2024 the Marine Bureau will start impounding tenders and dinghies moored outside allotted slip space.

Unauthorized commercial activity is ILLEGAL IN LONG BEACH – Please do not engage in unauthorized commercial activity at, on or near Long Beach Marinas property. Violators can and will be cited and punished to the full extent of applicable law. Reminder – Unauthorized Commercial activity will put your slip permit in jeopardy of cancellation.

DID YOU KNOW Congress set a uniform day for presidential elections in 1845 as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The Bill of Rights came into effect on December 15, 1791. The Bill of Rights includes the first ten amendments of the US constitution, which are commonly referred to as the foundation of US society and government. On December 30, 1803, the United States of America doubled in size when it purchased Louisiana. The US acquired the territory, all 885,000 square miles, from France for $15 million.
On the morning of October 28 the Marine Bureau held our Fall 2023 Auction. This time around ten in-water vessels, nineteen kayaks, sups, dinghies and miscellaneous marine equipment sold for a recent record amount. Marine Operations staff work for weeks prior to the event inventorying and cataloguing every auction item. Once items clear the lien process they are then put on the list for available to sell.

None of our auctions would be possible without the assistance of Marine Patrol and Marine Safety staff. Each auction season they partner with our Operations staff to secure property and move vessels to the the Auction location at the Alamitos Bay Marina Harbormaster’s Dock.

No auction is worthwhile without a brilliant emcee and auctioneer. The Marine Bureau has been lucky to enlist the services of Victor Moraila, from Financial Management – Fleet Services. His auction skills are the best and we appreciate his willingness to continue facilitating our auctions.

Our next Marine Bureau Auction will be in late Spring 2024 just before summer. If you did not receive a winning bid this time around we hope to see you at our next auction and wish you the best of luck in future bidding. 
On September 22, after a nationwide open recruitment, the Marine Bureau appointed Vilma Hernandez as Marina Supervisor in charge of the Downtown Long Beach marina complex. In her new role Vilma will oversee the daily operations of Shoreline Marina, Rainbow Marina and Rainbow Harbor. 

Vilma started with City of Long Beach in December of 2005 as a part-time Clerk III. She was with us in the summer of 2006 as Clerks became seasonal part-time Marine Aides. She consistently displayed her capacity for the work and became a full-time Marina Agent II in May 2007. Her rise through the Marina Agent ranks culminated with a promotion to Marina Agent III in charge of Seawalls, Sandstakes and other non-slip related permits in March 2018. Vilma has worked at every station within the Marine Bureau and has a vast understanding of every aspect of our Long Beach Marinas daily operations.

Vilma had been serving as the lead staff at the Shoreline Marina Office since the retirement of Kimarie Vestre in October 2022. With her promotion to Marina Supervisor in the Shoreline office, Eric Skelly, Marina Supervisor has transitioned to take over the supervisory role in the Alamitos Bay Marina Office.
Eric Woodson, Marine Maintenance Superintendent has accepted a Superintendent role in the City of Long Beach Public Works – Environmental Services Bureau. Starting November 13 Eric will lead the City’s Street Sweeping & Parking Control operations.

Woodson has been with the City of Long Beach, in one capacity or another, for 27 years. His professional journey is inspiring and demonstrates the value of hard work and determination. He hired on in 1997 as a part-time Maintenance Aide working custodial duty. He became a Maintenance Assistant I just 3 months later. Demonstrating his work ethic and value to management over the next several years he promoted to Maintenance Assistant II in December 2002 and transitioned to a Motor Sweeper Operator position in January 2005. Eric continued to promote through the Port of Long Beach ranks with his appoint to Maintenance Planner I in September 2014 with an eventual rise to Maintenance Planner II in December 2016.

In October 2018 the Marine Bureau had the good fortune to pry Eric away from the Port of Long Beach as our Marine Maintenance Superintendent. In his time leading our facility and docks maintenance team he has transformed the way they operate. He has brought efficiency, accountability and consistency to our daily maintenance operations. Several of his major accomplishments include: Shoreline Marina Fire Suppression System Rebuild, Beach Pubic Restroom Door Revitalization, Dock Pedestal Replacement Project, Trees on the Bay deployment optimization, Scheduled Preventative Maintenance Plan implementation, and so much more.

We congratulate Eric on his appointment to Superintendent of Street Sweeping & Parking Control and thank him for his valuable leadership and management contributions to our Long Beach Marinas these past 5 years.
We would like to congratulate our newest Supervisor, Jesus Aripez on his recent promotion. Supervisor Aripez has served as a member of the Marine Patrol detail for over nine years. During that time, he has provided our local boating community with excellent customer service and has proven himself to be a leader among his peers. Prior to his promotion, Supervisor Aripez served as an acting supervisor and field training officer. Supervisor Aripez’s promotion achievement was recognized during the Police Department promotion ceremony held on October 19th.
The Marine Bureau wishes you Happy Holidays and safe boating this holiday season.