Introduced by George Lesley, Harbormaster Paul Blank took sailing lessons in 1975 and graduated from Estancia, got a BA in psychology. He was an IT executive at Casa Laguna.
He has been a Harbor Commander since 2012, recognized for the Center of Culture for Newport Beach, and was appointed Harbormaster in May of 2021. Only Seymour Beek knew the correct answer to his question, “Who was the designer of the BCYC?” Bill Ficker!
Paul identified the goals of the Harbor
Department in his slide: to keep it clean, safe, and well enjoyed, based on the criteria of residents, businesses and visitors in that particular order. The Harbor, shown here, is 880 acres, essentially the equivalent in size of Central Park in New York. We have seven million visitors each year, and Newport Beach gets $300 million in direct sales, plus another $1 billion in indirect sales — hotels and hamburgers.
There are seven people on the Harbor Commission, which runs the Harbor. Examples of keeping it clean run from cleaning graffiti from signs to cleaning up oil spills. The recent spill, caused by an anchor being dragged over a pipeline, resulted in only minor damage to the Harbor. Services performed include boat lifting, auctions, “no discharge” maintenance — enforced with dye tablet testing — prevention of bridge jumping, issuance of 30-day permits, and permit fees enforced by the police. They do a stellar job of boater education. Thank you, Harborma- ser Paul, for sharing the Harbor status.