Some 175 community leaders, harbor residents and elected officials gathered at the Balboa Bay Resort yesterday for a kickoff luncheon acknowledging the fundraising success of the Newport Harbor Foundation (NHF). The NHF announced that they’ve raised more than $275,000 to support an effort to have the Newport Beach Police, Fire and Harbormaster assume sole jurisdiction over controlling our harbor.
What made the $275,000 announcement even more exciting was the fact that an anonymous donor gave a matching gift, immediately making it $550,000.
Former Newport Beach Mayor and current City Councilmember Marshall “Duffy” Duffield was also recognized at the luncheon for his longtime service to the community and in particular to the harbor. The timing, coincidentally, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Duffy Electric Boat.
“Today, I was touched by the community’s outpouring of financial support for my family business and Newport Harbor – the heart of our city. Now the hard work of ‘Taking Back Our Harbor’ begins,” said Councilmember Duffield.
Duffy built his first electric boat as a 16 year old growing up on Newport Harbor. Then, over the next half-century, Duffy followed up building and delivering 30,000 Duffy Boats throughout the world.
So, what’s ahead for the NHF? In 2019, a group of concerned Newport Harbor residents organized, recognizing “decades of benign-neglect of the harbor and the need to begin creating our own Harbor Public Safety Department. The Foundation plans to purchase a fire boat and four patrol boats to jump start the effort. This is the first step to “Taking Back Our Harbor.”
Why do it?
Duffy said, “We want to make our harbor healthier, cleaner and to get the public educated on what makes this harbor so special.”
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