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Newport Beach has a handful of iconic attractions that have stood the test of time: The Newport Pier, which replaced the original McFadden Wharf (1888-1939) and is registered as a California Historical Landmark; the Balboa Pavilion, which opened on July 1, 1906 and is the city’s oldest standing building; and the Balboa Island Ferry, which went into service in 1919 to bring cars and passengers across 900 feet of water between Balboa Island and the Balboa Fun Zone.

Michele Gile reports from Newport Beach with Seymour Beek, where many are celebrating that the beloved Balboa Island ferry’s fate is no longer in jeopardy after receiving a $7.9 million grant to convert from diesel to zero-emissions operations by 2025.

Siyamak sits down with Seymour Beek, president of Balboa Island Ferry, one of Southern California’s oldest family-owned businesses. Today he will discuss the new rules in California aimed at reducing emissions and how they will impact small businesses.

“CARB made a rule that all short run fairies in California had to be zero emission by 2026. We consume an average of 26 gallons of fuel a day. You’re not gonna save the world by making us go zero emission,” Mr. Beek said. “They haven’t really examined the consequences of the rules they’re making. It’s extremely challenging, extremely expensive.”

The Balboa Island Ferry, one of our most iconic Newport Beach tourism experiences, could be no more.

If that sounds dramatic, it is. I can’t imagine our city without the ferry, but unless something is done, this treasured piece of our city could be gone in less than two years.

Thousands of locals and visitors use the ferry every year and it’s a vital part of our culture and history. It is part of what makes us Newport Beach, and in my mind, it is as important as our beaches. But all of that is now threatened and could be lost.

The Balboa Island Ferry, one of our most iconic Newport Beach tourism experiences, could be no more.

If that sounds dramatic, it is. I can’t imagine our city without the ferry, but unless something is done, this treasured piece of our city could be gone in less than two years.

Thousands of locals and visitors use the ferry every year and it’s a vital part of our culture and history. It is part of what makes us Newport Beach, and in my mind, it is as important as our beaches. But all of that is now threatened and could be lost.