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December E Newsletter 2020

December E Newsletter 2020

                                                                                       December 2020 

From the Helm

To all our valued members,

2020 was pretty rough water for all of us. MRA managed to navigate through it and I want to thank our crew, the board of directors and Mariann, for getting us through it.

Now it is the time to look forward to 2021.

This upcoming year will continue to bring many new opportunities for you. The 49th Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show is being planned and the details are being worked out. We anticipate making an announcement on location and timing shortly. Odd’s makers are saying the conference will be in San Diego sometime around the second week of October 2021. Your board of directors is meeting, via zoom, on January 13th & 14th to plan for the conference. If there is something you would like to see or hear about at the conference don’t hesitate to contact Mariann or myself. After all this conference is for you, so let us know your thoughts.

We are continuing with our very popular Educational Series webinars through this spring, keep an eye out for them, you won’t want to miss any. The first of these Educational Series webinars “SOS: California Employers’ 9-Step Compliance Blueprint For New Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Safety Standard” will be held on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am Pacific time.

We continue to try and understand what is happening with the Department of Boating and Waterways. By the nature of the beast, I suspect the answers we are all looking for will not come quickly as we would like, but they will come.

The Gold Anchor program is officially here. Our partners from Australia conducted two marina certifications in 2019. In November of this year, we had our own auditors conduct our first certification, an inland marina. The audit went well and the audit team is geared up and ready to do many more in 2021. Gold Anchor is the equivalent of Michelin ratings for restaurants only for marinas. If you have an interest in understanding more about this program please give Mariann a call and she will pass on the information to one of our talented auditors.

Speaking of auditors, MRA would like to acknowledge and recognize Kathy Obrien, Sonya Boggs and Kevin Parker, our auditors, for their efforts in making this happen, thanks Kathy, Sonya and Mark. In addition, Mark Sanders deserves a big thank you for bringing this program to us from Australia, thanks Mark.

We all are looking forward to smoother waters for 2021. 

Scott Robertson



New COVID-19 Cal/OSHA Emergency Standards covered in next MRA Educational Series Webinar

The Marine Recreation Association is continuing the MRA Educational Series into 2021 with a series of FREE interactive ZOOM webinars covering important new developments and on-going education in the marine and recreational boating industry.

The first of the 2021 series will provide attendees with a California Employers 9-Step Compliance Blueprint for New Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Safety Standards, which became effective December 1, 2020 as an emergency Cal/OSHA regulation imposing new obligations on California employers related to COVID-19 prevention.

The webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM, will be led by Robert Smith, Executive Director, Fisher Phillips Safety Solutions, and Travis Vance, Partner, Fisher & Phillips, LLP. Fisher & Phillips has assisted more than 500 companies during the pandemic with diverse and focused preventive policies and procedures to avoid employment and workplace safety-related claims.

Robert and Travis both have a comprehensive understanding of the marine industry and the complexity of our customer service focused industry.

The new Cal/OSHA COVID-19 emergency regulations represent the most far-reaching formal rule-making by Cal/OSHA on COVID-19, and may be a preview of new regulations we can expect at the federal level under a Biden administration.


Grants Available for Stormwater Tech

Marinas and local governments across the U.S. and Canada can stop litter from entering coastal and inland waterways and reduce marine debris thanks to a new grant program sponsored by Dart Container Corporation and UltraTech International, Inc. Dart will provide up to $100,000 in grants ($4,000 per qualifying organization) for the purchase and installation of UltraTech’s patented Ultra-Drain Guard stormwater management products, which prevent litter, oil, and sediment from entering waterways via storm drains.

Dart, a food & beverage packaging manufacturer, partnered with UltraTech as part of their sustainability commitments after a pilot project with Ultra-Guard catch basin devices successfully collected an estimated 1,250 pounds of litter and other contaminants in Southern California.

“Approximately 80 percent of stormwater drains go directly into a body of water without treatment,” explained Michael Westerfield, Dart’s director of Recycling. “We were impressed with the success of UltraTech’s Drain Guards in stopping litter from entering waterways that we joined forces to help communities that might not have the resources to purchase and install the devices.”

As a manufacturer that accepts responsibility for the environmental impacts of its products, Dart has a decades-long record of innovating and investing in sustainability practices to reduce landfill waste, marine debris, and litter.

“As part of our comprehensive sustainability commitments that focus on innovation, investment and inspiration, Dart is tackling the marine debris issue through prevention, education and mitigation strategies,” stated Westerfield.

Marinas and local municipalities that want to learn more about the program or submit applications for grants of up to $4,000 per organization should visit UltraTech at or call (904) 292-1611.



How to Prevent a Business Email Compromise Attack

By: Darin Selfridge

Did you know?

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is one of the most common threats today. It employs tactics like impersonating an executive, HR, or a trusted vendor to initiate fraudulent transfers of money. According to the FBI, $1.7 billion was lost to BEC in 2019 alone.

Here are tips from the FBI to stay secure:

Be Skeptical

Last-minute changes in wiring instructions or recipient account information must be verified.

Don’t Click It

Verify any changes and information via the contact on file—do not contact the vendor through the number provided in the email.

Double-check That URL

Ensure the URL in the email is associated with the business it claims to be from.

Spelling Counts

Be alert to misspelled hyperlinks in the actual domain name.

It’s a Match

Verify the email address used to send emails, especially when using a mobile or handheld device, by ensuring the sender’s email address appears to match who it’s coming from.

Pay Attention

Often there are clues with Business Email Compromise:

·        An employee who does not normally interact with the CEO receives an urgent request from them.

·        You see data that shows an employee is in one location at 1:00pm but halfway around the globe 10 minutes later.

·        You see activity from an employee who is supposed to be on leave.

And, As Always, if You See Something, Say Something

If something looks awry, report it to us or a supervisor. And if you have been a victim of BEC, file a detailed complaint with



For the Marina Bulletin Board

Official-Looking Vessel Documentation Renewal Notices

Can Lead to Confusion and Higher Costs

BoatUS advises boaters to be vigilant when renewing USCG vessel documentation

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is advising boaters with vessels that have a U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation to be wary of any letter arriving by U.S. mail offering renewal.

BoatUS advises that while the Coast Guard does send official annual renewal notices by U.S. mail, other notices being received by members are not from the Coast Guard but rather third-party companies whose name or return addresses may appear similar to that of the official U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC).

BoatUS members have complained that these letters direct them to websites that may be mistaken for the actual Coast Guard NVDC located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, and appear to show a significant increase in the annual fee to renew Coast Guard documentation.

In 2017 the Coast Guard issued a bulletin that says in part:

“The NVDC is aware that there are commercial entities that offer to manage the certification/renewal process on behalf of vessel owners for a fee. The Coast Guard does not endorse any of these companies, and the companies do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way. Any fees charged or agreements offered by such companies are in no way associated with the NVDC certification process. In addition, these companies are not authorized to issue any form of documentation, including travel letters and/or permits that authorize operation of ANY vessel. Customer complaints can be made through the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website at”

While third-party companies may legitimately provide services to assist with vessel documentation renewals, the Coast Guard’s own renewal process is simple for most vessels and the price, $26 annually, is often much lower than what third-party services may charge. To renew, go to the Coast Guard National Documentation Center website at and click on “instructions and forms,” then “Certificate of Documentation Application for Renewal.” BoatUS notes that the Coast Guard NVDC now also offers renewal options up to five years for recreational vessels only.

To be documented, a vessel must measure at least five net tons and, with the exception of certain oil-spill response vessels, owned by a U.S. citizen. Boats about 27 feet in length or longer generally meet the weight requirement.

BoatUS also advises boaters who may have received mail that they believe is misleading or deceptive to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455 or through its website

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than 700,000 members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. BoatUS offers GEICO Marine Insurance policies that give boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit



Construction Corner

Pier 44 Marina

Located in the Marina Del Rey harbor, Pier 44 Marina has recently completed an extensive reconstruction resulting in a more accessible and aesthetically pleasing experience for their slip holders and the surrounding community. The marina is just walking distance from Burton Chase Park and close by to LAX airport and Venice Beach. In addition to the renovation of the waterside marina, the property underwent a redevelopment of their landside attractions. Situated on the MDR Boardwalk, Pier 44 marina now offers a multitude of services and shops, including a retailer for boat parts, supplies and accessories. Locals can also enjoy waterfront shopping and dining as the new retail center features an outdoor plaza and patio seating. The property has an onsite yacht club and additional boater service offices.

Bellingham Marine spearheaded the waterside renovation which included a total replacement and redesign of the existing marina. The original layout consisted of 232 slips, while the redesigned marina now totals 141 slips, five end ties along with dinghy docks and transient slips. The updated marina features a land-side dry stack for boat storage along with a brand new jib crane. The marina’s upgrades include several amenities for boaters such a pump out station, boater restrooms with showers and laundry, 24-hour marina-controlled access gate and Wi-Fi. 

The marina construction began in September 2018 and was completed under a single phase. Bellingham Marine’s state of the art floating dock systems showcase a customized aesthetic that is unique to Pier 44 Marina.

The renovated docks feature a medium tone gray concrete with Ashler cut slate stamp deck. This process mimics the appearance of a stone walkway. The new docks feature wood walers and steel thru rods. To better meet ADA compliancy and federal guidelines for marina accessibility, Bellingham installed 80-foot pedestrian gangways. As an added safety benefit, the marina has a wireless color changing LED lights installed into each pedestal and power centers and is equipped with Nucore software system with available colors white, red, green or blue.

The marina was recently completed in November of 2020 and plans to open to boaters within the first month of 2021. The redevelopment of Pier 44 Marina ensures it will remain waterfront destination that is more accessible to those visiting the harbor or those who call it home. 




The Last Word  

To all of our MRA Members and Future Members;

I am pleased to announce our first four Educational Series webinars were a success! A huge thank you to our speakers for their time and effort in presenting. Also a big thank you to Dockwa who spread the word to their clients creating the largest attendance on our last webinar. If you missed the webinars, the PowerPoints and videos are available for free at: We will continue the webinars in mid-January 2021.

To our trade members, please send me your press releases on new products or services you might have. The Trade Member Highlight section is a free opportunity to advertise them! I am reaching out to all of you and asking you to send me a press release when you have a new product or service that you would like for us to highlight. There will be one each month and will be placed according to submission date. This is one more way for us to promote your support and dedication to the association. We would also like to be included in your list of press release recipients.

Many times the contact name for membership changes during the year and unless it is around renewal time, we may not be aware of the change. Please take a look at your profile and make sure to let us know if there are any changes in contact names, addresses, phone and fax numbers or email addresses so we can have the most up-to-date information for you. Also, if you do not have at least 1 logo and 1 photo (of your marina or product) please email them to so they can be uploaded. You can now also add a YouTube video if you have one.

Thank you and stay safe!

Mariann Timms
Operations Administrator



Featured Articles

* From the Helm

* Top 9 Things Employers Need to Know about Cal OSHA's New Emergency COVID-19 Standards
* Congratulations to These Marinas for their Clean Marine Certification
* For the Marina Bulletin Board
* Construction Corner
* Trade Member Highlight - MARINAGO Office Now Integrates with QuickBooks Online!
* Trade Member Highlight - Shoremaster/HydroHoist Acquires Neptune Boat Lifts

* Welcome New Members

* The Last Word

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 December 31, 2020