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July E Newsletter 2020

July E Newsletter 2020

                                                                                                July 2020 

From the Helm

To all our valued members,

As we indicated last month, the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) is in the process of creating a 2020-2025 Nonpoint Source Program Implementation Plan. We received a notice and call for comments in late-June, and the due date for comments was July 13. The MRA was part of an immediate response that sought more time to make comments. The Water Board quickly extended the due date for comments until July 31.

The part of the Plan which is most impactful to our industry is Goal 5, in which the Water Board wants to regulate all ocean marinas the same, and use Marina del Rey as the standard, which makes no sense because the harbors and marinas up and down the coast have varying levels of issue with copper and other biocides, and to look at us all through one lens is bureaucratic overreach.

MRA commissioned the Moffatt and Nichol engineering firm to develop a letter of opposition, with technical comments that will be supported by technical memorandums. That letter was sent to Michael Hanks, State Water Resources Control Board and Jun Zhu, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. MRA also reached out to our fellow marine organizations and to our own coastal marina and yacht club members to do the same, and we have received quick response of support for our position, and indication that our fellow marine organizations and our members are submitting letters as well.

This could be a huge issue for our industry, and result in hundreds of thousands in costs to our harbors, and to the marinas within those harbors. Our Association will continue to monitor this situation, as it did with the proposed Marina Permit many years ago, which we were active in halting. As we indicate at our annual conference, this is one of the benefits of membership, and the funds you provide are used to fight harmful bureaucratic program proposals time and time again.

Mark Sandoval, 

Past President



DBW Commission Meeting August 13, 2020

On behalf of the California Boating and Waterways Commission, I invite you and/or your representative to join us for our virtual August Commission meeting. Working with our constituents is key to implementing successful programs. Our Commission meetings are valuable opportunities to learn how the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) promotes safe and responsible access to California's waterways.

As a result of the COVID-19 emergency and the Governor's Executive Orders N-29-30 and N-33-20, the August 13, 2020 California Boating and Waterways (CBW) Commission meeting will occur virtually through video and teleconference. There will not be a physical place where the public can go in-person to make public comments. 

The CBW Commission will be using the video conferencing service, Zoom, to host the meeting and allow for remote public participation. Below you will find preliminary details on the Commission Meeting:   

Commission Meeting - Open to the Public: Thursday, August 13 at 9 a.m.

Register in Advance:

During the meeting, DBW will share program accomplishments with the Commission. California Boating and Waterways' Chair Virginia Madueño will update the public on Commission-related activities.

Full details of the August Commission meeting and the ability to request electronic copies of the notice and agenda are available online at For individuals who cannot make the live virtual meeting can view the meeting afterwards at


California State Senate Drops Sportfishing License Reform

Assemblyman Wood Remains Committed to a 365-Day Sportfishing License

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason, the California State Senate will not hear legislation that authorizes a 365-day fishing license legislation. Assembly Bill 1387 was authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) and sponsored by the California Sportfishing League (CSL).

In recent weeks it became increasingly evident that a limited legislative session meant many bills would not be heard this year unless they were deemed urgent or essential. 

"California anglers have every reason to be disappointed that fishing license reform will not come in 2020. For decades, California's costly and antiquated fishing license program has contributed to declining fishing participation rates and fewer economic benefits for communities and jobs dependent on outdoor recreation," said Marko Mlikotin, executive director of the CSL. "States that offer anglers a license that provide a full 12-months of fishing from the date of purchase have experienced increased license sales and revenue. Unfortunately, this pandemic killed reform, but it was not due to a lack of support. Over 70 state and national organizations supported Assembly Bill 1837 and as part of plan to improve fishing and hunting licensing programs, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended transitioning the state to a 365-day license."

Assembly Bill 1387 passed the State Assembly unanimously and subject to minor amendments in the Senate, the bill was scheduled to advance later this month. Assemblyman Jim Wood intends to reintroduce the bill in the next legislative session and try to have a 365-day fishing license in effect by the original implementation date as specified in AB 1387.

Expressing optimism, Assemblyman Wood said, "I have every intention of reintroducing a 365-day fishing license bill next year that aims to introduce many more Californians to the great outdoors. I look forward to working with the California anglers and the recreational boating industry, and many others, to bring about meaningful reform and soon."

Since 1980, annual resident sport fishing license sales have declined 55% while the state's population has increased over 60%. While California has a population of more than 39.8 million people, one of the country's longest coastlines, and more than 3,000 lakes and thousands of rivers and streams, it has the lowest fishing participation rate per capita in the country.

A leading contributor to declining fishing participation rates is costly fishing licenses that are not valid a full 365 days from the date of purchase. California's calendar-based fishing licenses expire on December 31st of each year, regardless of when purchased. Because most anglers will not pay full price for a license that is not valid a full 365 days from the date of purchase, CDFW fishing license data reveals that annual license sales peak in the first quarter of the year and then decline significantly by late Spring, even as weather warms and outdoor activity increases.

List of Bill Supporters

The California Sportfishing League (CSL) is a nonprofit coalition of recreational anglers, and small business owners devoted to protecting access to recreational fishing. California's 2.6 million recreational anglers contribute over $4.6 billion annually to California's economy, a major contributor to outdoor tourism and jobs.

To learn more, visit or Twitter @CASportfishing

Marko Mlikotin




California Coastal Cleanup



A Refresher on Employing Minors During COVID19: What Employers Need to Know

Summer is here, and for many businesses, that traditionally means hiring minors. Workers under the age of 18 are an important part of the workforce in many industries, including service businesses such as fast-food joints, restaurants, and ice-cream shops. These workplaces and others - such as arcades, amusement parks, and golf courses - often open or experience an increase in volume in summer.

There exist important federal and state rules that govern the employment of minors with respect to work permits, wages, hours of work, and various work restrictions. Further, as businesses begin reopening in this COVID-19 era and hiring such individuals, employers should ensure they are familiar with how return-to-work and similar policies apply to minors under other laws.

Work Permits
Most states require minors to provide a work permit or age certification before they begin working. Typically, it is necessary for a minor to obtain a new one at the beginning of each school year until the minor turns 18 or graduates from high school. An employer should always keep the work permit or age certification on file.

As a general rule, minors must be paid at least the statutory minimum wage for all hours worked. One exception exists under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA): The "opportunity wage," which permits an employer to pay a minor $4.25 per hour during their first consecutive 90 calendar days of employment. The exception is rarely used, particularly as state and local laws often call for higher wages these days. Still, employers that can avail themselves of the exception can, as the law intends, provide an opportunity to young workers in exchange for some labor savings for the employer without the potential risks associated with the hotly litigated unpaid internship.

Hours of Work
The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has established minimum labor standards for the hours during which a minor may work and when such minor may work depending on their age.

14- and 15-Year-Olds

Fourteen and 15-year-olds cannot be employed (1) during school hours; (2) before 7:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. (except June 1 through Labor Day when the evening hour is extended to 9:00 p.m.); (3) more than three hours a day on a school day, including Fridays; (4) more than eight hours on a non-school day; (5) more than 18 hours a week during a school week; and (6) more than 40 hours a week during non-school weeks. Even though, as noted, these children are allowed to work until 9:00 p.m. during the summer, a best practice is to enforce the 7:00 p.m. schedule year-round. 

With schools closing and offering virtual learning in the wake of COVID-19, it has been unclear when school is "in session." As a result, the USDOL issued guidance on how virus-driven school closures affect these child-labor protections. School is "in session" during any week in which the school district in which a minor resides requires its students to attend school, either physically or through virtual or distance learning. Thus, if the district physically closes schools in response to COVID-19 but requires students to continue instruction through virtual or distance learning for at least one day or part of one day, school is technically "in session" for purposes of the FLSA.

Generally, summer school sessions, held in addition to the regularly scheduled school year, are considered to be outside of school hours. However, some school districts may be considering mandatory instruction for all students over the summer to make up for instruction time lost due to COVID-19. Such mandatory summer sessions should be viewed as extensions of the school's regular schedule. Such periods of instruction would be considered "school hours," and school would be considered "in session" during any day and during any week in which the school district requires all students to receive instruction.

16- and 17-Year-Olds
While the FLSA places strict limitations on when and for how long 14- and 15-year-old employees may work, the FLSA does not place similar limitations on 16- and 17-year-olds. However, several states impose limitations on when and for how long 16- and 17-year-old employees may work. Accordingly, employers should check the standards of employment within each state they operate to ensure they are complying with both federal and state laws with regards to employment of minors. 

Hazardous Occupations
Federal law strictly prohibits the employment of minors in non-agricultural work falling within any of the USDOL's list of hazardous occupations. These occupations include, but are not limited to, manufacturing or storing explosives, driving a motor vehicle, work as an outside helper on motor vehicles, coal mining, firefighting, using power-driven tools, being exposed to radioactive substances, and many more.

Occupational Restrictions
In additional to the temporal work limitations placed upon minors by the FLSA and various state laws, the FLSA further limits minors in the type of work they may perform based on their age group.

14- and 15-Year-Olds
Children that are 14- and 15-years of age generally can perform tasks such as office and clerical work, intellectual or artistically creative work, cashiering, and stocking shelves. They also can perform limited food service work, maintenance work (buildings or grounds), and, in some instances, lifeguarding, and running errands, among other things.

Within the food service industry, 14- and 15-year-olds may not, however, participate in any cooking that involves cooking over an open flame; cooking with rotisseries, broilers, pressurized equipment; and cooking using devices that operate at extremely high temperatures such as "Neico broilers." They also may not work with power-driven food slicers, grinders, choppers, processors, cutters, or mixers.

16- and 17-Year-Olds
Sixteen and 17-year-olds may perform any task within a quick service restaurant with the exception of power-driven baking machines or meat processing machines.

Employers should clearly outline the job duties associated with any summer job to be performed by a minor. They cannot rely on a job title when determining if an occupation includes prohibited work. Rather, they must consider the actual job duties. Many times, employers mistakenly assume a role is permitted based on its title when, in actuality, the activities carried out in a position are prohibited. Employers should carefully review both the permitted and prohibited work, especially before hiring an individual under 16 years of age.

Further, employers should take time to train management on which tasks can and cannot be assigned to minors. It is important to memorialize such training by distributing a memorandum clearly indicating the child labor limitations for each minor employee. Finally, employers should consider informing other employees who will interact with the minor, and perhaps even the minor.

COVID-19-Related Concerns
Businesses that employ minors should reexamine applicable federal and state laws prior to implementing their return-to-work policies, particularly as related to the following:

  • Health Screening. Where permitted, many employers are requiring returning employees to submit to a temperature screening to avoid the spread of COVID-19.The EEOC has expressly permitted such screening for adults but has not addressed the issue as it relates to minors. Importantly, this type of medical screening constitutes a "medical examination" under the Americans With Disabilities Act, and most states require parental consent before conducting medical examinations on minor employees. Thus, if a company safety plan involves employee medical screening, employers should seek parental consent before implementing such policy toward minors and consult any other relevant state laws.
  • Working Papers. Many states require a designated school official issue working papers to a minor only after being satisfied that the working conditions and hours will not interfere with a student's education or damage a student's health. Certain states require that the school review the work papers in person. School closures, however, may impact a minor employee's ability to procure his or her working papers. Some states are making an exception to this requirement. Employers must review relevant state guidance regarding such requirements and plan for delays in obtaining the requisite paperwork. 

Additionally, if employers meet the requirements for minors returning to work, they should ensure each employee is properly supervised. One suggestion is to implement a mentor/mentee system where a seasoned worker is assigned a minor employee to supervise. This can assist management with alleviating the task of micro-managing its summer staff in this COVID-19 era.

The Bottom Line
This is only a general summary of the FLSA's child labor restrictions. Because of more restrictive state laws, federal law might only be the tip of the iceberg. At a minimum, an employer should review its hiring and employment practices - including any relatively new return-to-work policies - with respect to minors and implement a process to ensure compliance with the FLSA and any applicable state laws.

Fisher Phillips will continue to monitor the rapidly developing COVID-19 situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips' Alert System to get the most up-to-date information. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, any attorney in our Wage and Hour Practice Group, or any member of our Post-Pandemic Strategy Group Roster. You can also review our FP BEYOND THE CURVE: Post-Pandemic Back-To-Business FAQs For Employers and our FP Resource Center For Employers.


This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.



For The Marina Bulliten Board



Construction Corner

The Makeover of Bayshore Marina: A Re-Decking Project

Located in Newport Beach California, Bayshore Marina has recently completed a major renovation resulting in a more environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing experience for their clients and the surrounding community. The private marina contains 134 boat slips ranging from 20' to 83' and is situated directly in Newport Harbor's main channel. The recent renovation was primarily cosmetic, replacing its dulling pressure treated Douglas Fir decking with 52,000 lineal feet of new IPE decking, but structural updates were also made as a part of the scope of work.

Bellingham Marine led the project beginning in early February 2020, and it was completed on an expedited schedule with minimal impact to boaters, as the marina remained open for use throughout the five-month makeover. The project utilized a phased approach to re-decking beginning at the fingers, with two separate crews working on the main head walk and progressing from the end ties inward allowing for an accelerated completion of the renovation.

Although treated wood decking has been standard in marina construction for years, the use of Brazilian hardwood was the obvious choice when selecting a replacement that would provide a smaller environmental footprint with a stunning visual appeal. Known for its uniform texture and durability along with its warm, red tones, IPE offers additional benefits as it is naturally rot and insect resistant and allows the material to be installed without chemical and preservative pressure-treatments, providing even greater environmental advantages over chemically treated wood. IPE has a low heat retention rate - dispersing absorbed heat at a faster rate than materials such as composite. This is particularly convenient for application in the hot summer months in California, allowing boaters a more controlled and consistent environment within the marina. The new decking requires minimal maintenance and the material ages and weathers over time producing a pleasant sun-bleached silver appearance.

In addition to the re-decking, other new visually appealing elements were incorporated including updated fendering, power center covers, meter covers, hose racks and fiberglass dock boxes with removable tray inserts. Other non-aesthetic improvements fitted by Bellingham Marine added additional flotation allowing the addition of proper freeboard to the structure and improvements to low points that existed in the docks prior to renovation. Double pile guides were fabricated to correct and stabilize the uneven fingers, and the project replaced an additional 30 pile frames and installed supplementary rollers to the structure.

Customers of the new marina will enjoy the improved aesthetics of

the renovation while benefiting from functional upgrades whenever setting out for a day trip or an extended cruise. The increased curb appeal of the project adds to the overall appearance of the main channel, and its location, environmentally friendly construction, and durability assure that Bayshore Marina will be the preferred marina for yacht and duffy owners both now and for many years to come.



Trade Member Highlight

2021 SmartPlug Marine Catalog Includes Dockside Products


SmartPlug Systems, innovative manufacturer of safer shore power delivery solutions for recreational and commercial marine, has debuted its 2021 catalog. Available for download at, it includes the company's new line of marina and dockside power products.

Unlike most catalogs, SmartPlug's concentrates first on the leading causes of shore power failure and boat fires before product descriptions. This laser-focus on safety and education is what separates the company from its competitors, both in print and as a corporate culture.

SmartPlug's new dockside solutions come from decades of shore power experience and customer feedback. Like its boat-side connectors, the concept overcomes the many issues inherent in 80-year-old twist-type connection technology. The new offerings include receptacles, weather doors, Eaton Lighthouse conversion kits, dock and boat lift kits, marina cordsets and power adapters. All SmartPlug products come with an industry-leading seven-year warranty.

"The addition of dockside products is the result of years of strategic planning and thorough testing," said Tony Barber, SmartPlug Systems CEO. "We took a completely new approach with this edition of our catalog and have produced a real winner."

SmartPlug Systems engineers and manufactures in the USA safe alternatives to twist-type AC shore power connections. Its plugs, inlets, cordsets, sensors and breakers are CE certified; its 30A and 50A inlets and connectors are ETL certified to UL standards and meet CSA requirements.

Contact: SmartPlug Systems 2500 Westlake Ave N., Ste, G Seattle, WA 98109-2262 Phone:206-285-2990 Fax:206-285-2981



Trade Member Highlight

High Time for HDPE Repairs on Waterfront Properties

Every seasoned harbor master and marina operator knows the many hours of back-breaking labor to sand, stain, and seal walkways, dock planking and boat slips. The costs and the effort are continuous.

Even in this era of Covid 19, joists, beams, and railings still need repairs, replacement, and upgrades, whether or not the waterfront is active.

As wood prices continually increase, HDPE high density polyethylene marine lumber profiles, manufactured by Bedford Technologies, offer a quality, durable, and almost maintenance-free alternative.

Most marina and harbor masters are familiar with HDPE pipes and floating docks but may be unaware of the eco-friendly HDPE construction materials that can be installed as easily as wood and solve a variety of other marine structure challenges.

With HDPE marine construction materials, there is no longer a need to look for signs of rotten decking boards, splinters, saltwater damage, or barnacles.

HDPE marine construction profiles are available for any size project. It comes in a variety of cool colors and slip resistant textures that resist sun fading, chipping and peeling. And, for more rugged strength and usage, HDPE is reinforced with fiberglass. Bedford Technologies offers a variety of "SMART-fence™" and other super-strength fiberglass embedded profiles.

HDPE marine lumber conveniently comes in standard wood measurements or can be customized to just the right lengths needed for any size project. An added feature is easy, convenient delivery from manufacturer directly to the construction site!

Keeping relevant is important in any business and, with climate change, marine facilities are facing greater pressures to diligently respond to and address environmental issues.

Here, HDPE marine construction profiles can also be a solid solution. Made essentially from recycled food and consumer product containers, HDPE is eco-friendly-no leaching into the water, no toxic chemicals, no decay or corrosion.

Whether repairing or reinforcing seawalls, bulkheads, marine pilings, pontoons, berths and dock bumpers or replacing benches, picnic tables, or fencing HDPE marine construction materials are versatile and solve a lot of headaches. 

With a virtually lifetime maintenance free HDPE-built out port or marina, the maintenance crew will have time to devote to other projects and the port captain can prioritize the budget in other ways.

An annual pressure wash keeps the HDPE walkways and dock areas looking great!

High Tek Deck Inc. is a nationwide resource and prime distributor of high quality, environmentally friendly, sustainable HDPE profiles. For more information and to arrange a Zoom conference or a customized presentation, please call Bill Flynn, CEO, at: (650) 368-7957 or e-mail:



The Last Word  

To all of our MRA Members and Future Members;

Latitude 38 is working on a story for boaters coming from the Pacific Northwest into California and what if any restrictions there are for boaters coming into coastal marinas. Over the last couple of weeks I reached out to our coastal members to get answers to on this subject. I am very pleased that I received over 50% of the marinas responding.

With the 49th Annual MRA Educational Conference & Trade Show on hold for this year, we are focusing on how we can better serve our members. Your board members have come up with some great ideas that will be rolled out over the next few months. While the conference is a big part of MRA's mission, there are new ways to educate during these unusual times as well as the work that goes into the lobbying that protects our members. Our year starts tomorrow, July 1st and I urge you to continue to support this organization.

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

* DBW Commission Meeting August 13, 2020
* California State Senate Drops Sportfishing License Reform
* California Coastal Cleanup
* A Refresher on Employing Minors During COVID19: What Employers Need to Know
* For the Marina Bulliten
* Construction Corner

* Trade Member Highlight - 2021 SmartPlug Marine Catalog Includes Dockside Products

* Trade Member Highlight - High Time for HDPE Repairs on Waterfront Properties

* The Last Word

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