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UPDATE: Mason's Marina Community Feedback Impacts Plans


UPDATE: Mason's Marina Community Feedback Impacts Plans

Follow up on 11/16/15 Community Meeting Re-Mason's Marina Improvements 

We want to thank all of you who participated in our November 16, 2015 Community Meeting relative to ideas for future improvements at Mason’s Marina. Below is a copy of the feedback from the meeting and from those who completed the feedback sheets. 

Mason's marina Mini-Mart.Gas Station FacilityIn response to the feedback we have decided to defer the feasibility study and focus our current efforts on improvements to the docks and boat slips of Mason’s Marina and other improvements to address safety and environmental concerns including testing for soil and ground water contamination from the Mason’s Marina gas station.  

We will also be giving consideration to the suggestions that we look for a contractor to operate the Mason’s Mini-market and that we provide information in our existing facility to the public regarding the bay and ocean ecosystems. 

Our thanks to the Bodega Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Bodega Bay Fishermen’s Marketing Association for hosting the meeting and all of you for participating.  

James Nantell, Deputy Director
Sonoma County Regional Parks
707 565-2946


What is important to you about this site?

  • Having a viable Marina for sport and recreational fishing and boating. I miss the boat yard for repairing boats.
  • Replace Marina with safe and efficient facility for both commercial and recreational boat operations.
  • Develop a capital improvement plan made up of individual projects with estimated cost for each and timeframe to implement.
  • Location
  • Real working site
  • Wildlife health.
  • Protecting fishing community.
  • Increasing tourist and reasons for coming to Bodega Bay.
  • Providing cost to Bodega Bay for this site - public safety, utilities.
  • Commercial fishing - fix it so it is safe and usable facility available for the fisherman.
  • Operational Marina
  • Fresh fish sales
  • Fishing industry support - fuel, ice, etc.
  • Keeping it real.

What is the best use of the space at Masons Marina?

  • A viable marina for fishing and boating. Consider a more stratified pricing system to encourage relatively low cost short-term berthing for empty slips.
  • Study viability of service station (contaminated soils, new double containment tanks, etc.)
  • Eliminate small market (mini store)
  • Study liability interface with tourist and facility users
  • Necessary for the fishing industry.
  • Feasibility study should be for fishing needs only - cost of improvements.
  • Fishermen’s access and storage
  • Large dock for fishermen and observers
  • Sale of fish to the public
  • Public walkways, picnic tables
  • Informational signs and exhibits
  • Marina
  • Open space.
  • Bird watching.
  • Home to local newspaper.
  • Commercial fishermen’s usage
  • Marina, small commercial center
  • Trailhead for walking trail to connect shoreline access north and south and including Spud Point, breakwater.
  • People love to see boats, birds etc. make sure they can do this at Masons.
  • Upgrade its current use.

What questions do have about the site?

  • Can the lights be redone so there is less light pollution, install shades to direct light downward only? Fewer lights more yellow, less white.   I live on Sandpiper Court overlooking the Marina – Carla Thomas.
  • Provide clean understanding cost and revenues. Provide statement of cost of existing operation by category.
  • Parking? ESHA area across from prime environmental sanctuaries, marshland, Heron rookery, etc. must be protected.
  • Parking?
  • Restrooms?
  • Protection of wildlife.
  • Cost to operate and repair Marina.
  • Potential for renting all slips if they are repaired.
  • Is this the info center area that the “water taxis” will be docked at. Bodega Bay does not need any water taxis on the bay.
  • Where are all the cars going to park using the info center?
  • Can Doran Park increase the dump fees for RVs to help fund this Marina?

Additional comments:

  • Continue to encourage crab boats to turn off bright spotlights while in port. Consider approaching UC Marine Lab to help with grant writing.
  • I’m opposed to any development that increases tourism.
  • Have a firm plan for future presentation. Rod Moore BBPUD Bid president
  • Traffic conditions do not allow.
  • How can this project combined private enterprise in public access and education?
  • Visitors and residents love Bodega Bay’s small size and legitimate working fishery. Can we combine the visitors experience and curiosity with the professional fishery community?
  • Fix Masons for the commercial fishermen! Leave our town alone as far as tourist are concerned - tourist are going to come and have come forever.
  • Our commercial fishermen are going to be phased out by Regional Parks system. 
  • People can walk down to Spud Point Marina if they want to see a view of the bay.
  • Lease out the little store, let someone else sell beer and smokes.
  • Fuel sales should make money at local prices.
  • Doran Park can’t handle current parking demand.

Transcribe Flipchart Notes from Public Feedback

  • Public is concerned about cumulative impact of the various things proposed for the coast.
  • Repair and rent the marina slips there are currently not usable.
  • Get grants to upgrade the Marina.
  • Public walkway with access to be able to buy fresh fish.
  • Simplify the feasibility study by not including educational center suggestion.
  • Have more conversations with the community going forward.
  • Provide information in our existing facility to the public regarding the bay and ocean ecosystems.
  • The feasibility study should address all the options including no building, no gas station, etc.
  • Feasibility study should include a formula to get regional parks to contribute to the infrastructure and public safety services.
  • How is the money being spent today?
  • What’s in the RFP?


E- Mail from John Doolittle

More input for last night's list of follow up items:

1) How is the current budget/money being spent?  Provide a better understanding of how the Marina is working today financially.

2) How much to repair the slips; and estimate?

3) What is the total demand for slips (Puerto Bodega seems to thinks there is more demand than the County)

4) What about a low interest loan from the County to repair slips?

5) Continue to pursue grants

6) How will this interpretive center bring in revenue?

7) How does the 590 square foot marina building relate to larger footprint for the interpretive center?

8) What else is being planning for the coast, LCP, COOL, etc.?  Impact of winery development in West Sonoma County, etc.

9) Address the total infrastructure issues based on everything planned for the coast; fire/safety protection, traffic, parking, water, sewage, road use, etc.

10) Give us an idea of total inflows and outflows (now and projected) of money connected with the Marina.  Maybe the projected revenues don't justify the investment.

11) How much will a feasibility study cost?  Who bears this cost?  County...Marina?

12) The COOL project seems like an extension of Project Gateway.  Is it?  Why isn't it?

You are looking for input from the community, but the community does not have a full understanding of what the County's total plan is for the coast.  There is much concern about more and more tourists/traffic being driven to the coast with little consideration for our lifestyle and the impact this traffic will have on the existing residents and businesses.  You already know the Fire District is on life support because we don't have enough money to fund the existing needs.  This will only get worse when more and more people are encouraged to come to the coast?  The only way I see for the Marina to recover revenues is to drive more and more people out here to use "booking services for water activities, sport fishing, sailing, whale watching tours, rentals for kayaks, sailboard, etc." as mentioned in your COOL handout.  We need a lot more information that when we have today to make an informed decision and provide the input you are looking for.



2015.11.19 Email to James Nantell, Deputy Director, Sonoma County Regional Parks

RE: Masons Marina


I live and work in Bodega Bay and have been a Sonoma County resident for 27 years. My husband, (a Sonoma County native) is a Bodega Bay business owner and the bulk of his work is on the Sonoma coast. I walk Doran Beach several times a week and speak to hundreds of beach goers. The beauty and tranquility of this area is why people come here from all over the world. I (along with several others) regularly pick up trash on Doran Beach. This summer I averaged 30 gallons of trash a week.

My main concern about  Masons Marina and any Bodega Bay proposed project is the impact on wildlife, the ocean, and the surrounding environment. I have a couple of questions and comments to add to Monday nights conversation regarding Masons Marina.


The overall consensus of the community attending the meeting was that commercial fishing should be the main focus of Masons Marina. On page 9 of the County of Sonoma Regional Parks Staff Report, Bodega Bay Opportunities, dated January 14, 2013, under the heading, Summary of Interim Recommendations, sub heading, 'Mason's Marina', the first bullet point states, "Commercial berth rentals will be phased out". The 5th bullet point states, "Mason's may be demolished to provide for such future uses." Is this still the intention of Regional Parks and if not, where can I get an updated plan document?


Section Two: Potential Long-term Strategies of the document mentioned above, there are 6 bullet points. The 5th is, "Increase tourism and create a vibrant tourist economy." No where is fishing mentioned in this list. The 6th bullet point is, "Contribute to improvement of local economy" which makes no mention of the fishing industry and is rather ambiguous.


In this same document under Bodega Bay Center for Outdoor Opportunities and Learning (Bodega Bay COOL):

2nd paragraph, "In addition to the onsite educational facilities, the Center would coordinate programming, link with shuttles and trails, and cross promote the other existing and forthcoming scientific and educational centers in the region, such as the U.C. Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory & Reserve, Monte Rio Watershed Educational Center, Occidental Adventure Day Lodge, and the future visitor center of Jenner Headlands Preserve." Caryl Hart mentioned at Monday nights meeting that Regional Parks has "backed off" the Gateway Project in light of the upset of the Occidental community over the project. Is there a revised copy of this document to reflect that shift?


Reading through this document it's no wonder people are concerned that Regional Parks is trying to nudge out the fishing industry and put it place an "Adventure Center" which does, in my opinion, sound very 'Disneylandish'. The concern that the county views Bodega Bay as a "cash cow" is very real and must be addressed head on. I understand the dilemma of the county needing to find viable funding to renovate Masons Marina but you're not going to get far if people feel manipulated or lied to (as did the Occidental community).

2015.11.19 Email to James Nantell, Deputy Director, Sonoma County Regional Parks

RE: Masons Marina

Forming an advisory committee for this project that reflects the community seems to be a solid place to begin. This committee should include people from all walks of life here in Bodega Bay. The members should be willing to commit to attending and contributing to each meeting. Members should commit to objectivity and to stay open to community input.

Final thoughts:

• Bodega Bay and Doran Park in particular are already overwhelmed with spring/summer/fall tourists. Traffic, road safety, impact on wildlife, impact on the beaches (trash) and environment are already heavily burdened by this influx of tourists. Encouraging more tourism/people will further burden all aspects of life for those who live, work and visit Bodega Bay.

• Safety of tourists and residents of Bodega Bay must be addressed. Our understaffed and overworked fire department cannot keep up with the summer demand. The tax payers of Bodega Bay are already carrying the brunt of the cost. Charging outside residents for emergency calls seems in order to offset the costs.

• Transparency: Make Profit and Loss statement and all financials for Masons Marina public. Create an online forum for conversation and input about this project.

I appreciate the opportunity to weigh in on this project. As a Bodega Bay resident I look forward to working with the community and Regional Parks to come up with a solution that will enhance the financial viability of Masons Marina and our fishing industry. I believe we can accomplish this task while keeping the wildlife, ocean, and tranquil environment a priority.

Thank you,

Darris Nelson, Bodega Bay