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Corona del Mar Today: Holiday weekend swelled beaches

June 02, 2012|By Amy Senk
  • More than 200,000 people visited Newport Beach beaches during the holiday weekend, a lifeguard and fire spokeswoman said.
More than 200,000 people visited Newport Beach beaches… (Amy Senk, Daily…)

More than 200,000 people visited Newport Beach beaches over the holiday weekend, a lifeguard and fire spokeswoman said.

"Three regular staff commented that it [Monday] was the largest Memorial Day attendance they could remember," Newport Beach Fire Department spokeswoman Jennifer Schulz wrote in an email.

On Saturday, cool and cloudy weather in the morning and afternoon breezes possibly contributed to the smallest crowds of the weekend, with 55,000 people on local beaches. Lifeguards made six rescues, wet prevents — actions where a lifeguard goes into the water — 60 dry prevents, 22 minor First Aid calls, 655 public contacts, took reports of two lost children, issued 75 warnings to surfers, five warnings about dogs and two warnings to boat operators.

On Sunday, the weather was partly cloudy in the morning and sunny and windy in the afternoon, 70,000 people visited the beach. Lifeguards made nine rescues, 665 wet prevents, 150 dry prevents, 26 minor First Aid calls, one medical aid call, 1,190 public contacts, 30 warnings about illegal barbecues, took reports of three lost children, issued warnings to 120 surfers and 11 dog owners, made two warnings to boat operators and made one boat assist with two people on board.

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Tree well project could get funding

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board is considering spending as much as $5,000 to add irrigation to 10 tree wells as a final part of a beautification project the group began last summer.

"The biggest issue is irrigation," said BID Chairman Bernie Svalstad.

In July, the group spent about $100 per tree well to clean and plant 150 tree wells along East Coast Highway. Some tree wells are tended by business owners, and those were left alone.

But within a few months, the group voted to spend another $1,887 to replant 18 tree wells that were ravaged by hot weather, dogs and thieves. The group identified tree wells that lined up with parking spaces, adding plants that could handle being stepped on when passengers exited cars.

Svalstad said he recently took a two-hour walk with a landscaper to assess all the tree wells, identifying 10 locations where irrigation lines have been cut because of curb cuts or other work.

The irrigation lines are in place, but there would be construction costs of about $5,000 to reconnect the existing lines, he said.

Tree wells without irrigation systems have been hand-watered weekly, but Svalstad said that wasn't proving adequate to sustain the vegetation.

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