Las Vegas Sun

September 25, 2021

Currently: 89° — Complete forecast

Weather delaying move by marina

The Las Vegas Bay Marina is moving about 14 miles south of its current Lake Mead location to get away from sediments flowing from Las Vegas Wash that are engulfing its docks.

The move to Horsepower Cove, near Hemenway Harbor, was scheduled to begin this week after an environmental assessment found no negative effect. But the move has been delayed because of weather, marina manager Gail Kaiser said Monday.

Winds above 20 mph make it dangerous to relocate the marina, and a cold front moving into Southern Nevada tonight and Wednesday will bring those conditions, trumping the move downstream, Kaiser said.

It should take about 30 days to complete the move, National Park Service spokeswoman Karla Norris said.

The marina's new home in Horsepower Cove is officially temporary because federal environmental laws require an amended general management plan for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area to change the location permanently, Norris said. That process should take about two or three years after Congress approves funding for it, Norris said.

Rapidly moving sediments down the Las Vegas Wash are threatening the operations, recreation services and public safety of the marina, owned and operated by the Kaiser family for more than 45 years.

The Park Service estimated erosion over the past 30 years has dropped 4.5 million cubic yards of material into the delta.

As Lake Mead's water levels continue to drop as the West's drought continues, the murky sediments are spreading throughout the bay.

"The delta moved 60 feet in six days last week," Kaiser said. "But the weather forecast this week makes moving out of the question."

The Kaisers and frequent marina visitors also worry about the marina's move on a flock of ducks, sandpipers, two brown pelicans and a white pelican that thrive on the fish and snacks handed out by tourists.

"We're afraid we'll lose them," Kaiser said, although wildlife experts have told her the birds and waterfowl will follow the boating activity downstream.

Once the move is complete, the marina will operate with cellular phones because telephone lines don't reach that far, Kaiser said.

The Nevada Division of Health will check drinking water supplies and the state Environmental Protection Division will review sanitation at the relocated marina.