Depoe Bay accepts ‘Best Harbor’ honor

Depoe Bay Mayor Robert Gambino displays a commemorative plaque celebrating the city’s designation as 2020’s Best Harbor during the Aug. 4 meeting of the Depoe Bay City Council.

DEPOE BAY — Last month, Depoe Bay added a caveat to its title of the world’s smallest navigable harbor. In a letter to the city dated July 14, US Harbors named Depoe Bay the 2020 winner of its Best Harbor in the U.S. contest.

On behalf of the city, Mayor Robert Gambino happily accepted its latest accolade during the Aug. 4 Depoe Bay City Council meeting at city hall.

“The annual ‘Best Harbor’ contest is ultimately a testament to the strength of our coastal communities; one that reflects the deep commitment and pride of local residents, as well as their ability to effectively communicate with one another and act as a group,” the letter from US Harbors reads. “These traits are more important than ever as our coasts experience rapid changes, and we are faced with new challenges that affect us both physically and economically.”

According to US Harbors, a national organization providing information about weather and tides, and general news for more than 1,400 harbors throughout the coastal U.S. and Great Lakes, Depoe Bay claimed the 2020 Best Harbor title from a pool of 786 harbors that received votes.

At this week’s council meeting, Gambino unveiled a plaque sent by US Harbors in celebration of the city’s latest award and noted the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce might want to host a celebration of the award.

“They award this once a year to a harbor, and we got it, so that’s pretty darned good,” Gambino said. “(The commemorative plaque) is going to be placed probably along the harbor fence.”

Harbors that finished among the top-five receiving votes in the contest include runner-up Oneset, Mass., 2019 winner Padanaram, Mass., Booth Bay, Maine, and Cuttyhunk, Mass.

Additionally, during last month’s online awards ceremony, US Harbors President Anastasia Fischer announced that Laura Furguson, Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce executive director, is the first recipient of US Harbors’ Community Cheerleader Award.

“You (Furguson) did an incredible job helping propel Depoe Bay to its win,” Fischer said. 

Others instrumental in helping Depoe Bay win the Best Harbor award included Gambino, former Fire Chief Bill Johnson and Harbormaster Roy Hildebrand.

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