"The Dockwalker Program has been a terrific public outreach and education program that fits perfectly with our Boating Safety Program at the Universityof California, Davis. It makes perfect sense to increase environmental awareness and clean boating practices while providing boating safety education, the benefits of an informed public directly translate to safer and cleaner waters for California and the generations of boaters that work, play or perform research through out our states waterways. We must continue to share the information in the Dockwalker kits because the quality of our water directly impacts millions of organisms and ultimately millions people, therefore it is truly up to us, the people, to keep it clean and safe for a sustainable future, the Dockwalker Program is helping us toward that goal."   (James Fitzgerald, U.C. Davis, Office of Boating Safety, USCG Auxiliary - Sonoma).

Dockwalking in Santa Barbara

"Everyone is upbeat about the Dockwalker program as I believe people want to do the right thing, but often not sure exactly how to help." (Marion Seaman, USCG Auxiliary, US Power Squadron and Long Beach Shoreline Yacht Club – Long Beach).

"Boaters are excited about this program.  They seem to be especially appreciative of the oil pillow.  One person told me that they keep the occasional oil drippings in tow by leaving the pillow in their bilge."(Victoria Colella, Sausalito Wooden Boat Tour - Sausalito).

"People were very pleased to fill out the survey, learn about clean boating and get the clean boating kit. It is a great program and I hope to do more soon. Everyone was so upbeat about the program as I believe people want to do the right thing, but often times not sure what the right thing is." (Winston Bumpus Sequoia Yacht Club - Redwood City)

When we do our Vessel Safety Exam Stations, we also do the Dockwalking.  Almost everyone I asked to take the survey said yes.  They were very eager to learn how to be a cleaner boater.  They also understand the answers better after I give a brief explanation as to why the correct answer is the correct answer.  Plus, they just like getting free stuff (Robert Niccum, US Coast Guard Auxiliary - Livermore).

"I worked an event for safe boating week at U.S. Coast Guard Base Golden Gate. We were offering tours of a Coast Guard rescue boat and a private yacht used in Coast Guard patrols.  The base is adjacent to the Children's Discovery Museum. We had many children come by with their parents to tour the boats. It was a great opportunity to talk to boat owners and their families about the California Division of Boating and Waterways and the CA Coastal Commission's Dockwalker program.  Working with the Coast Guard added expertise from their end for questions about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and how we are all partners in defending the water and sea communities around us.

Priscilla Minkel at Benicia Yacht Club (Dockwalkers Program)
Priscilla Minkel at Benicia Yacht Club

As the parents (those that were boaters) signed their pledge to keep our waters clean, the children were awarded stickers from me so they felt part of the pledge too.   As one 8 year old said as she left, " Daddy, you made a promise today to be a clean boater, mommy and I will make sure you keep it!"  Dad just smiled. reach to boaters will pay off in many ways now and in the future." (Christopher Poehlmann, US Coast Guard Auxiliary - San Rafael)

"The Dockwalker program is an invaluable asset to California marinas.  The Program educates the boating public as to the importance of being environmentally aware in our interaction with the water.  As boaters, we have an intimate relationship with water and want to see it kept clean and healthy.  I have taken the Dockwalker course and have become a certified Dockwalkers.  I can now help educate my tenants about best management practices in all boating activities, and how to have the least impact on the marine environment.  I can not say enough good things about the Dockwalker program and its important relationship with the boating public.  Thanks Dockwalkers for your great work!" (Elaine Lutz, Cabrillo Isle Marina Harbormaster - San Diego)

"Every since I received a boater kit at the LA boat show in 2009 the Dockwalker program has become more interesting.  5 members of our Alamitos Sail and Power Squadron attended a training session at Newport in March of 2009.  When it came time to order some boater kits to handout I said yes to take one "unit" plus a box of kits which was handed out at the training event.  Several of our squadron members including myself thought a unit was one more case of 18 boater kits.  Were we ever surprised when 3 boxes arrive a week after the training session.  The first chance to distribute boater kits was at the Anaheim SCMA boat show in April.  I thought well I will be working at the USPS booth so let's see how the boat show guests react.  I gave away a full box of kits and called my fellow USPS member for another box which he delivered to the show.  By the end of the evening of that first day of the show all 36 boater kits were distributed after surveys were turned in. Handing out the boater kits allowed us to break the Ice with visitors and discuss USPS as well as the Dock Walker program clean boating messages.

Since that show we have handed out kits on Y dock in Oceanside, at the Fall SCMA show in Long Beach, to members of the San Luis Rey USPS squadron in Oceanside and to students in our USPS classes.  This spring we handed out kits at both the USPS booth and the Santa Monica Baybooth at SCMA's LA boat show.  Then it was on the Fred Hall Show in Long Beach and Del Mar where several hundred kits were distributed.

Its nice to ask visitors "Do you have a Boat" and get a "yes" response which leads to survey's getting filled out to turn.  Best of all is to either educate or remind boaters that they need to use pump outs, avoid oil spill and NEVER squirt soap on an oil spill to make it disappear from the surface.  Hopefully we can add other simple education and reminders to the program to encourage collection of all trash on your boat for disposal on land. That includes those not so innocent cigarettes and any Styrofoam pieces.  (As a licensed captain we discourage anyone from bringing Styrofoam on the boat while discouraging any smoking.)

It is rewarding to ask people at boat shows, Do you have a boat? and having received a yes response"  (Dick Daybell, US Power Squadron, Oceanside Harbor)..

Dockwalking at Folsom Lake
Dockwalking at Folsom Lake

"The Dockwalker program on the North Coast has become a joint project of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, our Marinas and local citizens involved in boating activities.  Combining the Auxiliary Vessel Safety Exams and information on "clean and green"boating has broadened the awareness and responsibility level of our boating community.  Having our Marinas distribute boater bags to people passing through on their voyages up and down the coast has included them in our outreach.  The Dockwalker program continues to be enjoyed by everyone involved." (Maggy Herbelin, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Humboldt Baykepper - Eureka). ive to the Clean Water Act, it only seemed natural to take my previous concerns "over the water."  With the Dockwalker program we are able to provide environmental education through a friendly and amicable process.  Those boat owners with whom we encounter are very receptive to hearing about aquatic invasive species especially since many of them have heard about those issues but never had them explained.  Also, those with whom we speak take comfort in knowing a Dockwalker is making an effort to help educate boaters about the hazards of illegal discharges into not only our bays and harbors but also into "Areas of Special Biological Significance."

So, quite frankly, we provide a service, an educational service, to those that recreate in our bays, harbors and estuaries in an effort to provide a legacy for our children and grand children.  Many of us have enjoyed playing in these waters and now we have the opportunity to help provide that enjoyment to the next generations."  (Jim Sinasek, City of Newport Beach, Special Projects Coordinator, Harbor Resources – Newport Beach).

"All of our customers who received the clean boating kits were more than happy to spend a few minutes filling out the survey. Most were very impressed with the contents of the kits and were surprised when learning something new!" (Andrea Borges, VJMarine Services - Pittsburg).

Dockwalking in Marina Del Rey
Dockwalking in Marina Del Rey

"Boater Education has become my passion as the result of entering the Dockwalker Program.  Today, I am the chair for Boater Education at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club.  I was surprised by the lack of knowledge and the enthusiasm displayed by those I had the chance to survey about environmentally responsible boating.  It is crystal clear that most boaters want to do the responsible thing when it comes to boating and "not polluting". 

My favorite places to participate in the Dockwalker Program are fuel docks where by example we inspire the employees providing fuel for the boaters.  We encourage the boaters to stop and think about what they are tossing overboard while out fishing.  My other favorite place is the launch ramp on a busy day.  People are lined up waiting to get into the water.  They have time to take the survey and are delighted with their reward gifts.  The rewards for taking the survey are the "Key"to getting the boaters we really need to educate to take the survey.  Otherwise they'd probably never stop and think about pollution.

We CAN make the "blue pacific"blue again." (Carole Walsh, Vice-commodore Fairwind Yacht Club, Marina Del Rey).

"Some of the comments I have received from boaters include: "I found this survey to be helpful because I jogged my mind into action and practicing these good clean boating habits, not just thinking about them.  The bag is a good way to have the materials close by and it reminds me to tell the other users who come on board to be responsible" and finally "The pillow is the best!  Just the right size!"  (Patrick Henry, City of Santa Barbara HarborOperations Assistant – Santa Barbara).

"Our Public Information table was busy with boaters filling out surveys for the Dockwalker program and learning how they can make a difference in keeping our marina's clean and our beaches safe. We gave out 21 boat bags and the boater enthusiasm was inspiring. We heard comments from boaters, "This program is so needed in our area", "It's really nice to be a part of the solution instead of the cause of a problem", "The Dockwalker program "Rocks!" (Mike Ledger, Vice Flotilla Commander, Mission BayFlotilla 1 – 5).