Dockwalker TOOLS/TIPS

The effort of Dockwalkers increase boater awareness about clean and safe boating in California, thus improving the recreation experience of boaters while helping preserve the precious wildlife habitat and water quality of this state.  Below, Dockwalkers can find various tools to assist in their efforts.

Tracking Boater Kits


Help us to determine the extent of the Dockwalker’s outreach efforts -- please keep track of the number and location of boater kits you distribute.

Please take a moment to fill out the Dockwalkers tracking form via our online sytem OR in PDF to help the Campaign to make this program more valuable in the future. If you fill out the forms in PDF or MS Word, return by December 1st each year by mailing them to Vivian Matuk.



In recognition of the good work and dedication of our clean boating Dockwalkers, we will be honoring the most active Dockwalkers who get the most complete number of boater surveys.

After finishing your Dockwalking activities in 2023, collect all the boater surveys and return them before October 31, 2023. 



Please mail or scan and email Boater Questionnaires to:
Vivian Matuk
Environmental Boating Program Coordinator
California State Parks
California Coastal Commission
455 Market Street, Suite 228
San Francisco, CA 94105

Dockwalking Tips

  • Do your homework first. Review the material you received during the Dockwalker training including the Handbook and the Boater Kit Educational messages.
  • Engage local marine business operators in your effort. Marine business operators need to know about and support the Dockwalkers outreach effort. Visit the marina manager or harbormaster before you Dockwalk there. Tell them about Dockwalkers and show them the outreach materials you plan to distribute. Ask them if they prefer to notify their tenants as to when and where Dockwalking will take place, or find out if you are welcome to come anytime. You may need to arrange to have access to the gates and docks if these are kept locked.  
  • Please remember that you are an EDUCATOR, not an enforcement officer. Limit your activities as a Dockwalker to education and outreach.
  • Focus on the primary messages the boater kit targets. The kit focuses on oil, sewage, toxic boat cleaning and maintenance, gray water, and marine debris. This is too much to cover in one visit. What you cover will depend on the interests and activities of the person you talk to, but remember that oil and fuel discharge is a main topic, since you are distributing oil absorbents. Sewage is also a primary pollution issue. Please refer to Statewide and Delta Boater Kit Distribution and Questionnaire Guidelines for the main messages associated to each of the items including in the boater kits.
  • Timing: You should provide as much information as possible without being annoying or losing their attention. Keep tuned to their facial expressions and body language to determine the attention span of your listener.
  • Kits must be accompanied by education. These kits are expensive. Part of the reason we give them out is to get people to listen. Don’t give them away without first doing the education. Otherwise, we’re giving away something for free without raising awareness.
  • Ask questions to generate discussion. Ask if they have ever tried using a oil absorbent to clean oil or fuel spills. Ask if their boat has a bilge. Ask if they have an installed toilet on board.
  • Judge the attention span of the listener. Talking for too long, taking up too much time, can be annoying. Start out by asking if they’d take a moment for you to give then some basic clean boating information.
  • Give credit to the boater for good practices. If the boater already uses an oil absorbent to clean spills, or always uses a sewage pump-out, acknowledge that they helping to protect the environment.
  • Make sure you know about local marina waste disposal (oil, sewage, and absorbent pad) facilities and local household hazardous waste facilities before you start Dockwalking. Check out the Tide Tables in the boater kits. They list marina oil and sewage facilities. Call 1(800) CLEANUP or visit and enter your zip code for local disposal information. Please also refer to the Delta map for Delta specific pollution prevention services.
  • Be friendly and helpful - don’t make people feel like sinners. Humor is an asset.
  • REMEMBER: Boating is not one of the biggest sources of pollution. We all need to do our part, not just boaters.
  • Don’t give misinformation. It’s OK to say “I don’t know.”