Division of Boating and Waterways Offers Grants to Help Keep California’s Waterways Clean - $840,000 available for the deployment of floating restrooms

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting grant applications from public government entities for the purchase/deployment and maintenance of floating restrooms across California’s waterways. Interested entities should review the grant guidelines and submit the grant applications to DBW’s office by 5 p.m. PST Nov. 15, 2018.

The Floating Restroom Grant Program helps reduce pollution from recreational boater sewage by providing floating public restrooms in areas with limited landside access. Over one million gallons of sewage are kept out of California’s waterways each year with the use of floating restrooms. Solar-powered, the holding tanks of these facilities capture about 500 gallons of sewage. Earlier engineering designs of floating restrooms were known as S.S. Relief Stations. California State Parks engineering group re-designed the restrooms for this 2019 grant cycle to be ADA compliant.

For this year, a total of $840,000 in federal and state funding is available for the purchase and deployment of approximately nine DBW-designed and developed ADA-compliant floating restrooms. Grants are also available to offset ongoing operation and maintenance costs of these units. To be eligible for funding, grant applicants must operate a California lake or reservoir that is open to the public.

DBW staff will rank the competitive grant applications according to need, as well as the ability to operate and maintain the floating restrooms for at least 10 years. The division expects to announce grant recipients early in 2019.

The Floating Restroom Grant Program is available through the Clean Vessel Act, which is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program and the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund. More than 260 floating restrooms have been placed on California lakes and reservoirs through this grant program since 1972. About 160 restrooms are currently deployed.

General information on the grant requirements and online application can be found on DBW’s Floating Restroom Grant webpage.


Division of Boating and Waterways Urges Safe Boating Practices this Labor Day Weekend
Accident Stats Show Life Jacket Wear is Critical on Crowded Waterways

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With boaters and water enthusiasts heading to California’s waterways for summer’s last hurrah this Labor Day weekend, the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is reminding everyone to take extra precautions to prevent a tragic outing. Wearing a life jacket is the number one way that someone can increase his or her chances of surviving a boating-related accident.

California’s recreational boating statistics repeatedly show the holiday weekends of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day to have the most accidents and account for 15 percent of accidents each year. The majority of drowning victims are often found not wearing life jackets. Nationwide, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that three out of four boating fatalities could have been prevented if the victims had been wearing life jackets. 

“This coming holiday weekend and beyond, we urge boaters to always wear a life jacket,” says DBW Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “Life jackets are the easiest and best preventive action boaters can take to stay alive. For water enthusiasts who may not have a life jacket, there are many life jacket loan stations throughout the state where they can borrow jackets while they recreate on shore or while wading, floating or rafting.”

Many of today’s life jackets are lightweight, easy to move in, and come in many sizes, styles, and shapes for every person and every sport. No matter what type of life jacket is chosen, it is important that a life jacket fits properly. Life jackets designed for adults will not work for children.

Below are some other tips on life jacket use:

  • Coast Guard-Approved: Only approved life jackets should be used on the water, and boaters may be cited for lacking proper equipment. All life jackets approved for use by the Coast Guard will have an approval number located on the inside label. 

  • Proper Fit: Life jacket sizes come with weight or chest measurements, and should fit snug rather than purchased to allow a wearer to “grow into.” A small life jacket may not provide enough flotation to keep a person afloat. One that is too large can slip off upon entry into the water or could ride up around the face and obstruct breathing.

  • Intended Boating Activity: Always check the life jacket label to ensure it is approved for the intended boating activity.

  • Good Condition: Check the life jacket before using to ensure it is in good condition. Jackets with rips, tears, mildew, loose or missing straps, frayed webbing, broken zippers or buckles, hardened stuffing or faded label instructions lose their strength and buoyancy and must be replaced.

In partnership with public and private entities, DBW provides U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets to loaner boards within park units and many fire department loan stations so that an individual or family can borrow a life jacket for a day or a weekend by simply completing a loan form. View Loaner Sites

Under California law, a life jacket is required for each person on board a recreational vessel. Children under 13 years of age on a moving vessel of any length, all personal watercraft riders, and anyone being towed behind a boat are required to wear a life jacket while recreating. The law does not apply to children under 13 years of age who are on a sailboat and are constrained by a harness tethered to the sailboat, in an enclosed cabin, or an a vessel engaged in an emergency rescue situation.

DBW manages a number of safety programs and provides resources to encourage safe boating on California’s waterways. For more boating and water safety information or laws, please visit BoatCalifornia.com.


2018 Boating Infrastructure Grants Available for Marina Operators
Application period opens for 2018/19 project funding

SACRAMENTO — The Division of Boating and Waterways invites public and private marina owners to apply for a Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) now through August 3, 2018. California BIG projects received $1.7 million in the previous grant cycle.

BIG is a competitive program open to both publicly and privately owned marinas to renovate or construct docks, restrooms, gangways and dockside utility hook-ups for visiting or transient recreational boaters with vessels 26 feet or greater in length.

The BIG Program is intended to:

  • Enhance access to recreational, historic, cultural and scenic resources
  • Strengthen community ties to water’s edge and economic benefits
  • Promote public/private partnerships and entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Provide continuity of public access to the shore
  • Promote awareness to transient boating opportunities

In 2018, a total of $8 million is available for BIG projects nationally. BIG is funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Applicants should first review the federal guidelines and application instructions to determine if they meet the necessary requirements. Marina operators eligible to compete in this program should contact Lisa Fernandes at Lisa.Fernandes@parks.ca.gov or (916) 327-1819.


California Participates in a National Awareness and Enforcement Campaign to Reduce Alcohol- and Drug-Related Accidents
Message to avoid alcohol use is key for the upcoming Fourth of July Holiday

SACRAMENTO - The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) announced today the participation of more than 40 California marine law enforcement agencies in the national boating under the influence (BUI) awareness and enforcement campaign dubbed “Operation Dry Water.” From Friday, June 29 to Sunday, July 1, law enforcement agencies across the United States will increase patrols and/or carry out BUI checkpoints to help reduce the number of alcohol- and drug-related accidents and fatalities and foster a stronger, more visible deterrent to their use on the water.

Launching Operation Dry Water before the Fourth of July holiday is key to preventing accidents and saving lives. California and U.S. Coast Guard recreational boating statistics repeatedly show the Fourth of July as the deadliest holiday for accidents. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 31 percent of California’s boating fatalities over the past five years where testing was conducted. Nationally, alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.

“California’s waterways during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday will be crowded,” stated Division of Boating and Waterways Acting Deputy Director/Boating Law Administrator Ramona Fernandez. “It is critical that boat operators be sober and attentive of their surroundings to safely react to unforeseen circumstances. Designating a sober passenger to help check unsafe behaviors is helpful. It is also important to know that even drunken passengers are at risk. They can easily fall overboard, swim near a propeller or lean over the side.”

Everyone onboard a boat is at risk when using alcohol and/or drugs and this may:

  • Impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.
  • Increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effect of cold-water immersion.
  • Intensify common boating “stressors” of sun, wind, noise and vibration.
  • Intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

It is important to note that there is no open container law for recreational boaters, but it is against the law in California to operate a boat or water ski with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. A person with a BAC less than 0.08 percent may be arrested if conditions are deemed unsafe. BUI convictions can result in up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. Two convictions within seven years could add a jail term of up to one year. Boaters caught operating under the influence may also have their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.

This year’s Operation Dry Water participants include:

California State Parks 
Folsom Lake (within Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento counties)
Lake Oroville (Butte County)
Millerton Lake (Fresno County)

City Police Departments
South Lake Tahoe

County Sheriff Departments
Butte Calaveras
Contra Costa
Del Norte
El Dorado
Imperial Lake
Los Angeles
San Bernardino*
San Joaquin

Harbor Patrols
Santa Barbara

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Englebright Lake (Yuba and Nevada counties)

U.S. Coast Guard Stations
Bodega Bay
Channel Islands Harbor
Golden Gate
Humboldt Bay
Lake Tahoe
Los Angeles-Long Beach
Morro Bay
Noyo River
Rio Vista
San Francisco

A map of participating agencies with their contact information can be found at: www.OperationDryWater.org/agencies. California specific boating laws and safety tips may be found at: www.BoatCalifornia.com.

Launched in 2009 by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, Operation Dry Water has been a highly successful campaign, drawing public attention to the dangers of boating under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Since the inception of the campaign, law enforcement officers have removed 3,038 BUI operators from the nation’s waterways and made contact with over 1.1 million boaters during the annual three-day weekend.

*In an Operation Dry Water 2017 Annual Report, NASBLA named California’s San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office the “Top Agency Award - Small Category” for deploying 10 officers and making 13 boating under the influence arrests during last year’s campaign.


PG&E and Division of Boating and Waterways Warn of Cold Water Hazards during Spring Snowmelt

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourage water enthusiasts to take extra precautions this spring when in or near rivers. These relatively full waterways will continue to rise as snow melts and will be dangerously cold. Simple actions such as knowing the water (is it too cold or swift), knowing your limits, wearing a life jacket or simply not entering the water when conditions are deemed unsafe can save a life.

Last spring, California’s rivers were also full and running high, fast and cold. Despite warnings from multiple public entities, numerous people entered rivers and drowned. The rising waters cover obstacles below the surface. Debris, trees and rocks combined with cold, swift water creates treacherous conditions for all recreationists – waders, swimmers, paddlers, boaters, anglers and hikers cooling off at the water’s edge. Another important fact is the temperature of rivers during spring. The average swimming pool temperature runs about 80 degrees. In contrast, swift water from snowmelt can be as cold as 40 degrees and trigger shock, paralysis and drowning.

“Do not enter the water if it’s too cold,” said DBW’s Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “Even the strongest swimmers can be stunned by cold water and become incapacitated. Also, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but also your family or friends. Too many times family members or friends go into the water to rescue their loved ones and end up losing their lives.”

Cold water immersion/shock happens quickly once you jump or fall into the water. You have one minute to adjust to the cold shock response and get control of your breathing. Swimming failure occurs after the first 10 minutes when cold water affects your ability to swim or tread water to stay afloat. Not wearing a life jacket or being alcohol-impaired while recreating in cold water makes it even more perilous and deadly once you can no longer move and slip into unconsciousness. Watch this video to see how quickly the effects of cold water immersion affects your body.

 “Nothing is more important to PG&E than the safety of the public and our employees. With the snowmelt well underway, we ask those enjoying the outdoors to be careful near mountain streams, rivers and reservoirs. Water flows can increase or decrease rapidly, so always be alert and prepared for a change in conditions. Please put safety first during your recreation activities,” said Jon Franke, PG&E’s vice president of power generation.

Below are some water safety tips:

 Stay Out and Stay Alive - Stay Out of Canals and Flumes 

  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay alive by staying out of these water conveyances, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fastmoving cold water. Stay out of canals and off elevated flumes.

Know the Risks

  • Prevention is the best way to save a person from drowning. By the time a person is struggling in water, a rescue is extremely unlikely and places the rescuer at risk.
  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Cold water entering the ear canal can cause vertigo and disorientation. This may confuse swimmers, causing them to venture deeper into the water.
  • Cold water also reduces body heat 25 to 30 times faster than air does at the same temperature, and causes impairment that can lead to fatalities.

Wear a Life Jacket 

  • Conditions change quickly in open water and even the best swimmers can misjudge the water and their skills when boating or swimming. Wearing a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket can increase survival time.
  • Anyone within 20 ft. of water should be wearing a life jacket in case of an unexpected fall.
  • A life jacket can also provide some thermal protection against the onset of cold water shock and keep you afloat until someone else can rescue you.
  • Need a life jacket? Check online to find a life jacket loaner station for a day or weekend use.

Whitewater Rafting and Paddling 

  • Most California rivers are fed by the mountain snowpack, so they are cold year around. Even on warm, sunny days, rafters and paddlers must be prepared to deal with the water temperatures. The dangers increase as water temperatures decrease below normal body temperature (98.6 degrees F).
  • DBW offers whitewater enthusiasts informative safety videos online about the dangers of high, fast and cold water safety.

Parental Supervision

  • Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Do not assume that someone is watching them. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
  • Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather. 

For more water safety information, including boating laws, please visit www.BoatCalifornia.com


State Urges Boaters to Focus on Safety in 2018Life jacket wear and boater education top prevention toolsNational Safe Boating Week May 19-25

SACRAMENTO - The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) urges recreational boaters and water enthusiasts to take the necessary precautions this summer, starting with life jacket wear and boating education, to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. In the last five-year tracking period, three out of four California boaters involved in fatal accidents were not wearing a life jacket and very few had taken a boating safety course

Life jacket wear is the number one preventive measure boaters and anyone swimming, rafting or wading in California’s coastal and inland waterways can take to save lives. Unlike the traditional orange “horse collar” of previous generations, today’s life jackets are technologically advanced, making them more convenient, less restrictive – and are now custom designed for specific water activities such as fishing, cruising or tow sports.

“To avoid the tragic loss of life during what should be enjoyable recreation, it is critical that boaters and water enthusiasts wear a life jacket when on the water,” says DBW Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “No matter what life jacket you choose, be sure it is right for you, your planned activities and the water conditions you encounter.”

When selecting and fitting a life jacket, you should take these three steps:

  • Check the label for U.S. Coast Guard approval and the manufacturer’s ratings for your size, weight and boating activity.
  • Raise your arms straight up over your head while wearing your life jacket and ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings, gently pulling up. View Video
  • See that the jacket fits snugly and does not ride up over your chin or face.

Taking a boating safety course is another simple but critical accident prevention measure for boaters to take before going on the water this season. “Whether you operate a speedboat or kayak, a safety course provides vital information on rules of the road, collision avoidance and emergency rescue techniques,” says Fernandez. “Even skilled boaters can learn something new in a short online course, studying a course book at home or in the classroom. Find one that works best for you.”

DBW has approved a number of basic boating safety courses. Passing one of these approved courses also makes boaters eligible for the new California Boater Card.

The division manages a number of safety programs and provides resources to encourage safe boating on California’s waterways. Many programs and events will kick-off during National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25). Every year, recreational boating advocates from across the United States and Canada use this week before Memorial Day weekend to remind boaters on the importance of life jacket wear and other key safety messages.

Below are California’s safety programs for 2018. The division encourages boaters and water enthusiasts to take advantage of these resources.

Life Jacket Loaner Stations
In partnership with public and private entities, DBW provides life jackets to loaner boards within park units and loan stations so that an individual or family can borrow a life jacket for a day or a weekend by simply completing a loan form. View Loaner Sites

2018 Life Jacket Trade-In Events
Beginning Saturday, May 19, boaters and water enthusiasts will have the opportunity to have their life jackets inspected by professionals at trade-in events throughout the state. If a life jacket is found to be unserviceable or the wearer has outgrown it, a new, properly-fitted Coast Guard-approved life jacket will be given in exchange, at no cost while supplies last. Similar events will be added throughout the summer. View Life Jacket Trade-In Events

Wear Your Life Jacket to Work Day – May 18
National Safe Boating Week kicks off with “Wear Your Life Jacket to Work” day on Friday, May 18. Californians are encouraged to wear a life jacket to work, take photos and share them on DBW’s social media sites: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtags #BoatCA and #SaveTheOnesYouLove. Wearing a life jacket outside of a water activity heightens awareness of different life jacket styles and demonstrates their comfort and versatility.

Safety Media Campaign
In an effort to decrease boating fatalities in California, DBW manages a safety media campaign. This year’s message – “Save the Ones You Love” – encourages water enthusiasts to always wear a life jacket. The campaign targets recreational boaters via various communication platforms in the high-boating accident areas of California (San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Inland Empire [Riverside-San Bernardino-Colorado River], and the coastal areas of Los Angeles and San Diego). View Campaign Material

Free BoatCA and Pumpout Nav apps
DBW has developed a boating facility locator app version of its web-based boating locator - BoatCA. The free BoatCA app offers an array of boating safety information, float plan emails, clean and green boating practices, as well as information on nearly 1,000 boating locations and facilities. The Pumpout Nav app directs boaters to pumpout 3 stations and teaches boaters how to use pumpouts. Both apps are available on iTunes and Android platforms.

For more boating and water safety information or laws, please visit BoatCalifornia.com.



Kings Beach State Recreation Area General Plan Released for Public Comment

NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – California State Parks and the California Tahoe Conservancy (Conservancy) seek public input on the future of Kings Beach State Recreation Area (Kings Beach SRA). Over the next 20 years, the public entities would like to add new facilities such as an outdoor event stage, lakeside promenade and small administration building. There is also a proposal to relocate the pier, playground, picnic areas and basketball court, and modify the restrooms and parking areas. The current boat ramp would be replaced with a smaller, non-motorized lake access point. The deadline to submit feedback on the proposed project is June 29, 2018.

Kings Beach SRA is located along the north shore of Lake Tahoe at the heart of the community of Kings Beach. It encompasses about 14 acres and provides public access to more than 1,000 feet of the Lake Tahoe shoreline. This popular Northern California destination is home to many of the community of Kings Beach’s special events, such as music festivals, paddlecraft competitions and its unique Third of July celebration.

The proposed enhancements to Kings Beach SRA are outlined in a preliminary general plan and pier rebuild project. All public comments will be considered by the project team. Once a final plan is prepared, the State Park and Recreation Commission will consider approval of the plan and pier rebuild project later this year.

Below you will find various public comment opportunities:


Project documents may be viewed online at www.parks.ca.gov/plankbsra.

In Person

  • The documents may be reviewed during business hours at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach and at other locations in the Lake Tahoe Region as indicated in the notice: www.parks.ca.gov/plankbsra.
  • The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is scheduling two opportunities to provide oral comments on the plan and project. Please refer to www.trpa.org/calendar/ for details. California State Parks staff will be onsite.

Making decisions about how best to provide high-quality recreation while preserving the park for future generations is a big responsibility. The planning process first involved scientists, technical experts, land managers, and the public in documenting and understanding the park’s important natural, cultural and recreational resources, existing uses and visitor needs. After considering this information, plan alternatives were prepared that include resource preservation and land use strategies that will best serve California in the long term. After hearing from the public, a preferred plan was prepared, which describes the addition and renovation of facilities. Potential environmental effects of the proposed enhancements and facilities have been disclosed in the environmental review chapter, along with mitigation measures to avoid, reduce or eliminate their potential for adverse impact.

For more information, please visit the project’s webpage at www.parks.ca.gov/plankbsra. Questions can also be directed to California State Park’s Sierra District Superintendent Marilyn Linkem at (530) 525-9523. Comments and requests for notification of future meetings should be directed to project planner Cheryl Essex at planning@parks.ca.gov.

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at NewsRoom@parks.ca.gov

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.



Free Oil Spill Response Communication Seminars For Marinas and Yacht Club Operators

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways invites marinas and yacht club operators to attend two free seminars, one in the Bay Area and one in the Delta, to learn about proper communication techniques when responding to an oil spill. These techniques will prepare them in the event of an actual incident. The seminars are set for May 8, 2018 in Vallejo and May 17, 2018 in McClellan.

As waterfront stakeholders, marina and yacht club operators have extensive local waterway and boating knowledge. These seminars will cover information on: 

  • California’s oil spill response structure
  • Office of Spill Prevention and Response Equipment Grants
  • Third party claim process
  • General information on oil spill kits for boating facilities
  • California’s Marinas and Yacht Clubs Spill Response Communication Packet
  • Tools and resources available to increase communication capabilities between boating facilities and the Office of Emergency Services during an oil spill.

Key presenters include: California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response, California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, California Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean and Green Program, and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

Because space is limited, registration is required for both events. Operators can choose one of the two following seminars:

Bay Area

  • Tuesday, May 8, 2018 (register by May 4, 2018)
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Vallejo Yacht Club 485 Mare Island Way Vallejo, CA 94590


  • Thursday, May 17, 2018 (register by May 14, 2018)
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • McClellan Training Center 4940 Lang Ave. McClellan, CA 95652

To register, please contact California Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean and Green’s Program Coordinator Vivian Matuk at vmatuk@coastal.ca.gov or (415) 904-6905. Location and directions to the workshop are included with confirmation of the registration. Free parking is available at the workshop sites..


State Invites Water Enthusiasts to Attend Free Workshops on How to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) in conjunction with partners invites the public to learn how to prevent the further spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in California’s waterways. Several workshops will be held in Northern California starting in early April to help the public learn about the effects AIS can have on the economy and the environment, how to recognize AIS in their region, and how to take action to prevent it from spreading. Workshops are free, but spaces are limited and pre-registration is required. 

Aquatic invasive species such as quagga and zebra mussels, water hyacinth and Brazilian waterweed pose threats to California’s water delivery systems, hydroelectric facilities, agriculture, boating, fishing and the environment. Recreational activities, including boating and fishing, can spread AIS from infested waters to uninfested waters.

“Everyone accessing California’s waterways can learn about simple actions to avoid spreading AIS each time they leave a waterbody,” said DBW’s Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “AIS specialists will provide current prevention information to boaters, anglers and marina operators.”

In addition to DBW, AIS experts from the California Coastal Commission, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be on hand at these workshops.

Workshops dates include:

Wednesday, April 4 – Morgan Hill

  • Deadline to register: Friday, March 30
  • Time: 8:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • Partner: Santa Clara County Parks 2

Thursday, April 12 – West Sacramento

  • Deadline to register: Friday, April 6
  • Time: 8:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • Partner: Sacramento Yacht Club

Wednesday, June 13 – Sausalito

  • Deadline to register: Friday, June 8
  • Time: 8:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • Partner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bay Model

To register, please contact Boating Clean and Green’s Program Coordinator Vivian Matuk via email at vmatuk@coastal.ca.gov or phone (415) 904-6905. Location and directions to the workshop are included with confirmation of the registration. Free parking is available at the workshop sites. Lunch will not be provided.

The AIS workshops are part of the California’s Boating Green and Clean Program. The program is an education and outreach program conducted through the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission. Staff and volunteers promote environmentally-sound boating practices to marine businesses and boaters. For more information, please visit www.BoatingCleanAndGreen.com.


Boating and Waterways Begins Control Activities in the Delta for Aquatic Invasive Plants

Sacramento, Calif. – The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) announced today its plans for this year’s control efforts for aquatic invasive plants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). Starting March 5, DBW will be controlling water hyacinth, American spongeplant and Uruguay water primrose along waterways entering the Stockton Deep Water Channel via mechanical harvesting. The use of herbicides will start on Monday, March 12 for the following aquatic invasive plants: water hyacinth, Egeria densa, South American spongeplant, Uruguay water primrose, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, fanwort and coontail. Treatment start dates may change depending on weather conditions and plant growth/movement.

These aquatic invasive plants have no known natural controls in the west coast’s largest estuary, the Delta. They negatively affect the Delta’s ecosystem as they displace native plants. Continued warm temperatures help the plants proliferate at high rates. Plants are also known to form dense mats of vegetation creating safety hazards for boaters, obstructing navigation channels, marinas and irrigation systems. Due to their ability to rapidly spread to new areas, it is likely that the plants will never be eradicated from Delta waters. Therefore, DBW operates “control” programs as opposed to “eradication” programs. The division works with local, state, and federal entities to better understand the plants and implement new integrated strategic methods and increase efficacy.

“DBW recognizes the impact of these aquatic invasive plants on people’s daily lives and businesses,” said DBW’s Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “In an effort to minimize the impact, we continue to leverage technology and resources through collaboration and cooperation with the public and our local, state and federal partners who are helping us manage this challenge.”

All herbicides are registered for aquatic use with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Treated areas will be monitored to ensure herbicide levels do not exceed allowable limits and that herbicide treatments have no expected adverse impacts on the environment, agriculture or public health in or near the planned treatment areas. The public may view the public notices and sign up to receive weekly updates on this year’s treatment season on DBW's website.

Below is a list of proposed control actions for the 2018 treatment season:

Floating Aquatic Vegetation Control Program (Public Notice)

Water Hyacinth, South American spongeplant and Uruguay water primrose.

Herbicide Control

  • Proposed Treatment Period

           o   Select Area 1 Sites and Areas 2-4: Mar. 12, 2018 – Nov. 30, 2018 
           o   All Area 1 Sites: June 1, 2018 – Nov. 30, 2018 (north of Hwy 12)

  • Type of Herbicides: Glyphosate, 2,4-D or Imazamox.
  • Potential Treatment Areas: Initially in and/or around, but not limited to the following areas: San Joaquin River, Empire Tract Slough, Middle River, Fourteen Mile Slough, and Latham Slough. See map for treatment areas.


Mechanical Harvesting

  • Harvesting Sites:March 2018 – April 2018 and July 2018 – December 2018
  • Mechanical Harvesting Sites:Select areas of the Delta with high infestations or coverage of South American spongeplant, Uruguay water primrose and/or water hyacinth. See map for potential mechanical harvesting control areas.

Submersed Aquatic Vegetation Control Program (Public Notice)

Egeria densa, curly-leaf pondweed, Eurasian watermilfoil, fanwort and coontail.

Herbicide Control (Map)

  • Treatment Period: Starting March 12, 2018 through October 31, 2018, treatment period based upon DBW field survey data, water temperatures and fishery surveys.
  • Type of Herbicide: Fluridone.
  • Potential Treatment Areas: In and/or around the following areas (individual areas will be noticed prior to treatment application):

           o   Anchorages, Boat Ramps and Marinas:

               B & W Resort
               Big Break Marina
               Das Cliff House
               Delta Marina Rio Vista
               Delta Yacht Club
               Driftwood Marina
               Gridstone Joe’s
               Hidden Harbor Resort
               Korth’s Pirates Lair
               Lloyd’s Holiday Harbor
               Long Island Slough
               New Bridge Marina
               Owl Harbor
               Oxbow Marina
               Perry’s Boat Harbor
               Rivers End
               Snug Harbor
               St. Francis Yacht Club
               Tower Park
               Willow Berm

           o   Near Old River: Cruiser Heaven, Diablo Ski Club, Discovery Bay, Franks Tract, Piper Slough, Sandmound Slough and Taylor Slough.
           o   Sacramento Area: Barker Slough, French Island, Lindsey Slough and The Meadows.
           o   Stockton Area: Atherton Cove, Bishop Cut, Buckley Cove, Disappointment Slough, Duraflame, Fourteenmile Slough, Honker Cut, Mosher Slough, Pixley Slough, White Slough and Windmill Cove.

Mechanical Harvesting

This type of control method is not used for submersed aquatic vegetation. These plants spread by fragmentation. Cutting the plants back exacerbates the problem, as shreds of the plants float away and re-propagate.

Last year, DBW treated 3,023 acres (210 sites) of floating aquatic vegetation and 2,967 acres (46 sites) of submersed aquatic vegetation. Mechanical harvesting efforts totaled 8.08 acres. The division anticipates 2018 to have drier conditions compared to 2017 and treatment of aquatic invasive plants up to 10,400 acres. A combination of herbicide, biological and mechanical control methods will be used to help control invasive plants at high priority sites in the Delta.

Funding for DBW’s aquatic invasive plant control programs comes from the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund, which receives revenues from boaters’ registration fees and gasoline taxes.

In 1982, California state legislation designated DBW as the lead state agency to cooperate with other state, local and federal agencies in controlling water hyacinth in the Delta, its tributaries, and the Suisun Marsh. The Egeria Densa Control Programwas authorized by law in 1997 and treatment began in 2001. In 2012, Spongeplant was authorized for control upon completion of the biological assessment. In 2013, DBW was able to expand its jurisdiction to include other invasive aquatic plants, and since then other aquatic invasive plants such as Uruguay water primrose, Eurasian watermilfoil, Carolina fanwort and coontail have been added to the AIPCP program.

To report sightings, subscribe for program updates or for more information regarding the control program, connect with us online at www.dbw.parks.ca.gov/AIS, via email at AIS@parks.ca.gov or by phone (888) 326-2822.


Division of Boating and Waterways
Provides safe and convenient public access to California’s waterways and leadership in promoting safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound recreational boating. Learn more at dbw.parks.ca.gov.

Subscribe to California State Parks News via e-mail at NewsRoom@parks.ca.gov

California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.


Help Keep California’s Waterways Healthy and Clean by Becoming a Dockwalker

SACRAMENTO – The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) invites the public to become volunteers in California’s Dockwalker Program. Dockwalkers help raise awareness about important boating practices related to oil, fuel, sewage, trash, and marine debris through the distribution of educational material (boater kits) at marinas, boat launch ramps and boating events. The free trainings are set to begin later this month, February 24. Pre-registration is required. Participation in the program, including the training sessions qualify as community service.

California has about 2.6 million recreational boats and more than 4 million recreational boaters. It is important for recreational boaters to not only boat safely, but to also implement sound boating practices. Safety and protecting the environment go hand in hand. Since 2000, more than a thousand volunteers have become Dockwalkers and approximately 100 to 150 people are active every boating season.

“Anyone who loves the water and wants to make a real difference in our waterways is invited to become a Dockwalker,” said Division of Boating and Waterways Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “By talking face-to-face with boaters, Dockwalkers have proven to motivate behavior change in the boating community.”

Training classes will be held in the following cities:

  • Antioch (February 24)
  • San Rafael (March 3)
  • Vallejo (March 17)
  • Redwood City (March 25)
  • Oxnard (March 30)
  • Marina del Rey (March 31)
  • Oakland (April 5)
  • Sonoma County (April 7)
  • San Diego (April 14)
  • Newport (April 28)
  • Sacramento (May 5)
  • San Pedro (May 12)

Marinas and yacht clubs are encouraged to participate in the Dockwalker Program. Participating facilities receive educational materials and tools to operate a clean boating facility and minimize water quality impacts. This program provides marinas with points towards the Clean Marina Designation and participation in the Dockwalker Program counts towards the nomination of the Club of the Year under the community service category. In addition, yacht clubs and marinas are essential in spreading awareness directly to boaters.

Safety organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons also benefit from the Dockwalker Program as it supports their current efforts, and enhances and broadens their boating safety mission.

Partnerships with the Bay Foundation (DBW Clean Vessel Act Program), the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the U.S. Power Squadrons, Save Our Shores, Lake Berryessa Partnership and many more organizations are integral to this program’s success.

The Dockwalker Program is led by the California Coastal Commission and the Division of Boating and Waterways’ Boating Clean and Green Program. For more information on the program including testimonials, please visit www.BoatingCleanandGreen.com.


State Announces Availability of $4.25M in Funding for Local Public Agencies to Help Keep California’s Waterways Safe and Clean

SACRAMENTO - The Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) is now accepting grant applications for the disposal of abandoned and unwanted vessels and law enforcement safety equipment. A total of $4.25M in funding from the Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund (AWAF) and Boating Safety/Enforcement Equipment (BSEE) grant programs is available to local public agencies statewide. Applications will be accepted from February 1, 2018 through April 30, 2018.

DBW brings together a body of knowledge as the state’s expert in recreational boating-related matters, including public access, safety and education, marine law enforcement, and consumer and environmental protection. AWAF and BSEE are two programs that help improve safety on California’s waterways and alleviate the issue of abandoned vessels. Numerous abandoned and derelict vessels are a pervasive environmental and public safety problem in coastal and inland waterways. They are not only an eyesore destroying the beauty of the waterways, but also pose an environmental hazard. Last fiscal year, DBW provided $2.75M in AWAF funding and $1.5M in BSEE funding to local public agencies to help alleviate the problem.

For those interested in applying for these grants, DBW is hosting workshops for each program to guide new applicants and returning grantees. The division will help applicants through all the steps in the application submission process. It is recommended that a representative from an interested agency attend a four-hour workshop. Workshops will be held in Sacramento on February 15 and 16. Pre-registration is required via email to Joanna.Andrade@parks.ca.gov by Monday, February 12. Please include the program name (AWAF or BSEE), name of attendee(s), agency name and phone number in the email.

Below is additional information on the AWAF and BSSE Programs:

Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Fund (AWAF)
The AWAF Program helps with the removal, reduction and prevention of abandoned recreational vessels and marine debris on California’s waterways. Grant recipients must have jurisdiction over navigable California waterways. Private businesses cannot apply for a grant. However, they may work through a local public agency that is participating in the AWAF Program to remove abandoned vessels on their private property, Vessel Turn In Program (VTIP) to surrender vessels if they have titles of ownership and/or remove hazardous marine debris. View Program Information

Boating Safety and Enforcement Equipment Grant Program
BSEE grants are available to local government agencies who can demonstrate a need for boating safety and law enforcement equipment pursuant to the application assessment criteria. Funds are available to local law enforcement agencies to purchase patrol boats, engines and personal watercraft, search and rescue, patrol and diving equipment. These competitive grants are intended to augment existing local resources and not to fully fund boating safety and enforcement. View Program Information

For information on other grant and loan programs, please visit DBW’s website at www.DBW.parks.ca.gov/grantsandloans.