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California Seeking Volunteers to Help Keep Waterways Clean

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s Boating Clean and Green Program is looking for individuals to become Dockwalkers and help keep the state’s waterways clean. Dockwalkers raise awareness among the recreational boating community about clean boating practices by distributing educational boater kits at marinas, boat launch ramps and boating events.

Since 2000, more than a thousand Dockwalkers have taught over 20,000 boaters about oil, fuel, sewage, trash, and marine debris prevention. California has one of the highest levels of recreational boating activity in the nation. With approximately four million motorized and non-motorized boaters, even a small amount of pollution per vessel can cause serious harm to waterways and marine wildlife.

“We urge any water enthusiast who wants to make a difference in keeping our waterways clean to become a Dockwalker,” said Vivian Matuk, Boating Clean and Green Program Manager. “Educating the public on a one-on-one level can really make a difference for the health of our environment and boaters.”

Anyone who is interested in this effective educational program can view our online Dockwalker videos to learn what we do and see our success stories. Individuals 15 years of age and older can become Dockwalkers by simply taking a free, three-hour training class. Training opportunities are available throughout the state from March through May 2020. Pre-registration is required. Participation in the program, including the training sessions qualify as community service.

Dockwalker training for this year are:

Northern California

  • Brisbane (Wednesday, March 11)
  • San Rafael (Saturday, April 4)
  • Vallejo (Saturday, April 11)
  • Sacramento (Saturday, May 2)
  • Fairfield (Monday, May 11)
  • San Pedro (Saturday, May 16)

Southern California

  • Newport Beach (Saturday, March 28)
  • San Diego (Saturday, April 25)
  • Oxnard (Friday, May 8)
  • Marina Del Rey (Saturday, May 9)

Marinas and yacht clubs are also encouraged to participate. 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. 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.

Partnerships with The Bay Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, 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 part of California’s Boating Green and Clean Program. The program is an education and outreach program conducted through California State Parks and the California Coastal Commission. For more information, please visit BoatingCleanAndGreen.com.

Dockwalker

Photo by Dockwalker Civicorps

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California State Parks and the recreational programs supported by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation provide the opportunity for families, friends, and communities to connect. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, tours, hikes, school group enrichment, and special events are just some of the activities enjoyed in 280 park units organized into 21 field districts throughout the state. Learn more at www.parks.ca.gov.

California Coastal Commission
The Commission is committed to protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations. It does so through careful planning and regulation of environmentally-sustainable development, rigorous use of science, strong public participation, education, and effective intergovernmental coordination. Learn more at www.coastal.ca.gov.

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State Agencies Present Framework for Voluntary Agreements to Improve Habitat and Flow in the Delta and Key Watersheds

Published Date: 

SACRAMENTO — The California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency today shared a framework for potential voluntary agreements to improve river flows and habitat to help recover salmon and other native fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its key watersheds.

The framework outlines a 15-year program that would provide substantial new flows for the environment to help recover fish populations, create 60,000 acres of new and restored habitat, and generate more than $5 billion in new funding for environmental improvements and science.

It expands on previous commitments of flows, habitat restoration and funding described in public documents in March and July.

“This framework is an important milestone, but there is much work ahead to shape it into a legally enforceable program,” California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said. “We’re committed to developing successful voluntary agreements because they hold the promise of improving environmental conditions more quickly and holistically than regulatory requirements while providing more certainty to communities, farms, and businesses.”

The State Water Resources Control Board is required to update its Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan to protect native fish, wildlife and other “beneficial uses” of water, including municipal, domestic and agricultural water supplies.

The framework shared today seeks to implement the Bay-Delta Plan through an integrated program that includes expansive habitat creation, significant new flows for the environment above existing conditions, substantial funding for environmental improvements and a new, collaborative science program for monitoring and adaptive management.

“The decline of salmon and native species in the Delta and its major rivers requires immediate action,” California Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld said. “This science-driven framework has the potential to achieve landscape-scale improvements and deliver water and habitat on a faster timeline than the traditional regulatory pathway.”

The framework provides for up to 900,000 acre-feet of new flows for the environment above existing conditions in dry, below-normal and above-normal water year types, and several hundred thousand acre-feet in critical and wet years to help recover fish populations.

It also provides for 60,000 acres of new habitat, from targeted improvements in tributaries to large landscape-level restoration in the Sacramento Valley. Habitat improvements include the creation of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and smelt, completion of high-priority fish screen projects, restoration and reactivation of flood plains, projects to address predation, and fish passage improvements.

In addition, the framework outlines $5.2 billion in investments funded by water users, the state and the federal government to improve environmental conditions and science and adaptive management. It also establishes a governance program to strategically deploy flows and habitat, implement a science program and develop strategic plans and annual reports.

In the coming weeks and months, the California Natural Resources Agency and CalEPA will work with water users and other participants to refine the proposed framework into a legal enforcement program. The refined document will then be submitted to the State Water Board where it will undergo a third-party scientific review, environmental review and a public approval process by the State Water Board.

More on the framework is available at https://resources.ca.gov/Initiatives/Voluntary-Agreements

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Start the New Year in the Outdoors With a First Day Hike – California State Parks Hosting Approximately 50 Hikes Statewide

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Looking to burn off some holiday calories and start the new year on the right foot? California State Parks invites the public to absorb the wonders of nature with a First Day Hike on New Year’s Day. Dedicated docents, volunteers, and staff will be providing about 50 hikes at state parks throughout California.

“First Day Hike creates opportunities to connect with families, friends, and communities,” said California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat. “Public outdoor places support healthy, affordable, physical and social activities. California’s state parks are a gateway to these benefits. Come join staff, docents, and volunteers as well as fellow outdoor enthusiasts to welcome the new year.”

This is the 10th year California has participated in the First Day Hikes Program. The program is part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. More than 33,000 visitors took part in more than 1,110 hikes last year in the U.S. and Canada. That included more than 2,400 visitors at 55 California state parks.

California’s state parks are among the most diverse in the world in a variety of natural and cultural resources. Participating state parks for the 2020 First Day Hikes initiative include:

Photos from previous First Day Hikes at various California state parks. Top left: Carpinteria State Beach. Top right: Marshall
Gold Discovery State Historic Park. Bottom left: Angel Island State Park. Bottom right: Salt Point State Park.

For a complete list of participating state parks and how to safely enjoy First Day Hikes, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/FirstDayHikes.Check for updates, as many hikes are still being planned and will be added to the list as details become available. Visitors are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtags: #HikeInto2020, #FirstDayHike and #CAStateParks.

In addition to hiking, visitors can also enjoy off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on- and off-road cycling, hiking, camping, and rock climbing in our 280 state parks units throughout the state. Visit us at www.parks.ca.gov.