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Press: 2012 News Releases

12/14/2012

Remember Safe Boating Practices During the Holidays
Cold Water and Bad Weather Pose Real Dangers





Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

December 14, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) reminds boaters to practice safe boating over the holidays. Equipping recreational vessels with proper safety equipment, being mindful of state boating laws, avoiding alcohol, and checking weather and wave conditions can decrease the chances of a boating accident.

Below are some tips that will help boaters have a safe winter holiday season:

Life Jackets: There must be a properly-fitted life jacket on the vessel for each person. Children under the age of 13, all personal watercraft riders, paddle-boarders, and anyone being towed behind a boat are required by law to wear a lifejacket.

Emergency Equipment: In the event of an emergency, boaters should have the following equipment in order to expedite a rescue:

  • Flares and an emergency position indicating radio beacon with 406 MHz capabilities.
  • A GPS unit, or at a minimum, boaters should maintain knowledge of local waters and know their location at all times.
  • An operational marine VHF radio. (The VHF channel 16 is an emergency channel. Improper transmission on channel 16 not only hampers Coast Guard response, but is punishable under federal law.)

Boating Laws: In order to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience, it is important for all boaters to know and follow California’s boating laws. These laws may be found in the ABCs of California Boating booklet or in a boating safety class or course.

Weather and Wave Conditions: Mariners should check current and forecasted weather and wave conditions prior to getting underway, and remain aware of changing conditions once on the water.

  • National Weather Service broadcasts weather conditions throughout the day on VHF channel WX2.
  • Coast Guard broadcasts weather conditions on VHF channel 22A at 9:30 a.m., noon, and 4:30 p.m.
  • DBW posts wave forecasts on its website.
  • Current weather information and advisories.

Additional safe boating information may be found at www.dbw.ca.gov. Boaters are also invited to use the department’s boating facility locator. It is a digital tool that makes enjoying California’s waterways easy. The locator can be downloaded to smartphones or viewed online at www.BoatFacilityLocator.com.

A vessel-safety inspection can ensure vessels are properly equipped with the recommended and required equipment. These inspections are complimentary and take only a couple of minutes. To book an appointment with a Coast Guard Auxiliary examiner, boaters can visit: www.vesselsafetycheck.org.

DBW wishes all boaters and their families a happy and safe winter holiday season!




10/24/2012

$3.39 Million in Grants for Boating Facilities Approved
Projects Will Improve Boating Facilities in San Bernardino and Ventura Counties






Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

October 24, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) today approved $3.39 million in grants for upgrades to boat launching facilities in Ventura and San Bernardino counties.

The projects and their improvements include:

Moabi Regional Park Boat Launching Facility – San Bernardino County
The Commission approved an $840,000 grant to San Bernardino County for parking lot and exit lane improvements, restroom replacement, a boat wash down area, related utilities, and incidental landscaping at the Moabi Regional Park Boat Launching Facility.

Ventura Harbor Boat Launching Facility – Ventura County
The Commission approved a $2,550,000 grant to the Ventura Port District to replace the nearly 50-year-old six-lane concrete boat launch ramp, reconfigure boarding floats, and provide slope protection at the Ventura Harbor Boat Launching Facility.

—30—

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.



10/19/2012

Boating and Waterways Commission to Consider $3.39 Million in Grants for Boating Facilities Oct. 24




Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

October 12, 2012


 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) will meet Oct. 24 in Long Beach to consider $3.39 million in boat launching facility grants. The meeting is open to the public and will convene at 9:00 a.m. at the Marriott Long Beach, 4700 Airport Plaza Drive.

Items being considered by the Commission include:

Moabi Regional Park Boat Launching Facility – San Bernardino County
The Commission will consider approving a $840,000 grant to the County of San Bernardino for parking lot and exit lane improvements, restroom replacement, a boat wash down area, related utilities and incidental landscaping.

Ventura Harbor Boat Launching Facility – Ventura County
The Commission will consider approving a $2,550,000 grant to the Ventura Port District to replace the nearly 50-year old six-lane concrete boat launch ramp, reconfigure boarding floats and provide  slope protection.

A detailed agenda of the meeting and information on the Commission may be found at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/Commission/.

—30—

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.



10/11/2012

Recreational Boaters Cleanup California Coast




Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

October 11, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California’s recreational boating community increased its contributions to Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD). This year 412 volunteers cleaned 35 miles of shoreline and collected approximately 3,640 pounds of trash and recyclables on land and from 32 non-motorized vessels.

“Recreational boaters are committed to keeping California’s waterways clean and to efforts which make the marine environment healthier,” said the Department of Boating and Waterways acting Director Lucia Becerra.

With 75 percent of CCD sites reporting for this year’s efforts, the statewide count for volunteers is at 60,593. Those volunteers picked-up 670,372 pounds of trash and recyclable materials, or 304 tons and cleaned more than 1,400 miles of coast.

The California Coastal Commission and Department of Boating and Waterways would like to thank the following marinas, yacht clubs, coordinators and partners for their participation:

Marinas and Yacht Clubs:


County Coordinators/Partners:


Information was collected this year to better understand what resources recreational boaters require to further help in Coastal Cleanup Day. Your yacht club or marina can easily be part of this effort in 2013. For information on how to participate, visit www.coast4u.org or contact the following coordinators: Vivian Matuk, (415) 904-6905 or Shannon Waters, (415) 904-5214.



10/02/2012

Fleet Week, America's Cup - Formula for fun, frenzy




Eleventh Coast Guard District

Contact: Public Affairs

Office: (510) 437-3325

Mobile: (510) 772-8865

October 2, 2012


This week's confluence of major events in San Francisco Bay is a rare opportunity for boaters and citizens to explore and enjoy the area's vibrant maritime culture, but it also holds the potential for accidents and conflicts that the Coast Guard and other emergency response agencies are working hard to avoid.  While some Bay area Coast Guard personnel will have time to enjoy the annual salute to our nation's naval forces, most local crews will be on duty maintaining port security and keeping boaters and the public safe.

"We enjoy a robust and very diverse commercial and recreational maritime area," said Capt. Cynthia Stowe, commander of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco. "In order for everyone to have full access to the Bay, we must ensure all activities on the water are conducted safely and securely. This is especially important during major maritime events like Fleet Week with a parade of military vessels and air shows, and America's Cup racing, all of which can draw a huge fleet of spectator vessels to vie for space with the normal flow of commercial vessel traffic. Informed boaters exercising safe practices will reduce the likelihood of accidents and add to overall safety."

Although most on-water action will be Friday through Sunday with the parade of ships, air shows, and America's Cup races, activity affecting area waterways also occur Wednesday with the arrival of visiting naval vessels and Thursday with Blue Angels air show rehearsals. The Coast Guard is working to get the word out to boaters, and shoreline spectators, to be extremely cautious especially in the vicinity of special safety and security zones.  Broadcast and published notices to mariners give details of the zones and other special regulations and restrictions.

Boaters are reminded to check their vessels and safety gear, dress warmly, plan ahead, and heed all warnings, directions, and restrictions established by the Coast Guard and other public safety agencies on the Bay and ashore.  Officials also stress that boating while intoxicated is both illegal and highly dangerous.

Coast Guard safety and security measures include:

-- Coast Guard search and rescue boats and crews from Stations Golden Gate, San Francisco, and Vallejo are being augmented by crews from Stations Bodega Bay, Monterey and Rio Vista, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe and Morro Bay, as well as boats from other state and local agencies, for safety and law enforcement patrols and emergency response.

-- The Coast Guard Cutters Pike, Tern, Sockeye, Hawksbill, Edisto, and Barracuda will patrol the Bay to coordinate safety and security operations and respond to any emergencies. 
-- Coast Guard security teams, including explosives detection K-9s, will be deployed to check piers, docks, and other facilities for security threats.

-- Safety and security zones will be in place and enforced by Coast Guard, partner agency, and event organizer boats to protect the parade of ships, all naval vessels moored in the area, and the air show "flight box" and America's Cup race course areas in San Francisco Bay.  Click HERE for charts and information on Fleet Week and America's Cup safety and security zones.

-- Coast Guard helicopters will conduct port security and safety patrols throughout the Bay area. 

-- Commercial shipping, ferry boat, and other traffic will be closely monitored by the Coast Guard's Vessel Traffic Service.

With more than 3,200 Coast Guard men and women serving at stations, ships, a major training center, and regional headquarters commands here, the service is the most visible branch of the military in the Bay area. Coast Guard units and personnel participating in Fleet Week activities include:

-- The Coast Guard Cutter Sherman, homeported in San Diego, will participate in the parade of ships Saturday and will be open for public tours Friday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Monday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at San Francisco's pier 80B.

-- Senior Coast Guard leaders and search and rescue experts will participate in Fleet Week multi-agency humanitarian assistance and emergency response seminars and exercises.

-- A Coast Guard search and rescue demonstration will be part of the Fleet Week air show at approximately 12:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon Sunday near the Municipal Pier at Aquatic Park.

-- One hundred Coast Guard men and women from Coast Guard Training Center Petaluma will represent the service during the Italian Heritage Parade in San Francisco Sunday.

-- Crewmembers from Coast Guard Base Alameda and other Bay area commands will participate in community service projects such as visits to veterans' hospitals and a cleanup project at the San Francisco Zoo.

-- Coast Guard teams will participate in inter-service softball competition and physical fitness challenges.  

-- A group of patients from the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital will join the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter George Cobb for a San Francisco Bay safety patrol Friday.

Links:

Fleet Week and America's Cup safety and security zone notice/chartlets

www.fleetweek.us






07/05/2012

Boating Infrastructure Grants Available for Marina Operators




Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

July 5, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Marina operators can now apply for a national boating infrastructure grant (BIG) for transient boat dock improvements through the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW). The deadline to submit grant proposal applications is Wed., Aug. 27, 2012.

BIG is a national competitive program open to both publicly- and privately-owned marinas with funding totaling $13 million. Eligible projects include installation or upgrades of visitor tie-up facilities for recreational boats 26-feet-long or longer, and renovation or construction of visitor docks, restrooms, gangways and dockside utility hookups. The funds are also used to produce and distribute information and educational materials about the program and recreational boating.

Applicants should first review the federal guidelines, to determine if they meet the necessary requirements. Eligibility criteria and submission information can be obtained by visiting www.dbw.ca.gov/Funding/BIG.aspx or contacting Kevin Atkinson at
(916) 327-1788. 

DBW is the designated agency responsible for administering U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) BIG program in California. USFWS receives the applications from DBW and scores and ranks the proposals using government/ industry review committee. 


06/21/2012

California Boating Law Enforcement Officers Gear Up for 2012 Operation Dry Water




Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

June 21, 2012


 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - This weekend, boating law enforcement officers across the nation will be out in force looking for drunken recreational boat operators. This stepped-up enforcement, known as Operation Dry Water (ODW), is part of a national effort to raise awareness on the dangers of operating a recreational boat under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A boat operator or even passengers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit run a significantly increased risk of being involved in a fatal boating accident.

“The concept of designating a driver in a car is not enough on recreational boats,” stated Department of Boating and Waterways Acting Director Lucia Becerra. “Drunken boat passengers can easily fall overboard, swim near the propeller or cause overloading problems by leaning over the side or standing up in small vessels, causing vessels to capsize. Everyone who drinks alcohol on board a boat is at risk.”

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time. It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effect of cold-water immersion. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion – “stressors” common to the boating environment – intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs, and some prescription medications.

In 2011, 512 boating accidents, 313 injuries and 54 fatalities were reported to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW). Results from boating reports where alcohol testing was conducted indicate alcohol as a contributing factor in 29 percent of the boating fatalities.

In California, it is against the law to operate a boat or water ski with a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. A person with a BAC less than 0.08 percent may also be arrested if conditions are deemed to be unsafe. If convicted, a person may be sentenced to jail for up to six months and assessed 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 find their voyage terminated and their vessel impounded.

ODW, a multi-agency education and enforcement initiative launched by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators in 2009 in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard, puts thousands of local, state and federal marine law enforcement officers on the water nationwide prior to the Fourth of July holiday to give boating under the influence enforcement high visibility during the peak boating season.

Participating California law enforcement counties include: Contra Costa, Imperial, Lake, Los Angeles, Nevada, Plumas, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare and Yuma. Participating U.S. Coast Guard stations include: Bodega Bay, Humboldt Bay, Oxnard, Rio Vista, San Pedro and Vallejo.

For more information on this annual event, visit www.OperationDryWater.org. California specific boating laws and safety tips may be found at www.BoatResponsibly.com.



05/25/2012

Agencies Urge Boaters’ Assistance over Memorial Day Weekend in Combating Spread of Invasive Quagga and Zebra Mussels





Contacts:  Department of Boating and Waterways,
Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

Department of Fish and Wildlife,
Kyle Orr (916) 322-8958

Department of Parks and Recreation,
Roy Stearns (916) 654-7538

Department of Water Resources,
Pete Weisser (916) 653-3350

Department of Food and Agriculture,
Steve Lyle (916) 654-0462

May 25, 2012


A California interagency effort battling the spread of invasive quagga and zebra mussels urges boaters to remain especially vigilant over the three-day Memorial Day weekend. Those who launch vessels at any body of water are subject to watercraft inspections, and are encouraged to clean, drain and dry their motorized and non-motorized boats, including personal watercraft, and any equipment that comes into contact with the water before and after recreating at a waterway.

“Quagga and zebra mussels present a serious threat to our aquatic environment,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFG) Director Charlton H. Bonham. “These invasive mussels can be detrimental to the state’s waters, boats and recreational opportunities.  Preventing their introduction is the best way to protect our aquatic resources.”

Quagga and zebra mussels, non-native freshwater mussels native to Eurasia, multiply quickly and encrust watercraft and infrastructure, and compete for food with native and sport species. These mussels can be spread from one body of water to another attached to nearly anything that has been in an infested waterbody, or via standing water from an infested waterbody entrapped in boat engines, bilges, live-wells and buckets. To ensure watercraft is clean, drained and dry, many local agencies are conducting boat inspections. DFG has posted the list of these inspections on its website (www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel) along with additional information about the invasive mussels and what you can do to help prevent their spread in California. Boaters should call ahead to check for restrictions prior to visiting their destination.

To prevent spreading invasive mussels and to breeze through an inspection, before arriving at a waterbody boaters should have inspected all exposed surfaces, removed all plants and organisms, drained all water, including that contained in lower outboard units, live-wells and bait buckets, and allowed the watercraft to thoroughly dry. Watercraft should be kept dry for at least five days in warm weather and up to 30 days in cool weather, between launches in different bodies of fresh water. These measures are essential to safeguard California waterways.

DFG has also developed a short video demonstrating the ease of implementing the clean, drain and dry, prevention method, available at www.facebook.com/CaliforniaDFG. In addition, a detailed guide to cleaning vessels of invasive mussels is available on DFG's website at  www.nrm.dfg.ca.gov/FileHandler.ashx?DocumentID=4957.

Travelers are also advised to be prepared for inspections at California Department of Food and Agriculture Border Protection Stations. Inspections, which can also be conducted by DFG and the Department of Parks and Recreation, include not only a check of boats and personal watercraft, but also trailers and all onboard items. Contaminated vessels and equipment are subject to quarantine or impoundment.

Quagga mussels were first detected in the Colorado River system in January 2007 and were later found in San Diego and Riverside counties. They are now known to be in 24 watersin the Golden State, all in Southern California. Zebra mussels were discovered in San Justo Reservoir in San Benito County in January 2008.

Both species can attach to and damage virtually any submerged surface. They can:

  • Ruin a boat engine by blocking the cooling system and causing it to overheat
  • Jam a boat’s steering equipment, putting occupants and others at risk
  • Require frequent scrapping and repainting of boat hulls
  • Colonize all underwater substrates such as boat ramps, docks, lines and other underwater surfaces, causing them to require constant cleaning
  • Cost the owners of these items a lot of money

A multi-agency effort that includes DFG, the Department of Boating and Waterways, Department of Water Resources and State Parks has been leading an outreach campaign to alert the public to the quagga and zebra mussel threats. A toll-free hotline at 1-866-440-9530 is available for those seeking information on quagga or zebra mussels.



05/23/2012

$945,000 Grant Approved for Boating Facility



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

May 23, 2012


 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. The California Boating and Waterways Commission approved a $945,000 boat launching facility grant to the City of Clearlake.

The grant will be used to lengthen one existing boarding float to Redbud Park’s Thompson Harbor Boat Launching Facility.  Other improvements include two new boarding floats, dredging, parking lot improvements and security lighting for a portion of the parking area and courtesy dock entrance.

—30—

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.

 



05/18/2012

Boating and Waterways Commission to Consider a $945,000 Boat Launching Facility Grant May 23



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

May 18, 2012


 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) will meet May 23 in Sacramento to consider a $945,000 boat launching facility grant. The meeting is open to the public and will convene at 9 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel, 2200 Harvard Street.

Item being considered by the Commission includes:

Redbud Boat Launching Facility – City of Clearlake, Lake County
The Commission will consider approving a $945,000 grant to the City of Clearlake for improvements to Redbud Park’s Thompson Harbor Boat Launching Facility.  The proposed project includes lengthening one existing boarding float, replacing two suspended boarding floats, parking lot improvements, and security lighting for a portion of the parking area and courtesy dock entrance.

A detailed agenda of the meeting and information on the Commission may be found at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/Commission/.

 

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.



05/15/2012

Erin Landry
Arizona Game & Fish Department
(623) 236-7377 Office
elandry@azgfd.gov

Gloria Sandoval
California Department of Boating & Waterways
(916) 715-1657 Cell
Gloria.Sandoval@parks.ca.gov

Edwin Lyngar
Nevada Department of Wildlife
(775) 741-1004 Cell
elyngar@ndow.org



Tri-State Boating Safety Fair to promote life jackets
May 19 event to kick off boating season along Colorado River System


LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. – Boating officials from three states are teaming up once again to stress the importance of wearing a life jacket at the ninth annual Tri-State Boating Safety Fair at the Colorado River. The event will take place May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at London Bridge Beach Park, 1340 McCulloch Blvd., Lake Havasu City.

The event coincides with the kickoff of National Boating Safety Week (May 19-25) and the “Ready, Set, Wear It” life jacket campaign sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council.

As in past years, a hallmark of the event will be the life jacket trade-in. People may bring their old life jackets and get free new ones, approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, while supplies last. All told, officials expect to give away about 400 life jackets.

Other activities at the safety fair include complimentary boating safety information and free boat inspections for proper safety equipment.

Boating professionals and others also will participate in an attempt to break the record for simultaneous life jacket wear worldwide. The goal is not only to promote the comfortable and versatile options when it comes to life jackets, but also to educate the public about life jackets and safe boating in general. At Lake Havasu, the life jacket event will take place at noon at the park.

“We have seen these events morph over the years, as we try ever more elaborate ways to get through to boaters,” said Kevin Bergersen, boating law administrator at the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “We are doing all we can to let boaters know that life jackets are comfortable, fashionable and most importantly, can save your life in a boating accident.”

In addition to life jacket wear, boating professionals will be on hand to answer questions, hand out information and distribute promotional and safety items for children. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, local law enforcement agencies and other groups will be available to cover every kind of summer safety topic. 

“We have seen this event grow in participation and importance through the years,” said David Pfiffner, Nevada’s boating law administrator. “We know how to help boaters on Havasu and along the entire Colorado River have a safe, enjoyable summer. We encourage boaters to come by and take a few minutes to catch up on information that could save a life.”

After the main event, the three states have teamed up to provide information all summer long on the website www.BoatColoradoRiver.com, and through targeted outreach efforts using social media. 

“Boaters who cannot make the event are encouraged to visit the website to find out about the different boating laws that exist on the Colorado River,” said Lucia Becerra, California’s boating law administrator. “The website also has information on how to select an appropriate life jacket.”

The lower Colorado River System is shared by Arizona, California and Nevada. If taken as its own boating entity, the Colorado River System is the second most dangerous waterway in America, including the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf of Mexico. State lines artificially slice up the system, so the three states have come together to talk about the river holistically. While many laws are congruent, a few laws differ and can confuse boaters.  Providing a forum to the millions of Colorado River boaters to learn about the different boating laws is crucial to reduce the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities that occur every year. 

The life jacket campaign is funded by a grant from the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, and is administered by the Coast Guard.

Note to media: Before the event, call for story opportunities, press packets or fact sheets. On the day of the event, reporters should check in at the media tent for media ride-alongs or to interview spokespersons. High-resolution photos from prior years are available. More details are at www.BoatColoradoRiver.com.



05/15/2012

Life Jacket Trade-In Events to be Held on May 25
Visit Select Locations to Participate



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

May 15, 2012


 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. The Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW), Radio Disney, and UC Davis Children’s Hospital announce the 13th Annual Life Jacket Trade-In. The event will take place May 25 from 4-6 p.m. at select Kohl’s Department Store locations in the Sacramento region, from noon-2 p.m. at Plaza El Segundo in El Segundo, and Old Town Plaza in Suisun City and from 2-4 p.m. at Alameda South Shore Center in Alameda. 

“It is important for water enthusiasts to not only wear life jackets, but to wear them correctly,” said DBW’s acting Director Lucia Becerra.  “Life jackets that are too small will not be able to keep your body afloat.  Life jackets that are too big will cause the device to push up around the face, which could be dangerous.”

The life jacket trade-in gives parents the opportunity for life jackets to be inspected by professionals.  If a life jacket is found to be outgrown or unserviceable, a new, properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is given in exchange (while supplies last).

Participating locations include:

Sacramento County

Kohl’s Department Stores 4-6 p.m.

Antelope
5030 Antelope Rd.

Natomas
4700 Natoma Blvd.

Elk Grove
8810 Calvine Rd., 9650 Bruceville Rd.

PointWest - Arden
1896 Arden Way

Folsom
1013 Riley St.

Rancho Cordova
11051 Olson Drive

Greenback
6135 San Juan Ave.

Roseville
10375 Fairway Drive

Los Angeles County

El Segundo
Plaza El Segundo 2-4 p.m.
760 S. Sepulveda Blvd.

San Francisco Bay Area

Alameda
Alameda South Shore Center noon-2 p.m.
523 S. Shore Center West

Suisun
Old Town Plaza noon-2 p.m.
Main and Solano Streets


Community partners include CBS Radio, Drowning Accident Rescue Team, Radio Disney, Sacramento Safe Kids Coalition, Solano County Sheriff’s Department, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, UC Davis Regents, and the U.S. Power Squadrons.

This event is being conducted in connection with National Safe Boating Week (May 19-25), which aims to spread the message about life jacket wear and other safe boating practices.

California boating law requires all children under the age of 13, every person on board a personal watercraft (Jet Ski) or being towed behind a vessel to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.  The law also requires life jackets to be carried on a vessel for every person on board.

For more information about the life jacket trade-in or life jackets, please visit www.BoatResponsibly.com.

Note to media: DBW supplies life jackets for children and adults to public and private life jacket loan stations across the state.  The program gives an individual or family the opportunity to check out a life jacket for a day or a weekend by simply completing a loan form. For more information, visit the website listed above.



DBW enhances public access to California’s waterways and promotes boating and aquatic safety through programs funded by vessel registration fees, boating fuel tax dollars and boating facility construction loan payments.




05/10/2012

Life Jackets Available for Loan to Water Enthusiasts
Life Jacket Loaner Stations Located Statewide



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

May 10, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. In an effort to reduce the number of drownings on California’s waterways, the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) supports statewide life jacket loaner programs. 

“It is disheartening to hear reports of drowning victims being found without life jackets,” said DBW’s acting Director Lucia Becerra. “Knowing how to swim will not help someone who becomes unconscious, or can no longer swim or rescue themselves. A properly fitted life jacket is the number one way to increase the chances of survival.”

DBW supplies life jackets for children and adults to public and private loaner stations across the state. The program gives an individual or family the opportunity to check out life jackets for a day or a weekend by simply completing a loan form. Some stations have life jacket use requirements, so please contact participating locations for specifics.

California boating law requires all children under the age of 13, every person on board a personal watercraft (Jet Ski) or being towed behind a vessel to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. The law also requires that life jackets be carried on a vessel for every person on board.

For more information about these life jackets programs or other boating laws, please visit www.BoatResponsibly.com.

Note to Media: On May 25, DBW will be conducting life jacket trade-ins at select Kohl’s Department Store locations in the Sacramento region, Plaza El Segundo in El Segundo, Old Town Plaza in Suisun City and Alameda South Shore Center in Alameda. The program gives parents the opportunity for life jackets to be inspected by professionals. If a life jacket is found to be outgrown or unserviceable, a new, properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket is given in exchange (while supplies last).




04/20/2012

California's Recreational Boaters Encouraged to Boat Clean and Green



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

April 20, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Earth Day serves as a reminder to California’s recreational boating community to continue protecting the state’s waterways and marine environment from invasive species and pollution.  

According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW), California has more than four million motorized and non-motorized recreational boaters. The negative impact that these boaters can have on California’s marine environment and boating facilities, can be significant.

The good news is that DBW provides a number of environmental services that boaters can use to minimize their impact on the marine environment. Below are some of these services:

  1.  Boat Cleaning Guide Book. The spread of aquatic invasive species, such as quagga/zebra mussels, can create havoc in the marine environment and damage motor boats. The Boat Cleaning Guide Book was compiled specifically for boat owners and watercraft users with general guidelines for all boaters and a basic checklist for inspecting and cleaning boats and recreational equipment for aquatic invasive species. There are also additional inspection and cleaning checklists for specific types of boats and equipment.
  1. Sewage Pumpouts. It is important for boaters to use sewage pumpouts or mobile-pumpout services to properly dispose of raw sewage. In some areas, dumping raw sewage into waterways can be illegal. Most importantly this practice can be unsafe for humans and the marine environment. Plan ahead and find out where your nearest pumpout station is located and how to properly use it.
  1. Fishing Line Recycling Stations. Besides making sure that you keep your trash on board, make sure to recycle monofilament fishing line appropriately. Monofilament fishing line can entangle and kill wildlife, and cause boat damage. Fishing line is not biodegradable and can remain in the environment for more than 600 years. Take advantage of shore-side facilities to properly dispose of trash, or recycle your fishing line.
  1. Disposing of a Vessel Properly. Proper disposal of an unwanted vessel is a vital part of clean and responsible boating. Because there are several environmental hazards associated with old vessels, including used oil, solvents and used batteries, it is important that all vessel owners properly dispose of their vessels at the appropriate time. There are several options for proper vessel disposal: Vessel Turn-In Program, donating, recycling and dismantling.
  1. Recycle, Collect, Report. Spill-proof oil changes with oil absorbent pads and dispose of them and oil filters properly. Remember to never use soap to disperse fuel and oil spills. It increases harm to the environment and it is illegal. Also, remember to report oil spills immediately to the corresponding agencies.

For more detailed information on these environmental services and to find out about other resources visit www.BoatResponsibly.com.



03/20/2012

$540,000 Grant Approved for Boating Facility



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

Mar. 20, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. –The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) approved a $540,000 boat launching facility grant to the County of San Luis Obispo last Wednesday.

The grant will be used to repave and restripe access way and parking areas to the Santa Margarita Lake boat launching facility. Other improvements include a new fish cleaning station and a new solar power system which will replace overhead powerlines across the lake.

The proposed $945,000 grant to the City of Clearlake, for improvements to the Redbud boat launching facility, was held over to the next Commission meeting.

 

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.



03/08/2012

NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Asks Bay Area Boaters to Watch Out for Whales



Contact:        Mary Jane Schramm
(415) 561-6622, ext. 205

Sarah Marquis
(949) 222-2212

March 8, 2012


NOAA’s Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary advises San Francisco Bay Area boaters to watch out for and steer clear of whales. Multiple whale species migrate into the area in large numbers during the spring and summer. Boaters should use caution year-round, but springtime presents a higher chance of coming into close contact with whales.

Gray whales are at a particularly high risk of collisions with vessels, as they often travel near the outer coast shore and into San Francisco Bay and Tomales Bay, making their way north from breeding grounds off Mexico to feeding grounds off Alaska. Many of these whales travel directly through the busy shipping lanes off San Francisco in the Gulf of the Farallones sanctuary just outside the Golden Gate.

While several species migrate south through the sanctuary in the winter, gray whales — including mothers with newborn calves — swim closest to shore in the spring. Cow-calf pairs can sometimes be seen from shore, pausing in the surf zone for the calf to nurse or rest and avoiding killer whales.

Boaters should watch for the gray whale’s blow—or exhalation—which looks like a puff of smoke about 10 to 15 feet high, since very little of the whale is visible at the surface. A whale may surface and blow several times before a prolonged dive, typically lasting from three to six minutes.

Boaters should not:

    • Approach within 300 feet (about the length of a football field) of any whale
    • Cut across a whale’s path
    • Make sudden speed or directional changes
    • Get between a whale cow and her calf — if separated from its mother, a calf may be doomed to starvation

Each year, thousands of ships and smaller vessels pass through the Golden Gate. Even small craft collisions with a whale can have disastrous results for both whale and vessel. All whales are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Some local species, such as humpback and blue whales, are also protected by the Endangered Species Act.

Designated in 1981, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary encompasses more than 1,200 square miles of ocean and coastal waters beyond California’s Golden Gate. The sanctuary’s nutrient-rich waters provide vital nursery and spawning grounds for fish and shellfish and support the largest breeding seabird rookery in the contiguous United States. At least 36 marine mammal species have been observed within its borders, including 25 endangered species, such as blue and humpback whales.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

On the Web:
Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary: http://farallones.noaa.gov
Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association: http://www.farallones.org



03/08/2012

Boating and Waterways Commission to Consider $1.49 Million in Grants for Boating Facilities Mar. 14




Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

Mar. 08, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) will meet Mar. 14 in San Diego to consider $1.49 million in boat launching facility grants. The meeting is open to the public and will convene at 9:00 a.m. at the Marriott Hotel, 333 West Harbor Drive.

Items being considered by the Commission include:

Santa Margarita Lake Boat Launching Facility – San Luis Obispo County
The Commission will consider approving a $540,000 grant to the County of San Luis Obispo to repave and restripe access way and parking areas to the Santa Margarita Lake boat launching facilities, install a new fish cleaning station, and remove overhead electrical power lines across the lake, and replace with a solar power system.

Redbud Boat Launching Facility – Lake County
The Commission will consider approving a $945,000 grant to the City of Clearlake for improvements to the Redbud boat launching facility. The proposed project includes lengthening one existing boarding float; replacing two suspended boarding floats; incidental dredging required for dock installation; parking lot rehabilitation and lighting. 

A detailed agenda of the meeting and information on the Commission may be found at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/Commission/.

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Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.



02/10/2012

Become a Dockwalker, Help Keep California’s Waterways Clean



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

February 10, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean and Green Program invite boaters to become Dockwalkers. Training is free and Dockwalking is a fantastic way to interact with boaters to help keep California’s marinas, waterways, and ocean clean and healthy.

“It is important for boaters to not only boat safely, but to also implement clean boating practices,” stated DBW’s Acting Director Lucia Becerra. “Safety and protecting the environment go hand in hand.”

The Dockwalker Program educates boaters to be safe and environmentally sound while boating in California through its volunteer Dockwalkers. The volunteers are trained to conduct face-to-face boater education and distribute boater kits with educational information while visiting marinas, boat launch ramps, boat shows and events. Hours spent training or educating the public qualify as community service.

Marinas also benefit from the Dockwalker Program. Involvement in this program provides marinas with the educational materials and tools to operate a clean boating facility and minimize water quality impacts.

To become a volunteer, please contact the program coordinator, Vivian Matuk, at (415) 904-6905 or visit www.BoatingCleanandGreen.com for more details and to view the 2012 Dockwalker Training Schedule.

Partnerships with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, the Keep the Delta Clean Program and many more organizations have made this program successful. Since the year 2000, more than 600 volunteers have become Dockwalkers and more than 90,000 boater kits have been distributed throughout California.

 

The Boating Clean and Green Program is an education and outreach program conducted through the California Department of Boating and Waterways and California Coastal Commission. The program promotes environmentally-sound boating practices to marine business and boaters.



01/18/2012

$1.25 Million in Grants for Boating Facilities Approved



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

January 18, 2012


 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) approved $1.25 million in grants for boating facilities.

Items approved include:

Glorietta Bay Boat Launching Facility – San Diego County
The Commission approved a $630,000 grant to the City of Coronado for improvements to the Glorietta Bay boat launching facility. The project will include installation of a new gangway, repair of the concrete boat launching ramp and the adjacent rock revetment, replacement of docks and piles, relocation of boat wash down area, resurfacing and restriping of parking lot, lighting of trash and recycling enclosure, and installation of a project credit sign.

Mayflower Park Boat Launching Facility – Riverside County
The Commission approved a $620,000 grant to the Riverside County Parks Department for improvements to the Mayflower Park boat launching facility. The project will include a 30-foot extension to the existing boat ramp, addition of a boarding float and of an ADA compliant walkway and related concrete paths, pavement improvements to the existing parking area, renovation of night lighting within the project area and landscape improvements.

 

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.



01/11/2012

Boating and Waterways Commission to Consider $1.25 Million in Grants for Boating Facilities Jan. 18



Contact:  Gloria Sandoval (916) 651-5692

January 11, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Boating and Waterways Commission (Commission) will meet Jan. 18 in Santa Barbara to consider $1.25 million in boat launching facility grants. The meeting is open to the public and will convene at 9:00 a.m. at the Harbor View Inn, 28 West Cabrillo Blvd.

Items being considered by the Commission include:

Glorietta Bay Boat Launching Facility – San Diego County
The Commission will consider approving a $630,000 grant to the City of Coronado for improvements to the Glorietta Bay boat launching facility. The proposed project includes installation of a new gangway, repair of the concrete boat launching ramp and the adjacent rock revetment, replacement of docks and piles, relocation of boat wash down area, resurfacing and restriping of parking lot, lighting of trash and recycling enclosure, and installation of a project credit sign.

Mayflower Park Boat Launching Facility – Riverside County
The Commission will consider approving a $620,000 grant to the Riverside County Parks Department for improvements to the Mayflower Park boat launching facility. The proposed project includes a 30-foot extension to the existing boat ramp, addition of a boarding float and of an ADA compliant walkway and related concrete paths, pavement improvements to the existing parking area, renovation of night lighting within the project area and landscape improvements.

A detailed agenda of the meeting and information on the Commission may be found at http://www.dbw.ca.gov/Commission/.

 

Grant and loan applications are submitted to the Department of Boating and Waterways and funding for approved projects is derived from the taxes paid by boaters on the purchase of vessel gasoline and the repayment of principal and interest on department-made loans.

The department provides grants to a county, city, district or other public agency for the construction of small craft boating launching facilities and loans to local agencies for the construction of small craft harbors. These grants and loans require the consent of the Boating and Waterways Commission.