For Immediate Release: 2/8/2021
California Seeking Volunteers to Help Keep Waterways Clean
COVID-19-friendly volunteer opportunities available statewide
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California’s Boating Clean and Green Program is looking for individuals to become Dockwalkers to help keep the ocean, lakes and reservoirs clean. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, recreational boaters continue to recreate in California’s waterways. The need to share clean boating practices with the recreational community, while abiding to COVID-19 guidelines, remains important.
For the past two decades, Dockwalkers have taught more than 100,000 boaters about keeping waterways clean from oil, fuel, sewage and marine debris. According the Division of Boating and Waterways, the level of recreational boating activity in California is one of the highest in the country with some 4 million motorized and non-motorized boats being operated annually. Dockwalkers raise awareness about clean boating practices by distributing educational materials and California boater kits at marinas, boat launch ramps and boating events, or wherever boaters are.
"Boating has been supportive and healing for many during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Division of Boating and Waterways Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “As Californians enjoy this form of outdoor recreation, it is important for them to do so in a way that protects public safety and the environment. We invite water enthusiasts to help us share these important messages by becoming a Dockwalker."
Free, three-hour virtual Dockwalker trainings will be offered through the Zoom video conferencing system starting March 6 through June 12 on select Saturdays from 10 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Participants must be 15 years or older. The training qualifies as community service. Interested persons must register ahead of time online. Anyone who is interested in this effective educational program can view videos online to learn more about the program and view success stories.
Marinas and yacht clubs are also 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 a Clean Marina designation provided by Clean Marina Program. 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 Division of Boating and Waterways and the California Coastal Commission. Learn more about the Dockwalker Program at Boating CleanAndGreen.com.
A Dockwalker educates a recreational boater at Shelter Island in San Diego with the California Boater Kit and questionnaire. Photo from The Bay Foundation.
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