California State Parks’ Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) has awarded $18.8 million to public entities to provide clean and safe waterways for California’s recreational community. Funding will be used to prevent the further spread of quagga and zebra mussels in freshwater bodies, discourage the illegal disposal of unwanted vessels and purchase search-and-rescue equipment for law enforcement entities.
California’s reputation as a boater’s paradise, with an abundance of recreational opportunities, has lured millions of visitors to California’s waterways each year. For over 65 years, DBW has improved and safeguarded the boating experience for all users—from Mission Bay in San Diego to the crystal clear water of Lake Tahoe and along every lake, river and stream in between.
Grant programs help DBW meet its mission to provide safe and convenient public access to California’s waterways and promote safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound recreational boating.
Below is a breakdown of the funding for this year:
- Quagga and Zebra Mussel Infestation Prevention Grant Program: $2,982,586 was awarded for infestation-prevention work for nine agencies, for a total of 12 grants, to protect 19 reservoirs. Funding helps with the revision or preparation of a prevention plan, early-detection mussel monitoring, water chemistry monitoring, cleaning/
decontamination areas, outreach efforts and other projects. Funding for this program comes from the sale of Mussel Fee Stickers. Some of the recipients include the Big Bear Municipal Water District, East Bay Regional Park District and the Sonoma County Water Agency.
- Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange Grant Program: $2,750,000 of Abandoned Watercraft Abatement Funds were awarded to 29 local agencies for the prevention of abandoned vessels in California’s waterways and for the removal and disposal of abandoned and surrendered recreational vessels. Some of the recipients include the cities of Berkeley, Stockton and Suisun, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff, San Diego Unified Port District and Santa Barbara City Waterfront Department.
- Boating Safety and Enforcement Equipment Grant Program: $1,570,535 in federal Recreational Boating Safety grant funds were awarded to 22 local law enforcement and fire district agencies for marine patrol and search-and-rescue equipment, including nine patrol boats, two personal watercraft, engine re-powers for existing marine patrol vessels, dive gear and communications, sonar, radar and navigation equipment. Some of the recipients include the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Redding Police Department and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
- Boating Safety and Enforcement Financial Aid Program: $11,500,000 of Harbors and Watercrafts Revolving Fund was awarded to 40 local governmental agencies for enforcement of state and local laws and regulations for boating activities, which includes inspection of vessels, supervision of organized on-the-water activities and search-and-rescue operations. Some of the recipients include the following county sheriff departments: Butte, Del Norte, Fresno, Humboldt, Nevada, Plumas, San Joaquin and Siskiyou.