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Free Training for Green, Clean Boating Volunteers

San Diego County CA— Four free local Dockwalker workshops now through April—as part of ten statewide—are available to train volunteers to promote and educate boaters on environmentally-sound boating practices in Southern California.  The workshops are provided by The Bay Foundation (TBF), California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways, and California Coastal Commission’s Boating Clean and Green Program, in partnership with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the US Power Squadron.

Dockwalking has proven to be an impactful way to interact with boaters to keep California’s marinas, waterways, and the ocean clean.  Volunteer Dockwalkers conduct face-to-face boater education and distribute boater kits, which provide educational resources and pollution prevention tools to boaters.

“We are pleased to be part of a statewide, cross-sector partnership among government, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations.  And we couldn’t do it without the passionate individuals who volunteer countless hours to protect our State’s waterways,” states Grace Lee, TBF’s Director of Outreach Programs.  “Dockwalkers are making an impact and every year the program grows, allowing us to reach an exponential number of boaters.”

New items that Dockwalkers will share with boaters this year include a fuel bib and the 2015 vessel sewage management guide, When Nature Calls.  A fuel bib is a pollution prevention tool that is placed around the nozzle of the pump and captures accidental gas spills and leaks while fueling.  When Nature Calls is a free, full-color book that covers the environmental impacts of sewage in our waterways, marine sanitation devices, chemical additives, green solutions, instructions for how to use a stationary pumpout, and what is required of boaters to comply with the law.  Boaters may download a free version from the publications page on TBF’s website.  This publication was created by the State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways and TBF, with funding from a Clean Vessel Act Grant.

When Nature Calls augments the many tools that TBF’s Boater Education Program and its partners continue to create for boaters, which includes the free downloadable “Boater’s Guide App” (iTunes) and printed version.

Marinas and yacht club members are also encouraged to attend Dockwalker trainings.  Benefits of the program include improvements in quality of harbor waters resulting from an increase of boater awareness about clean and safe boating practices.

“Dumping sewage in our oceans and waterways creates environmental and human health problems, and boaters want to help,” says Stephanie Gomez, Dockwalker since 2014.  “As a Dockwalker, I have the opportunity to educate recreational boaters on the effects, provide alternatives and have fun at the same time.”  Gomez has talked to over 50 boaters who took their time to learn about clean boating practices and receive a free boater kit.

To become a Dockwalker volunteer, please contact Victoria Gambale at (213) 620-2271, vgambale@santamonicabay.org, or visit www.santamonicabay.org.  Training is free. Registration is required.

2016 Spring Dockwalker Trainings will be held at the following times and locations, provided by the following organizations:

March 26, 2016- Marina del Rey
10am- 12:45pm
Del Rey Yacht Club
13900 Palawan Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

April 2, 2016- Dana Point
OC Sailing & Events Center
34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point, CA 92629

April 16, 2016- San Pedro/ Long Beach
Holiday Harbor-Cabrillo Marina
241 Watchorn Walk, Berth 34, San Pedro, CA 90731

April 23, 2016- San Diego
10am- 12:45pm
Sunroad Resort Marina
955 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego CA 92101

About The Bay Foundation (TBF)

The Bay Foundation, also known as the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit environmental group founded in 1990 to restore and enhance the Santa Monica Bay (from the LA-Ventura county line to the Palos Verdes Peninsula) and local coastal waters. The Foundation is the non-profit partner of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, raising and expending funds for research, education, planning, cleanup efforts and other priorities identified in the Commission’s Santa Monica Bay Restoration Plan. As advocates for the Bay, TBF works collaboratively with a broad group of stakeholders, including government agencies, industry, environmental groups, and scientists, to implement innovative policies and projects that clean up the waterways, create green spaces and natural habitats in the Los Angeles region.  TBF conducts research and mentors student intern and volunteers through its Center for Santa Monica Bay Studies at Loyola Marymount University.  (www.santamonicabay.org

About DBW

Boating and Waterways is a division of California State Parks. DBW provides safe and convenient public access to California’s waterways and leadership in promoting safe, enjoyable and environmentally sound recreational boating. (www.dbw.parks.ca.gov)