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Free Workshops: Dockwalkers Help Boaters Become Eco-Stewards

Los Angeles CA— Southern California is home to approximately 293,000 registered vessels, providing a significant opportunity to positively impact the ocean by teaching boaters to be eco-stewards. Dockwalkers literally walk the docks, bringing clean boating tips and resources to their local boating community, and the annual statewide Dockwalker training program is offering four free Southern California workshops March through May. The free public workshops are provided by The Bay Foundation (TBF), California Coastal Commission, and California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways’ Boating Clean and Green Program.

Dockwalking has proved to be a powerful way to interact with boaters to keep California’s marinas, waterways, and the ocean clean. Dockwalkers connect with their local boating community in harbors and at boating events through face-to-face interaction and the distribution of Boater Kits. This program has reached over 100,000 boaters since its launch in 2000 with the goal of improving harbor and inland water quality.

“As a mother and an active member of Women’s Sailing Association of Santa Monica Bay (WSASMB), I am very interested in clean boating practices,” says Christine Pernin, Dockwalker volunteer in Marina del Rey and WSASMB Fleet Captain. “The Dockwalker program is full of incredible resources. It’s fun and it’s important.” During her first season of Dockwalking, Pernin passed along the ‘boating clean and green’ message to over 100 recreational boaters.

The 2019 Boater Kits include a variety of clean and safe boating resources as well as a few pollution prevention tools: an oil absorbent sheet, an oil absorbent pillow, and a fuel bib. Mitchell Armstrong, Marina Agent for City of Long Beach, Parks, Recreation and Marine, says, “The kits are a great asset to the California boating community. All of the boaters have been impressed with the materials included in the kit. People of all ages and experience have gained important clean-boating information from the Boater Kit interaction.”

The Tide Calendar included in the kit complements all the pollution prevention tools by featuring a marina guide with maps of all harbors from Morro Bay to Coral Marina in Baja Mexico, highlighting locations for oil recycling, absorbent pad distribution and collection, and bilge pumpouts, in addition to locations of sewage pumpouts, fuel docks, and fishing line recycling.

The Tide Calendar also supplements the many other tools that TBF’s Community Engagement Program creates for boaters, which includes the recent vessel sewage video. The video clearly and easily explains the laws regarding boat Marine Sanitation Devices, the effects of discharging sewage overboard, and how to properly secure a boat’s Y-valve to prevent an accidental sewage discharge.

“Every year, we get return Dockwalkers who love their time with the boaters and see the change in behavior they’ve helped create, as well as new volunteers who are ready to do the same,” states Victoria Gambale, TBF’s Community Engagement Program Manager. “We look forward to welcoming anyone interested!”

To become a Dockwalker volunteer, please contact Victoria Gambale at vgambale@santamonicabay.org or sign up for a Dockwalker training online. For more information, visit the Dockwalker Program page. Training is free. Registration is required.

Spring 2019 Dockwalker Trainings will be held at the following times and locations:

March 30, 2019 – Newport Beach
10 AM – 12:45 PM
Newport Sea Base
1931 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663

April 27, 2019 – San Diego
10 AM – 12:45 PM
Silver Gate Yacht Club
2091 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106

May 4, 2019 – Marina del Rey
10 AM – 12:45 PM
Del Rey Yacht Club
13900 Palawan Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292

May 11, 2019 – San Pedro
10 AM – 12:45 PM
The Plaza at Cabrillo Marina
2965 Via Cabrillo-Marina, San Pedro, CA 90731

About The Bay Foundation (TBF)

The Bay Foundation (TBF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit environmental group founded in 1990 to restore and enhance the Santa Monica Bay and local coastal waters (from the LA-Ventura county line to the Palos Verdes Peninsula). The Bay Foundation is a partner in the Santa Monica Bay National Estuary Program along with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission and many other organizations. TBF works collaboratively with a broad group of stakeholders, including government agencies, industry, environmental groups, and community members. TBF engages scientists and conducts research while mentoring student interns and volunteers in conjunction with the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering through the Coastal Research Institute at Loyola Marymount University. (TBF: www.santamonicabay.org, CRI: lmu.edu/cri)

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)