Spring 2000

From the Director's Desk I am pleased to report that on June 30, Governor Gray Davis signed the 2000-01 State budget, which includes a record $92,284,000 in expenditures for the Department. Highlights include $24,886,000 for loans to public agencies, $5 million for loan to private sector marina owners, $13,835,00 for grants to public agencies for the construction of boat launching facilities, $9,307,000 for capital outlay projects to construct boating facilities on state lands (e.g. reservoirs of the State Water Project), $8,975,000 in aid to local agencies for boating law enforcement, $1,253,000 for vessel sewage pumpout grants, and $400,000 for abandoned watercraft abatement grants. Additionally, the department received $10 million from the General Fund for much-needed coastal sand nourishment projects.

The Boating and Waterways Commission meeting that was set for June 1 and 2 in Needles has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. The next meeting will be held at Lake Tahoe on August 2 and 3.

Most of you have heard that we have two newly appointed members of the Boating and Waterways Commission, Robert Y. Nagata and Donald R. Doser. Bob was appointed by Governor Davis on October 15, 1999, and attended his first meeting the same month. He is a boat owner and an attorney. Don was appointed on March 15, and will attend his first meeting in August. He is the Business Manager and General Vice President of Operating Engineers Local Union #3. Both are welcome additions to the Commission, and provide the Commission with a quorum.

DeltaKeeper, an environmental protection group, has filed a lawsuit against Boating and Waterways for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act related to our 16-year-old water hyacinth control program in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. DeltaKeeper maintains that the Department should have obtained a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit before applying herbicides as part of its legally mandated program to control infestations of the non-native plant. As a result, the Department has stopped the application of herbicides until such time that the Regional Water Quality Control Board determines if a permit

National Boating Infrastructure Grants Available

Marina Owners and Operators

The Department is requesting applications for the new federal grant program known as the BIG Program (National Boating Infrastructure Grant Program). BIG will fund states' efforts to install and upgrade transient tie-up facilities for recreational boats 26 feet long and over. The grant program is open to both public and private sector marinas.

The Department Boating and Waterways will be the lead agency for California's participation in this program. BIG is a competitive program under which all proposed projects will compete against each other on a national basis. The program provides $8 million per year nation wide for the next four years to accomplish its goals. Potential projects that are eligible for award are renovation or construction of visitor docks, restrooms, gangways, dockside utility hookups, etc.

Applicants will be required to submit a grant proposal following the federal guidelines, available at the Departments website, www.dbw.ca.gov. (Look under "Quick Links," and then "National Boating Infrastructure Grants." The general information and program guidelines start at Section 86.11 of the document.) It is recommended that potential applicants review the federal guidelines first to determine eligibility requirements. For further information, please contact Kevin Atkinson, at (916) 327-1788.

Hot Off The Press...

Annual Boating Accident Report Out

On May 17, 2000, DBW published the 1999 California Boating Safety Report, the latest analysis of boating accidents, trends and safety implications.

In 1999, a total of 907 boating accidents, 491 injuries, 42 fatalities, and $2,864,000 in property damage were reported to the Department, compared to 1998's totals of 772 accidents, 413 injuries, 58 fatalities and $2,299,600 in property damage.

Accidents involving personal watercraft (PWC) have decreased significantly since 1997 (from 391 in 1997 to 264 in 1999), which may be attributable to two laws that went into effect before the 1998 boating season: an increase in the operator age limit from 12 to 16, and a prohibition

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