Community Service

Training for ‘Dockwalker’ Program to be Provided in the Bay Area

Designated as dockwalkers, volunteers will be tasked with distributing boater kits that provide educational materials on clean boating practices.

State parks officials are looking for volunteers to help keep the state's waterways clean and Bay Area residents interested in volunteering can get training nearby, the officials said Thursday.

Designated as dockwalkers, volunteers will be tasked with distributing boater kits that provide educational materials on clean boating practices. Dockwalkers are part of California's Boating Clean and Green Program.

For the past 19 to 20 years, dockwalkers have taught more than 20,000 boaters about keeping waterways clean from oil, fuel, sewage and marine debris.

State officials said the level of recreational boating activity in California is one of the highest in the country. Even a small amount of pollution from the each of the roughly 4 million motorized and non-motorized boats can cause serious harm to marine life and waterways.

"We urge any water enthusiast who wants to make a difference in keeping our waterways clean to become a Dockwalker," Vivian Matuk, manager for the Boating Clean and Green Program, said in a statement.

Videos describing what dockwalkers do are available here. The videos also tell stories of successful dockwalking.

Anyone 15 years old and older can become a dockwalker by taking a free, three-hour class and opportunities to get the training are available throughout the state starting next month. Opportunities are available until May.

Interested persons must register ahead of time. The training qualifies as community service.

In the Bay Area, training classes will be held in Brisbane on March 11, in San Rafael on April 4, in Vallejo on April 11, and in Fairfield on May 11.

State officials encourage marinas and yacht clubs to participate.  Facilities that participate will receive tools and educational materials to help them operate a clean facility and limit impacts to water quality.

Through the dockwalker program, marinas and yacht clubs can get points toward the Clean Marina designation. Participation also counts toward a nomination as a club of the year.

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