Please find below an update on Water Trail implementation activities since the last update on May 29, 2012, and an important announcement about the scheduled September 6 meeting, which we are canceling. The next meeting will be on December 4, 2012.
Updates on Water Trail Activities
Water Trail Implementation Meeting #4: The Palo Alto Baylands Sailing Station became the 3rd site to be conditionally designated into the Water Trail. The State of California’s Deputy Attorney General, Christiana Tiedemann, presented an overview of the need for the Water Trail program to be accessible to persons with disabilities on a program level (see additional notes on this topic, below). Consultant firm Studio L’Image gave meeting attendees an opportunity to view and comment on a suite of initial concepts for the Water Trail logo. The meeting was well attended and a final meeting summary will be posted on the Conservancy website sometime in September.
Program-level accessibility: Water Trail staff released a Request for Services on May 31 for an architect or landscape architect to assist with the development of an Accessibility Plan for the Water Trail program. Conservancy staff is currently negotiating a contract with the top-ranked firm. This new plan will help guide us just as we have been guided by the Enhanced Water Trail Plan (developed by BCDC as the Water Trail Plan), and the programmatic EIR (developed by the Conservancy). The plan should be complete or nearly complete by late spring/early summer next year. We are confident that we will achieve the goal of program accessibility and believe that the Accessibility Plan will become an excellent model for other Water Trails around the country.
Outreach and Education: Water Trail staff, and in particular the Water Trail Planner, Galli Basson, have made great progress on the Water Trail website and logo, and have met with various jurisdictions, site owners, and clubs to promote the Water Trail and answer questions. Galli expects to launch the website either later this month or in September, together with the new logo. The development of the Water Trail signage program and brochure will follow soon thereafter. Results of the Water Trail Survey developed and implemented by Galli will be ready for release in September.
Water Trail – Related News Around the Bay:
- America’s Cup 34 Legacy Site Improvements in San Francisco: Two fully accessible launches (or existing launch enhancements) are still on track to be developed at Marina Green and Pier 52 in San Francisco as America’s Cup 34 legacy projects.
- Ferry Terminal Proposed in Richmond by the Water Emergency Transit Authority (WETA): Water Trail Staff and Project Management Team and Advisory Committee members are working with staff from WETA to help analyze potential impacts the proposed ferry route and terminal could have on users of the Water Trail and how those impacts might best be mitigated.
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan: Water Trail Staff provided comments on the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan. In particular, staff supported Alternative B, which includes opportunities for expansion of non-motorized small boat launch sites, water-based wildlife observation programs, and public outreach messages and programs focused on decreasing wildlife disturbance.
- Cosco-Busan Oil Spill Settlement Funds: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is managing a portion of the oil spill settlement funds for loss of recreational use along the shoreline of certain Bay Area counties on behalf of the Department of Fish and Game and the California State Lands Commission (Cosco-Busan Recreational Use Grant Program). This program is proceeding on schedule and final grant awards will be announced this fall (expected in mid-November). Some of the awards may provide benefits to Water Trail users. On a related note, the Richmond City Council voted on July 31 to appropriate $154,000 of the settlement funds allocated specifically for that city to the reopening of the Point Molate Beach, a potential Water Trail site.
- Crane Cove (Pier 70), San Francisco: The Port of San Francisco held a public meeting at Pier 1 in San Francisco on June 20 to solicit community input on the redevelopment of Crane Cove into a public park along the Blue Greenway. Water Trail staff attended to provide support for the potential inclusion of a non-motorized small boat launch next to The Ramp.
- Site Visits: Water Trail staff continue to meet with site owners around San Francisco Bay to support the inclusion of their sites in the Water Trail network. Site owners and managers are invited to contact either Ann Buell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Galli Basson (email@example.com) at any time to discuss the site designation process.
Cancelation of September 6 Water Trail Implementation Meeting
The Water Trail Program has by now conditionally designated three trailheads: Tidewater Boating Center, Angel Island State Park, and Palo Alto Baylands Sailing Station. The designation process has raised our awareness of the obligations of the Coastal Conservancy to make the Water Trail accessible on a program level, as described above.
The Accessibility Plan will not be far enough along by September 6, the planned date for our next public meeting, to provide the needed guidance, so we have concluded that it would be best to cancel that meeting. By December 4, our next scheduled meeting, we should be far enough along in the plan, and also have a robust Water Trail website and draft brochure and sign program, to continue designating sites and building a Water Trail that is accessible on a program level.