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GC Sec 66690-66694 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA WATER TRAIL
66690. This chapter shall be known, and may be cited as, the San
Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Act.
66691. The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The public has an interest in the San Francisco Bay and the
surrounding watershed lands as one of the most valuable natural
resources of the state, a resource that gives special character to
the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco Bay is the central feature
in an interconnected open-space system of watersheds, natural
habitats, waterways, scenic areas, agricultural lands, and regional
(b) Water-oriented recreational uses of the San Francisco Bay,
including kayaking, canoeing, sailboarding, sculling, rowing, car-top
sailing, and the like, are of great benefit to the public welfare of
the San Francisco Bay Area. With loss of public open space, the
public increasingly looks to the bay, the region's largest open
space, for recreational opportunities. Water-oriented recreational
uses are an integral element of the recreational opportunities that
span the San Francisco Bay Area and add to the community vitality and
quality of life that the citizens of the region enjoy.
(c) Water trails have been designated throughout the United States
and have proven to be an important vehicle for promoting
water-oriented recreation for citizens of all economic means. Water
trails can inform the public about natural, cultural, and historic
features and foster public stewardship of these resources. Water
trails aid in urban renewal of industrial waterfronts. In combination
with hiking, biking, and horse trails, water trails are an important
element in the development of multiuse and multiday recreational
opportunities that in turn have a positive regional economic benefit.
(d) Bay Access, Incorporated, a nonprofit organization dedicated
to the creation of the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, has
identified a series of existing and potential access points to the
San Francisco Bay that encircle the bay. The designation of a water
trail linking these existing and any future access sites that is
designed and implemented consistent with this chapter, would advance
the regional goals and state mandate of the commission to foster
public access and recreational use of the bay.
(e) San Francisco Bay is an aquatic habitat of international
importance. It provides critical habitat for 70 percent of the shore
birds and 50 percent of the diving ducks on the Pacific Flyway, as
well as for many other waterbird species. It also provides habitat
for marine mammals, other aquatic species, and colonial nesting
birds, including many federal- and state-listed endangered or
threatened species, such as the endangered California clapper rail.
(f) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, established pursuant
to this chapter, shall be implemented consistent with the goals of
improving access to, within, and around the bay, coast, ridgetops,
and urban open spaces while respecting the rights of private property
owners, considering navigation safety and homeland security concerns
in establishing the access points around the bay and the siting of
overnight accommodations, minimizing the adverse impacts on
agricultural operations, and protecting endangered and threatened
species, and species of special concern.
(g) It is not the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this
chapter, to modify any provision of this title except as otherwise
expressly provided in this chapter.
66692. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, the area referred to
as the San Francisco Bay Area includes the nine Bay Area counties and
navigable waters and tributaries under tidal influence that are part
of or feed into San Francisco Bay.
(b) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail primary project area
shall be the area within the commission's jurisdiction as defined in
Section 66610 of this code, and the area described in Section 29101
of the Public Resources Code.
66693. (a) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail is hereby
(b) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail shall be developed in a
(c) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, to the extent
feasible, shall link access to the waters of the San Francisco Bay
that are available for navigation by human-powered boats and
beachable sail craft, and shall provide for diverse water-accessible
overnight accommodations, including camping.
(d) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail shall be developed in a
manner consistent with the right to access navigable waters of the
state contained in Section 4 of Article X of the California
(e) The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail shall be developed in a
manner consistent with all federal laws and regulations pertaining
to navigation safety and homeland security.
66694. (a) The commission shall conduct a public process to develop
a San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Plan for the San Francisco Bay
Area. The plan shall make recommendations on all of the following:
(1) Policies, criteria, and guidelines for the appropriate
location, design, operation, and maintenance of access to the bay.
(2) Locations where the water trail can coordinate with landside
trails and other recreational facilities to accommodate opportunities
for multiday, overnight travel.
(3) Organizational structure and procedures for the management and
operation of the water trail and the education of end users in ways
that will advance navigational safety, protect wildlife, and foster
stewardship of natural resources.
(4) Identification of sensitive wildlife areas where access should
be managed or prohibited.
(5) Identification of areas where access should be limited or
prohibited due to considerations related to navigation safety and
(b) In developing the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, the
commission, in collaboration with the State Coastal Conservancy and
the Association of Bay Area Governments, shall establish and
coordinate a collaborative partnership with other interested persons,
organizations, and agencies, including, but not limited to,
interested state, county, and district departments and commissions,
parks and park districts, ports, regional governmental bodies,
nonprofit groups, user groups, and businesses.
(c) On or before January 1, 2008, the commission shall submit the
plan to the Legislature.