Bay Area Boaters Urged to Contact Their Legislators - Reform BCDC!

Recreational Boaters of California [RBOC] urges boaters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to contact their state legislators and urge them to follow-up on the findings of a recent state audit and pursue the essential reforms to ensure that the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission [BCDC] performs its key responsibilities in a fair, consistent and timely manner. This is important to ensure that the thousands of bay area boaters have access to marinas and boatyards.

There are several actions that would advance this effort. For instance, the size of the commission should be reduced from 27, as it is too large to provide effective governance. Also, the statutorily-mandated Citizens’ Advisory Committee [CAC] should be re-activated.

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RBOC applauds the leadership of the bipartisan legislative coalition led by Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin [D-South San Francisco] with Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron [R-Escondido], Senator Jerry Hill, [D-San Mateo], and Assemblymember Marc Berman [D-Palo Alto].

In response to their request, the California State Auditor investigated BCDC’s enforcement activities, adherence to its mission, funding, operational needs and structure.

The State Auditor’s summary of its recent audit:

Our audit of the commission revealed the following:

  • The commission has struggled to perform key responsibilities related to the protection of the Bay and the Suisun Marsh.

  • Staff spend years attempting to resolve violations before referring them to the commissioners for enforcement action, amassing a backlog of 230 cases.

    • The commissioners are considering amnesty for some of the violators in these cases, even though they may represent ongoing harm to the Bay.

  • The commissioners have not provided sufficient leadership and guidance for their enforcement process and have improperly delegated their enforcement authority to staff.

  • The commission has not assessed the implementation of a plan to safeguard the Suisun Marsh, as state law requires, increasing the possibility of harm to the marsh.

  • The commission’s approach to identifying individual violations has led to inconsistencies in its imposition of fines.

  • The commission’s recent creation and implementation of a system for scoring and prioritizing cases is too complex to accomplish this goal effectively.

RBOC concurs in the statement of Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin: “The State Auditor’s comprehensive report makes abundantly clear that a legislative audit request of BCDC was absolutely necessary.  As I suspected, the State Auditor has found that the Commission has struggled to perform key responsibilities related to consistent enforcement and as a result, has allowed ongoing harm to the Bay.”