RBOC Opposing California WaterFix, Citing Negative Impact on Boating

RBOC has adopted a position in opposition to the proposed WaterFix project, a massive construction project that could seriously impact boaters’ access to the Delta for years to come.

“RBOC has, for decades, been at the forefront of opposing proposals that would impair the ability of boaters to access to the 1,000 miles of waterways in the Delta,” said Peter Robertson, president of the organization.  “We successfully opposed permanent barriers that would have blocked navigation to popular Delta destinations.  We have supported legislation that would increase funds for fighting invasive species such as the water hyacinth,” stated Robertson.

According to RBOC, the proposed WaterFix project is the latest threat to boating in the Delta.  The project, which could take 14 years or more to complete, involves digging huge, 47-mile long tunnels under the Delta to facilitate movement of water.  During construction, major waterways and tributaries could be closed to recreational boaters.

At an August 1 meeting of its Board of Directors, RBOC identified specific, boater-related concerns with the Notice of Determination (NOD) for the California WaterFix environmental analysis.  These include:

  • The significant, negative impact that will occur with the closure of waterways to navigation during the lengthy construction period.
  • The absence of a plan to ensure that the Delta infrastructure will not only be preserved, but improved.

  • The lack of surety that the plan will address the threat that climate change and increased water transfer pose to the amount and quality of water in the Delta.

“We are encouraging the state to consider other sources of water such as increased storage and desalination,” stated Robertson.