San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail
Updated October 2019
Please visit the Water Trail website to see a map of Water Trail sites (trailheads), learn more about specific sites’ amenities and accessibility features, plan a trip, and explore more about the San Francisco Bay!
The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail (Water Trail) is a growing network of access sites (or “trailheads”) helping people who use nonmotorized small boats and other beachable sailcraft—such as kayaks, canoes, dragon boats, and stand-up paddle and windsurf boards—to safely enjoy single and multiple-day trips around San Francisco Bay and along its tributary rivers and creeks. This regional trail is enhancing Bay Area communities’ connections to the Bay and creating new linkages to existing shoreline open space and other regional trails, such as the San Francisco Bay Trail. Site owners and managers join the Water Trail on a voluntary basis—the Water Trail does not own or manage any sites. The State Coastal Conservancy is leading the growth and development of the Water Trail in close collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), and the Division of Boating and Waterways (Cal Boating).
Water Trail Implementation Public Meetings
Public meetings will be held on the following Fridays from 10-1, via Zoom until further notice. If you would like to be included on regular listserve updates, please email that request to Avra Heller at firstname.lastname@example.org. Links to access the meetings and agendas will be posted at least 10 days in advance of each meeting.
- March 4, 2022
- June 10, 2022
- September 16, 2022
- December 9, 2022
For past meeting agendas and summaries please contact Avra Heller by email at email@example.com.
Accessibility and the Water Trail
The Water Trail’s programmatic approach to meaningfully enhancing the accessibility of water access to the Bay is guided by the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Accessibility Plan (available upon request). The Coastal Conservancy led the development of the plan with input and guidance from many agencies, organizations, and individuals. Site owners may find the 2010 ADA Standards Excerpts for Boating Facilities Booklet (Cal Boating 2013) to be quite helpful. Site owners should also be aware that California accessibility laws are sometimes more stringent than the federal ADA laws.
Water Trail Grant Program
The Water Trail program accepts grant applications from eligible public agencies and nonprofit organizations for Water Trail site enhancement projects. Using funds authorized by the Coastal Conservancy for this purpose, Water Trail staff at ABAG are administering the grants. More information about the grant program will be posted here. Grants under this program are not currently available.
Planning and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
The final draft San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Plan (Water Trail Plan) for the Water Trail (WT) was completed by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) in 2007 in cooperation with the Conservancy and other public agencies and organizations. The Conservancy released a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the WT Plan for public review in the summer of 2008. That 2008 DEIR was revised for clarity and to add a newly required section on the evaluation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions potentially associated with the implementation of the project. The resulting 2010 Draft Revised Environmental Impact Report (DREIR) was circulated for public review August 3, 2010 – September 21, 2010. The San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) was certified by the Coastal Conservancy on March 17, 2011. These documents are available upon request.
For more information about the Water Trail project, contact Avra Heller, Project Manager, at (510) 286-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also want to visit BCDC’s website, where background information on the planning phase, including meeting summaries and planning documents, may be found.
- Coastal Conservancy Awards Grants for Coastal Access, Restoration, and Climate Resilience2/15/2024 – Today, the Board of the State Coastal Conservancy authorized a number of grants to restore, protect, and expand access to the California coast. Grants approved included: A grant of an amount not to exceed $35,000,000 to The Nature Conservancy to complete permitting and implement the first phase of the Ormond Beach Restoration Public Access […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Awards...)
- Coastal Stories 2024 RFP now open!The Coastal Stories 2024 grant program is now open! This grant program aims to support inclusivity of outdoor spaces for all Californians. The primary goal of the Coastal Stories Grant Program is to promote the representation of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), individuals with disabilities, immigrant communities, low-income communities, and other historically excluded groups […] (Read more on Coastal Stories 2024...)
- Coastal Conservancy Public Meeting in Newport Beach – February 15Meeting Notice Updated 2/5/2024 1:49 PM, address correction. Douglas Bosco (Public Member), Chair Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš (Public Member), Vice Chair Joy Sterling (Public Member) Jeremiah Hallisey (Public Member) Wade Crowfoot, Secretary for Natural Resources; Bryan Cash and Jenn Eckerle (Designated) Caryl Hart, Coastal Commission Chair; Madeline Cavalieri (Designated) Keely Bosler, Director, Department of Finance; Gayle Miller […] (Read more on Coastal Conservancy Public...)