On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 the Department of the Interior and National Park Service awarded the East Bay Regional Park District $750,000 for public access improvements at the Bay Point Regional Shoreline.
The Bay Point Regional Shoreline consists of 150 acres of Bay-Delta open space and marshland in unincorporated Contra Costa County. The East Bay Regional Park District was one of only 22 recipients of the grant in the country.
“We are honored to have been selected for the grant,” said East Bay Regional Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “The funds will enhance public access and recreational opportunities for East Contra Costa communities.”
“We look forward to making these improvements,” said Doyle. “The Park District is committed to improving access to public parklands for disadvantaged communities throughout the East Bay.”
“Improvements will also benefit efforts to address climate change and the impacts of rising sea levels by providing a buffer for public facilities and homes near the shoreline,” added Doyle.
The grant is administered through the National Park Service’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program. Congress created the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership in 2014 with the goal to provide funds for projects within underserved communities. The program seeks to highlight new ways of providing opportunities for outdoor experiences in areas of need, as well as to promote public-private partnerships.
“Bay Point Regional Shoreline is a great place to fish and enjoy the outdoors,” said East Bay Regional Park District Director Colin Coffey. “East Contra Costa residents will benefit greatly from these improvements.”
Anticipated improvements include, among others, drinking fountains, walking and hiking trails, signage, and enhanced access for the disabled.
The National Park Service’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership program is funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is the country’s primary budgetary mechanism to support federal, state and local government initiatives in conservation, outdoor recreation, and environmental restoration.
With its enactment in 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund marked the country’s intention to balance its impact on natural resources from offshore oil and gas drilling with the acquisition and conservation of national treasures.
The Land and Water Conservation fund’s intent is to set aside up to $900 million every year from energy royalties with a portion being appropriated for important national conservation projects and another portion allocated to states.
The district has also received a $200,000 grant for trail improvements at Bay Point Regional Shoreline from the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
Further information on the Land and Water Conservation fund can be found https://www.nps.gov/subjects/lwcf/index.htm
Further information on Bay Point Regional Shoreline can be found http://www.ebparks.org/parks/bay_point