Policy: Recreation, No 3

"Recreational facilities, such as waterfront parks, trails, marinas, live-aboard boats, non-motorized small boat access, fishing piers, launching lanes, and beaches, should be encouraged and allowed by the Commission, provided they are located, improved and managed consistent with the following standards: General Recreational facilities should:
Be well distributed around the shores of the Bay to the extent consistent with the more specific criteria below. Any concentrations of facilities should be as close to major population centers as is feasible; Not pre-empt land or water area needed for other priority uses, but efforts should be made to integrate recreation into such facilities to the extent that they are compatible.; Be feasible from an engineering viewpoint.; and Be consistent with the public access policies that address wildlife compatibility and disturbance.
In addition: Different types of compatible public and commercial recreation facilities should be clustered to the extent feasible to permit joint use of ancillary facilities and provide a greater range of choices for users. Sites, features or facilities within designated waterfront parks that provide optimal conditions for specific water-oriented recreational uses should be preserved and, where appropriate, enhanced for those uses, consistent with natural and cultural resource preservation. Access to marinas, launch ramps, beaches, fishing piers, and other recreational facilities should be clearly posted with signs and easily available from parking reserved for the public or from public streets or trails. To reduce the human health risk posed by consumption of contaminated fish, projects that create or improve fishing access to the Bay at water-oriented recreational facilities, such as fishing piers, beaches, and marinas, should include signage that informs the public of consumption advisories for the species of Bay fish that have been identified as having potentially unsafe levels of contaminants. Complete segments of the Bay and Ridge Trails where appropriate, consistent with policy 4-a-6. Marinas. (1) Marinas should be allowed at any suitable site on the Bay. Unsuitable sites are those that tend to fill up rapidly with sediment and require frequent dredging; have insufficient upland; contain valuable tidal marsh, or tidal flat, or important subtidal areas; or are needed for other water-oriented priority uses. At suitable sites, the Commission should encourage new marinas, particularly those that result in the creation of new open water through the excavation of areas not part of the Bay and not containing valuable wetlands. (2) Fill should be permitted for marina facilities that must be in or over the Bay, such as breakwaters, shoreline protection, boat berths, ramps, launching facilities, pumpout and fuel rocks, and short-term unloading areas. Fill for marina support facilities may be permitted at sites with difficult land configurations provided that the fill in the Bay is the minimum necessary and any unavoidable loss of Bay habitat, surface area, or volume is offset to the maximum amount feasible, preferably at or near the site. (3) No new marina or expansion of any existing marina should be approved unless water quality and circulation will be adequately protected and, if possible, improved, and an adequate number of vessel sewage pumpout facilities that are convenient in location and time of operation to recreational boat users should be provided free of charge or at a reasonable fee, as well as receptacles to dispose of waste oil. (4) In addition, marinas should include public amenities, such as viewing areas, restrooms, public mooring docks or floats and moorages for transient recreational boaters, non-motorized small boat launching facilities, public parking; substantial physical and visual access; and maintenance for all facilities.Live-aboard boats. Live-aboard boats should be allowed only in marinas and only if: (1) The number would not exceed ten percent of the total authorized boat berths unless the applicant can demonstrate clearly that a greater number of live-aboard boats is necessary to provide security or other use incidental to the marina use; (2) The boats would promote and further the recreational boating use of the marina (for example, providing a degree of security), and are located within the marina consistent with such purpose; (3) The marina would provide, on land, sufficient and conveniently located restrooms, showers, garbage disposal facilities, and parking adequate to serve live-aboard boat occupants and guests; (4) The marina would provide and maintain an adequate number of vessel sewage pumpout facilities in locations that are convenient in location and time of operation to all boats in the marina, particularly live-aboard boats, and would provide the service free of charge or at a reasonable fee; and (5) There would be adequate tidal circulation in the marina to mix, dilute, and carry away any possible wastewater discharge. Live-aboard boats moored in a marina on July 1, 1985, but unauthorized by the Commission, should be allowed to remain in the marina provided the tests of (2), (3), (4), and (5) above are met. Where existing live-aboard boats in a marina exceed ten percent of the authorized berths, or a greater number is demonstrated to be clearly necessary to provide security or other use incidental to the marina use, no new live-aboard boats should be authorized until the number is reduced below that number and then only if the project is in conformance with tests (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) above.Launching Lanes. (1) Launching lanes should be placed where wind and water conditions would be most favorable for smaller boats. (2) Some launching lanes should be located near prime fishing areas and others near calm, clear water suitable for waterskiing. (3) Additional launching facilities should be located around the Bay shoreline, especially where there are few existing facilities. These facilities should be available free or at moderate cost. Launching facilities should include adequate car and trailer parking, restrooms, and public access. (4) In marinas, launching facilities should be encouraged where there is adequate upland to provide needed support facilities. (5) New ramps and improvements to existing ramps should provide for use by a wide variety of boats, including power boats and non-motorized small boats. (6) Fill for ramps into the water, docks, and similar facilities should be permitted. Other fill should not be permitted.Non-Motorized Small Boats. Where practicable, access facilities for non-motorized small boats should be incorporated into waterfront parks, marinas, launching ramps and beaches, especially near popular waterfront destinations. (2) Access points should be located, improved and managed to avoid significant adverse affects on wildlife and their habitats, should not interfere with commercial navigation, or security and exclusion zones or pose a danger to recreational boaters from commercial shipping operations, and should provide for diverse water-accessible overnight accommodations, including camping, where acceptable to park operators. (3) Sufficient, convenient parking that accommodates expected use should be provided at sites improved for launching non-motorized small boats. Where feasible, overnight parking should be provided. (4) Site improvements, such as landing and launching facilities, restrooms, rigging areas, equipment storage and concessions, and educational programs that address navigational safety, security, and wildlife compatibility and disturbance should be provided, consistent with use of the site. (5) Facilities for boating organizations that provide training and stewardship, operate concessions, provide storage or boathouses should be allowed in recreational facilities where appropriate. (6) Design standards for non-motorized small boat launching access should be developed to guide the improvement of these facilities. Launching facilities should be accessible and designed to ensure that boaters can easily launch their watercraft. Facilities should be durable to minimize maintenance and replacement cost.Fishing Piers. Fishing piers should not block navigation channels, nor interfere with normal tidal flow.Beaches. Sandy beaches should be preserved, enhanced, or restored for recreational use, such as swimming, consistent with wildlife protection. New beaches should be permitted if the site conditions are suitable for sustaining a beach without excessive beach nourishment. Water-oriented commercial-recreation. Water-oriented commercial recreational establishments, such as restaurants, specialty shops, private boatels, recreational equipment concessions, and amusements, should be encouraged in urban areas adjacent to the Bay. Public docks, floats or moorages for visiting boaters should be encouraged at these establishments where adequate shoreline facilities can be provided. Effort should be made to link commercial-recreation centers and waterfront parks by ferry or water taxi."

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