Water Quality Education at Lake Berryessa
The Lake Berryesa Watershed Partnership runs a boater and visitor education program during the summer months at Lake Berryessa. Staffed by a team of seven interns from local colleges, the program provides friendly person-to-person clean water friendly boating information to visitors who explore Lake Berryessa in boats , and also provides information to visitors who come to picnic or camp along Lake Berryessa's shores.
Our knowledgeable and personable interns explain good water quality practices to both groups, empowering all visitors to be good stewards of the lake that provides drinking water for 500,000 Solano County residents each year, as well as water for manufacturing and agriculture, habitat for wildlife, and a recreation spot for more than a million visitors each year.
The Partnership's summer outreach interns work with the Bureau of Reclamation to educate boaters about the threat of aquatic invasive species. The hitchhiking zebra & quagga mussels attach themselves to the submersible parts of watercraft, and stow awayto travel from water body to water body. These invaders threaten our water system by clogging pipes, altering the ecology of the lake, and spoiling beaches with their razor-sharp shells. If your boat has been in infested waters, please be sure to clean it properly.
You can find more information about protecting Lake Berryessa and all water bodies you visit on the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife's website.
Bilgee is a giant bilge pad who serves as the Watershed Partnership’s mascot. Bilgee reminds everyone that Lake Berryessa is a drinking water source, and that the region’s fish, wildlife & plants depend on clean water from the lake to survive. Bilgee helps people understand where water comes from and where it goes. Any litter that falls on the land around Lake Berryessa makes its way into the lake and eventually to the ocean. Please help prevent water pollution by putting litter in proper receptacles. Bilgee also reminds everyone to always use the bathroom and NOT the lake!
If you see Bilgee, please talk to him about ways to keep the lake clean. He will gladly provide you with goodies like temporary tattoos and water conservation workbooks. Bilgee is always delighted when children take the Water Protector Pledge. It makes Bilgee very happy when people commit to helping keep Lake Berryessa clean!
Bilge Pad Exchange Program
Boaters can take advantage of the Partnership's FREE Bilge Pad Exchange Program. At the end of every season, boaters can simply place their used bilge pad in the red canisters handily located at all takeout spots and take a new bilge pad from the blue dispensers. The red canisters and blue dispensers are located at all of the resorts at the lake, including Capell Cove. There are additional canisters located at Joey’s Performance Marine Center in Winters. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency: “used motor oil is insoluble, persistent, and can contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals. It's slow to degrade. It sticks to everything from beach sand to bird feathers. Used motor oil is a major source of oil contamination of waterways and can result in pollution of drinking water sources.The oil from a single oil change (1 gallon) can ruin a million gallons of drinking water.”
Taking care of our resource, locally
The Boater and Visitor Education program is a locally funded initiative, supported by the contributions of the members of the Lake Berryessa Watershed Partnership including Solano County Water Agency and Solano County and its City Jurisdictions. To find out more about the upcomming Summer program, or to find out how you can participate in or support our work, contact Marianne Butler -Coordinator for the Partnership.