The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy Board on Wednesday approved a new multimillion-dollar planning project that aims to bring a world-class water sports facility to the city of Stockton, bolstering recreation and tourism opportunities in the community.
There are four properties being considered as site locations:
*The Calaveras River near Rainer Ave.
*Smith Canal near the end of Mount Diablo Ave,
*The San Joaquin River off of Mount Diablo Ave.
*The San Joaquin River off of California Ave.
The Delta Aquatic Center will include a building, docks, and parking lot.
The project will also house the Delta Sculling Center, which will conduct programs for disadvantaged, disabled, and youth populations. The project will also partner with other community-based organizations to promote activities such as urban gardening and provide space for educational programming for youth.
The cost of construction to build the facility is estimated at $15 million. During the planning phase, the project will seek community input on programs to be offered onsite, and look to the public, private, and corporate sectors for charitable support to build the aquatic center.
“Stockton is surrounded by 700 miles of interlacing waterways, and if we take care of it, we will all reap the benefits. It has been our dream to find a bigger and safer place to enjoy the Delta and to offer the entire community access to this amazing waterway,” said Dr. Pat Tirone, director of the Delta Sculling Center, and advisory board member for the Delta Aquatic Center of Stockton. “This award from the Delta Conservancy is a major step in moving closer toward making access to the Delta available to everyone, regardless of their ZIP code.”
The Board approved $2.5 million in grant funding for the Delta Aquatic Center of Stockton planning project, which was proposed by the San Joaquin Community Foundation and received dozens of letters of support from institutions and community members.
The grant funding from the Delta Conservancy was made possible by the Budget Acts of 2021 and 2022, which provided the Delta Conservancy with one-time general fund allocations of $5,250,000 and $6,125,000 for projects that support climate resilience, community access, and natural resource protection activities that benefit the Delta (collectively known as Climate, Access, and Resource (CAR) funding).
The Americans with Disabilities Act-friendly facility on the Delta will make it possible for all, regardless of ability or means, to access Delta waterways in small, human-powered watercraft. The award of up to $2.5 million will go toward project design, planning, and outreach, which will enable the project to be shovel-ready immediately upon completion of the planning phase.
“We are pleased to sponsor the Delta Aquatic Center of Stockton project, and grateful for the support and partnership of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy,” said Moses Zapien, CEO of the San Joaquin Community Foundation.
“Once completed, this public investment will bring much-needed hands-on education and employment opportunities for our region and dramatically improve access to the Delta waterways for recreation and tourism. Stockton is one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and the Delta Aquatic Center of Stockton will be impactful to the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”