ADVISORY: Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacterial) Warning in Effect
Thursday, October 1, 2020 (Oakland) – Limited day use, boating, and camping are returning to Del Valle Regional Park on Friday, October 2. However, there will be strict capacity restrictions in place to limit overcrowding and maintain social distancing among visitors. A Blue-Green Algae “Cyanobacterial” Danger Warning has also been issued for Lake Del Valle as recent tests showed elevated levels of toxins in the water.
Due to Blue-Green Algae, water contact is not recommended, especially for small children and pets, who are most likely to be affected by toxins. Eating fish is also not recommended, nor is kayaking, paddleboarding, or use of other small watercraft. Swimming is not currently permitted at Del Valle due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Day use vehicle access has been reduced to comply with local Health Department social distancing requirements and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additionally, all picnic areas, barbeques, and group campsites will remain closed in compliance with state and local health orders and NO SWIMMING IS ALLOWED.
“Park Rangers and other staff have worked diligently to develop a plan to safely reopen Del Valle in accordance with state and local COVID-19 heath orders,” said General Manager Robert Doyle. “The health and safety of visitors and our staff is our top priority.”
“Visitors still need to follow all social distancing guidelines from local health agencies, in particular, they need to bring masks and wear them when around others,” added Doyle.
Del Valle is one of the largest Regional Parks in the East Bay and one of three State Parks the Park District manages. Its centerpiece is a five-miles-long lake with an abundance of water-oriented recreation. The park also includes 4,395 acres of surrounding open space recreation. In normal, non-COVID-19 times, popular activities include hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, fishing, boating, swimming, and camping. However, many of those activities are prohibited or severely limited due to COVID-19.
“Restoring public access to Del Valle has been a challenge,” added Doyle. “We thank the community for their support and understanding during this pandemic and their patience during the temporary closure.
Reservations and Fee Payment Required in Advance:
To reduce touch points and help maintain safety, fee payment for boat launch and quagga inspection is required in advance. Payment can be made at www.ebparks.org/activities/boatingsailing. Additionally, camping is by reservation only. Camping reservations can be made at www.ebparks.org/activities/camping.
About Blue-Green Algae:
Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) are natural organisms that are present in most lakes. Certain conditions – low water levels, limited water circulation, increased heat and light, and ash from wildfires, among other factors – can cause cyanobacteria to bloom and, in some cases, release toxins.
Statewide Burn Ban in Effect:
A CalFire Burn Ban is in effect due to limited firefighting resources and extreme fire conditions throughout the state. No open fires, campfires, wood-burning, or charcoal barbeques are allowed. Only natural gas or propane-fueled stoves are permitted in designated areas.