Resources Consulting Services




Park:                        Eastshore State Park


Project:                              North Basin Rafting Waterbird Study


Project Site Description and Background:

The project site is Eastshore State Park; a State Park Unit located along Highway 80 in Berkeley, along the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay in Alameda County.  The North Basin is an aquatic portion of the park, located directly north of the Berkeley Meadow (see Attachment A).  DPR is conducting various natural resource assessments and site improvements in this area of the park, as the first phase of implementing the park’s General Plan recommendations.


The North Basin is a relatively sheltered bay, totaling roughly 220 acres, which provides important habitat for waterbirds during the rafting season (generally October through April).  In addition, the Basin shoreline may provide some foraging and roosting habitat for shorebirds during the same period. It is also occasionally used by non-motorized watercrafts such as kayaks, wind surfers, and sailboats, but there has been recent public demand for improved water access to allow for easier boating access.  In accordance with the General Plan, DPR is considering constructing water access improvements along North Basin.  In order to determine the feasibility of improving water access and allowing an increase in boating activities, a study of the potential effects to rafting waterbirds from boating activities must be completed.



The purpose of this contract is to do the following:

·        Conduct a survey of waterbird and shorebird use of the North Basin

·        Study the impacts that non-motorized boating activities may have on rafting waterbirds

·        Provide recommendations and management guidelines for boating activities so that rafting waterbirds are not adversely affected 


The Contractor shall use methods/protocols approved or endorsed by the California Department of Fish and Game.


Scope of Services:

The Contractor shall provide all labor, materials, and equipment to perform the following tasks:


Task 1 –On-Site Start-Up Meeting

The Contractor shall meet with Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) at Eastshore State Park to do an initial tour of the North Basin area.  This meeting shall happen as soon as can be scheduled following the Notice to Proceed. 


Task 2 – Prepare and Submit Study Plan to DPR

The Contractor shall prepare and submit a study plan to DPR.  The study plan shall include the protocol and methods to be used, a map of sub-areas within North Basin, and a tentative schedule for the three-year study.  The map of sub-areas shall show North Basin divided into a grid, within which all sections will be surveyed and species recorded for those specific locations.


Task 3 – Conduct Surveys of Rafting Waterbirds and Shorebirds

The Contractor shall conduct surveys for rafting waterbirds and shorebirds for three years within North Basin and along the shore of North Basin (See Map - Exhibit C).  The contractor shall survey twice a month between September 1st and April 30th, and once a month May 1st through August 31st, documenting total numbers for all species within each sub-area of North Basin. The timing of surveys will be scheduled to coincide with migratory peaks in waterbird and shorebird use; from these data average over-wintering numbers as well as migratory peak numbers will be derived.  In addition, if there is a storm that causes larger numbers of birds to temporarily take refuge in North Basin, the Contractor will conduct an extra survey at this time, to accurately reflect peak use.  Two extra days of survey will be planned each winter, to coincide with such storm events, to total 22 surveys per year (See Schedule - Exhibit D).  Data will be gathered by mapped sub-areas in the North Basin to determine bird use of each area.  Survey data will be used to help identify areas of high waterbird use, establish management guidelines for boating activities, and provide baseline data for future periodic evaluations of the effects of boating on the rafting and foraging waterbirds.    


Task 4 – Research Impacts to Waterbirds from Non-motorized Boats

The Contractor shall research potential recreational boating impacts to waterbirds.  This shall include a review of all available studies and literature conducted on this topic, and an assessment of the levels of sensitivity to disturbance of the different species observed in North Basin.  Sensitivity to disturbance shall be assessed using “flush distance.”  Estimates of flush distance at the site shall be reported when available and values from other studies shall be employed if no ‘local’ data are available. In addition, available historical data on waterbirds in North Basin will be reviewed, some of which will be provided by DPR.


Task 5 – Complete Study on Potential Impacts to Rafting Waterbirds

The Contractor shall prepare a report, studying the potential affects to rafting waterbirds from non-motorized recreational boating in North Basin, based on available historical data, the survey data from Task 3, and the information gathered in Task 4. 


Task 6 – Prepare Final Report and Management Recommendations

Following the third year of census, the Contractor shall prepare a final report, including survey results, impact analysis, and management recommendations.  If potential adverse impacts are identified, management recommendations may provide guidelines for boating activities such as partial or full closure of the North Basin to boating during the rafting season, identification of a buoyed trail for boat use that avoids high bird use areas, restrictions on the types or numbers of watercraft and appropriate activities that will be permitted based on wildlife needs, etc.


DPR Deliverables:

·        Historic data on waterbird use of the North Basin

·        Eastshore State Park Resource Inventory and General Plan


Contractor Deliverables:

·        Qualifications and/or resumes of persons who will be conducting surveys.  These shall be submitted in Microsoft Word, in Arial font, and can be e-mailed to DPR as attached documents.

·        Study plan that includes the protocol and methods to be used, a map of sub-areas within North Basin, and a tentative schedule for the three-year study.  These shall be submitted on 8 ˝ by 11 paper in Microsoft Word, in Arial font.  Three (3) hard copies and one digital copy on CD-ROM will be provided to DPR.

·        Annual Reports.  These shall be submitted on 8 ˝ by 11 paper in Microsoft Word, in Arial font.  The report shall include a map of the sub-areas within North Basin (on 11 by 17 paper), and a summary of data collected to date.  Three (3) hard copies and one digital copy on CD-ROM will be provided to DPR on or before December 31st of each year. 

·        Final Report.  This shall be submitted on 8 ˝ by 11 paper in Microsoft Word, in Arial font.  This report shall include 11 by 17 maps of the sub-areas within North Basin, survey routes and/or stations, and primary rafting areas for the waterbirds, if surveys show the waterbirds to congregate in certain areas.  This report shall also include the study on potential impacts to waterbirds from recreational boating activities, and management recommendations.  Three (3) hard copies and one digital copy on CD-ROM will be provided to DPR.   All raw survey data and associated field notes will be provided with the final report as well.




The Contractor shall complete work in 1,095 calendar days from the written Notice to Proceed (NTP). The number of calendar days for each deliverable or task is shown in Table 1.


Table 1.  Deliverable schedule



Total number of calendar days to complete task and deliverable from written Notice to Proceed

Task 1

Onsite Start-Up Meeting

14 days

Tasks 2


Study Plan

35 days

Tasks 3-5


Waterbird and Shorebird Surveys


Task 6


Final Report

1,095 days*





*Contract period is reflective of a 3-year waterbird study.  Actual time in the field will be 22 days per year, for a total of 66 days of field work over the 1,095 day contract period.