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Roger H. Williams, 83, of Concord, takes a puff of a cigar as he fishes at Contra Loma Regional Park in Antioch, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group Archives)

ANTIOCH -- Local runners, swimmers and outdoor enthusiasts interested in the activities around Contra Loma Reservoir are encouraged to chime in on its future.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is updating long-term plans for resources in the 741-acre area, which includes Contra Loma Regional Park and Antioch Community Park.

The plan's goal is to strike a balance between protecting reservoir water supply and quality and serving local recreation desires, said David Woolley of the Bureau of Reclamation.

The draft report offers three alternatives: Keep the area as it is, enhance existing recreation opportunities or expand facilities.

A meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at Prewett Family Community Park. The bureau refreshes its recreational guidelines every 25 years. In Contra Loma's case, the last plan was approved in 1975, long before the population boom in Antioch and the East Contra Costa region.

"Back then, (the area) was substantially more rural, but it's become more of an urban setting," Woolley said.

Local recreation needs have changed as well.

"We want to hear what people would like to see, that 'We want to see more of this' or 'We want less of this,'" Woolley said.

The enhancement option could include upgrades to the existing swim lagoon, restrooms, fishing piers and trails along with more picnic sites and parking.


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Expansion of recreational uses could include a new fisherman's shelter, playground, disc golf course, and making the lagoon and trail systems larger.

The plan points out how all three scenarios could alter land use, utilities, vegetation, wildlife and geology, as well as create additional hazards. All but one of the 90 impacts under all three scenarios are identified as minor or having a benefit.

Construction could cause "minor or major" damage to vegetation, the report said.

More visitors means a greater need for maintenance, which would increase the number of times public use is temporarily restricted. It also could bring rodents and other pests attracted to additional discarded food. That would require property managers to provide adequate sanitary services and pest control.

They also would have to keep grass down to prevent fire hazards.

But there could be plenty of benefits, including permanent restrooms instead of outhouses, more fishing programs and a small kid-friendly swim area, according to the plan.

East Bay Regional Park District manages recreation on the land for the bureau and has a separate agreement with Antioch for the city to operate the community park.

The district referred all questions about the plan to the bureau.

Contra Costa Water District, which operates the 80-acre reservoir, has been involved in the process and is reviewing the plans with an eye on making sure water quality is maintained, spokeswoman Jennifer Allen said.

The reservoir provides water during times of peak use and emergencies.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.

TO LEARN MORE
The public is invited to a meeting Monday on the Contra Loma Resource Management Plan. It will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Prewett Family Community Park, 4701 Lone Tree Way, Antioch.
The draft plan is available at www.usbr.gov/mp/nepa/nepa_projdetails.cfm?Project_ID=6396.
Comments will be accepted until July 2. They can be sent to David Woolley, Bureau of Reclamation, 1243 N St., Fresno, CA 93721, or emailed to dwoolley@usbr.gov.