This information comes from a report issued by The Delta Protection Commission. I’ve included information only on Contra Costa
Long recognized as a place of Statewide and National interest, the Delta offers an abundance of recreation experiences for a diverse population. With a surrounding Market Area (9 counties) population estimate of approximately 11.9 million people and growing, the Delta’s recreational potential is excellent.
This inventory gathers information about public and private facilities that offer recreational opportunities in the Delta, enabling the public to explore and enjoy the unique resources of the Delta; its water, wildlife, agriculture, history and culture.
Contra Costa County
Lying in the southwestern portion of the Delta, Contra Costa County has 45,872 acres, or ten percent of the Delta Primary Zone and 66,655 acres in the Secondary Zone. Islands and tracts within the Primary Zone include Browns Island (Included in the City of Pittsburg), Holland Tract, Palm Tract, Orwood Tract, and Coney Island. The community of Knightsen is also located in the Primary Zone.
Contra Costa County lands within the Secondary Zone include Hotchkiss Tract and Veale Tract, and the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, and Pittsburg, along with the communities of Discovery Bay, Byron, and Bethel Island.
New to the 2015 Recreation Facilities Inventory’s Agritourism category are u-pick farms. Upicks in the Delta portion of Contra Costa County total 33 farms, of which 32 are located in Brentwood.
Phase I improvements at the Antioch Marina that were mentioned in the 2005 Inventory were completed and the Marina now boasts 310 berths with electricity, restrooms, showers, fuel, and free waste pump-out for berthers. Picnic sites, a fishing pier and a walking trail are located at the shoreside park.
Contra Costa has over 20 miles of shoreline within the boundaries of the Delta, where East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) manages three public parks: Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline and Big Break Regional Shoreline along the San Joaquin River and the Bay Point Regional Shoreline along the Sacramento River.
Big Break, which derives its name from a 1928 levee break, was still under construction during the 2005 Inventory. It is now home to the Visitor Center at the Delta, which includes displays and programs about Delta ecosystems and wildlife, and includes a 100-foot covered fishing pier, picnicking area, an amphitheater, a launch for kayaks and canoes, and the Big Break Regional Trail.
The trail begins near the Visitor Center and ends at the Marsh Creek Trail, and is included in the Great California Delta Trail system. Big Break’s Delta Discover Experience includes a 1,200 square foot interactive topographical map with depictions of Delta waterways and landforms.
The Antioch/Oakley Regional Shoreline provides fishing access by way of a 550-foot pier and includes picnic areas. Bay Point Regional Shoreline is adjacent to the Legal Delta and is included in the 2015 Inventory. Facilities at Bay Point include public fishing access, picnic areas, trails, and areas for wildlife observation. EBRPD is seeking grant funding to complete tidal marsh restoration, and public access improvements at Bay Point. These shoreline parks are proposed nodes for inclusion in the Great California Delta Trail system.
The recent acquisition of a 646-acre wheat and corn farm by EBRPD could result in the Delta Water Access Regional Park. Located between Oakley and Brentwood, the park is a joint partnership in planning with the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy. A Delta Water Access Regional Park would have a recreation component as well as a habitation restoration component, and may include kayak launches and hiking trails.
Another project noted in the 2005 Inventory was the Dutch Slough Project, a Department of Water Resources 1187-acre tidal marsh restoration project. With completion of permitting and environmental analysis, construction on the first of three parcels is expected in 2017. The project proposes to provide recreation and educational opportunities.
Brown’s Island, located across the river from Pittsburg at the junction of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, offers wildlife viewing but access is restricted and must be arranged through East Bay Regional Park District. At Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge, docent-led tours provide visitors an opportunity to view the endangered Lange’s Metalmark Butterfly, the Antioch Dunes Evening Primrose and the Contra Costa Wallflower. Wildlife can also be observed at Rhode Island Wildlife Area, Franks Tract State Recreation Area and Contra Loma Regional Park.
Formal fishing locations in Contra Costa County include: the Pittsburg Marina, the Antioch Fishing Pier, Clifton Court Forebay, Big Break, and Riverview Park. Accessible by boat only, Rhode Island Wildlife Area and Franks Tract State Recreation Area also offer fishing and hunting opportunities.
Bait and fishing suppliers are plentiful in Contra Costa and include traditional bait stores such as: Dockside Market, Gotcha Bait and Tackle, Hook, Line & Sinker, and Mello’s Bait and Tackle. Bait is also available at a number of marinas.
The Delta portion of Contra Costa County includes 29 marinas; four are located in the Primary Zone. As noted in Chapter 1, 10 marinas closed in the Delta portion of Contra Costa County since the Commission’s last count in 2012. Public marinas include the Antioch Municipal Marina and the Pittsburg Marina. The County offers the largest concentration of marine repair shops in the Delta with 23 establishments offering marine repair services.
Camping and RV sites in the Delta portion of Contra Costa County are primarily limited to privately-owned marinas in the Bethel Island area.
Riverview Union High School Building, one of the first high school buildings built in Contra Costa County circa 1911, and the Roswell Butler Hard House circa 1869, are both on the National Register of Historic Places and located in Antioch.