Reclamation's New Melones Lake and Lake Berryessa Improve Accessibility to Recreation Facilities

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, MP Region Public Affairs Officer, 916-978-5100

For Release: December 12, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region, Central California Area Office (CCAO), recently completed upgrades and modifications to a number of recreation facilities with funds provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The renovations were made in compliance with accessibility guidelines in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Architectural Barriers Act.

Tours of the renovations – which include accessibility upgrades to visitor centers, picnic areas, campground sites and restrooms – were held at Lake Berryessa on October 27 and New Melones Lake on November 4, 2011. A key purpose of the tours was to collaborate with organizations serving disabled Americans, such as the Yountville Veteran’s Home, Disability Services of Napa, ARC of Amador and Calaveras Counties, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3322, and other organizations on opportunities for promoting the expanded use of these newly accessible facilities.

Lake Berryessa is located in Napa County, Calif., about 25 miles from Napa and Davis, 50 miles from Sacramento, and 70 miles from San Francisco. New Melones Lake is located on Highway 49, about 8 miles north of Sonora and 6 miles south of Angels Camp. At both lakes, attendees were provided a presentation highlighting the completed upgrades and then toured the visitor centers and recreation areas to experience the renovations first-hand. Following the tour, participants were asked for their input on reducing barriers to recreation and other ways to improve accessibility at the recreation areas.

“These accessibility projects are accomplished in connection with the President's America's Great Outdoors initiative which focuses on reconnecting Americans to their natural environments,” said CCAO Area Manager Mike Finnegan. “There is a direct benefit to the community by ensuring our recreation areas are easily accessed by all visitors to New Melones Lake and Lake Berryessa.”

New Melones Lake and Lake Berryessa offer families an opportunity to get outdoors and experience what our public lands have to offer. Both lakes support the Department of the Interior’s Let’s Move Outside! and Youth in the Great Outdoors initiatives. To learn more about these initiatives, please visit and

For additional information, please contact Peggi Brooks, Chief, Recreation Resources Division, CCAO, at 916-989-7128 or Please visit for New Melones Lake information. Please visit for Lake Berryessa information. To view photos taken during the tours, please visit

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Let’s Move Outside! and Youth in the Great Outdoors