November 26, 2015

Park District to expand Alameda’s Crown Beach

crown beachThe East Bay Regional Park District will soon be the proud owner of vacant surplus federal property next to Alameda’s Crab Cove Visitor’s Center on Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach. The purchase follows fierce legal battles and a successful campaign by the Sierra Club and an Alameda citizen’s group, Friends of Crown Beach, to rezone the land as open space.

The park district has been seeking to acquire the 3.89-acre parcel in order to expand the park ever since it was deemed surplus. But instead of negotiating a sale to the park district, the feds decided to auction the land for top dollar. A private housing developer prevailed, but was unable to close the deal because the state refused to grant utility easement rights on the state parkland street leading to the parcel.

Photo courtesy Jerry Ting, via

Photo courtesy Jerry Ting, via

After the City of Alameda frustrated the park district’s park expansion efforts by zoning the parcel residential, an acrimonious three-year-long ordeal ensued, involving the park district, the city, the federal government, the state, and the private developer.

Unable to transfer easement rights to the developer, the feds convinced a district court judge that seizing McKay Avenue through eminent domain was for a legitimate “public purpose.” The feds asked the court to value the street at $10.

The feds’ potential buyer, meanwhile, walked away from purchasing the surplus property after a citizen-led effort got the property zoned as open space, and the newly elected city council threw their support behind the park district.

The district court later ruled that a jury would determine what the feds owed the state for taking the street. The state’s asking price of $1.41 million—a price beyond what the feds were willing to pay—was based on the diminished value of the parkland itself by loss of control over access and because the park district would have had to construct new parking facilities for Crown Beach visitors.

Photo courtesy Floyd Brown

Photo courtesy Floyd Brown

A settlement was reached shortly thereafter.  The feds agreed to return the street to the state and sell the surplus property to the park district for $2,182,500—essentially splitting the difference between the park district’s unsuccessful auction bid four years ago and what the private housing developer was willing to pay.

“The community won with this agreement,” said Robert Doyle, General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District. “We promised in 2008 through our Measure WW bond election that we would expand Crab Cove with this valuable land” and “are happy to deliver on our promise.” Doyle also thanked the community and the Attorney General for their “unwavering support during this lengthy process.”

Alameda Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer called the agreement a victory for Alameda.  “We’re thrilled that this issue has been resolved in a way that protects open space and parkland, and expands access to our shoreline,” she said. “I sincerely thank all those whose efforts have now been realized. Many Alamedans worked years to save this parcel from development. We’re glad to finally see it protected.”

By Richard Bangert

Fighting the rising tide of shoreline development around the Bay — Updates on three campaigns

In my work as conservation chair for the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter, I often ask myself: Is there actually hope that our society will recognize in time the need to protect and preserve the shoreline in the face of rising sea level? Or will we descend into fantasy and pretend that technology and engineering can solve all of our problems?

Will the urge to develop every available acre mean that new communities face inundation and/or a shoreline consisting of high levees that hide the Bay from view and destroy the mudflats and tidal marshes that sustain aquatic life? Or will we, as a society, recognize that we need to provide room for wetlands to move into adjacent uplands wherever possible as sea level rises and existing wetlands disappear?

Well there’s HOPE! Here are two recent instances where logic prevailed and the natural world was given a shot at survival — and one case where your advocacy is sorely needed.

Oakland’s Coliseum City

Recently, the Oakland City Council approved the “Coliseum City Specific Plan” project. This project proposes to develop over 800 acres of land including the site of the present Oakland Coliseum and the San Leandro Bay shoreline. The original proposal put dense housing right on top of a thriving seasonal wetland that was itself a mitigation project for the loss of wetlands at the Oakland Airport. It also proposed high-rise housing on the Oakland Business Park, a site immediately adjacent to the Bay and contiguous with one of the richest tidal habitats in the Central Bay, the Martin Luther King, Jr., Regional Shoreline Park. All of this would have had significant impacts on Bay wildlife.

But thanks to the efforts of our volunteers, community members, and groups like the East Bay Regional Park District, the City rezoned the mitigated wetland (now called the Edgewater Wetland) and the immediate shoreline as open space. The city also kept the Oakland Business Park area zoned for business, not residential (business uses can be much more compatible with the adjacent Bay and its wildlife).

We extend a large thank you to Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who authored the zoning decisions.

This is just one victory in a long and ongoing struggle. Despite the favorable zoning decisions, the actual Coliseum City Specific Plan was not changed, and it still calls for the destruction of the Edgewater Wetland and for building dense housing right on the Bay (all in areas that are predicted to be under water in 2100 or before). And the Plan still proposes to bury Elmhurst Creek. We have not seen a living stream culverted in the Bay Area for decades, as we now recognize that they play a crucial role in the health of our community and its aquatic resources. As this project progresses, stay tuned for opportunities to help protect our shoreline.

Redwood City salt ponds

The Redwood City salt ponds. Photo courtesy Doc Searls on Flickr Creative Commons.

The Redwood City salt ponds. Photo courtesy Doc Searls on Flickr Creative Commons.

In another victory for a healthy Bay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently took action in Redwood City to protect the 1,400 acres of shoreline used as salt ponds by Cargill Salt. These ponds are bay waters that have been surrounded by levees and used to concentrate the water as it is moved from pond to pond until it starts precipitating salt — and presto! There it is on your table. Cargill Salt claimed that the “liquid” in these salt ponds is too salty to be considered water, and thus should no longer be protected under the Clean Water Act.

While we’re all entitled to our opinions, this one fails the laugh test. So imagine our surprise and disappointment when the federal regulators of our nation’s waters and wetlands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, actually swallowed Cargill’s ludicrous argument and proposed to give up jurisdiction over these salt ponds. They ignored the fact that each winter these salt ponds swell with rainwater (yes, even this year) and provide aquatic habitat to tens of thousands of waterbirds.

Luckily, logic won out over Cargill’s army of lobbyists. In response to an outburst of protest over the Army Corps decision, the EPA stepped in and claimed jurisdiction over the decision of whether the salt ponds deserve protection. We don’t know when the EPA decision will be reached but we have faith that they will reach the obvious conclusion that water is water — even if it is behind a levee and even if evaporation has made it salty.

We thank Jared Blumenfeld, Regional EPA Administrator, and national EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy for this brave action.

More great news out of Redwood City is that City Councilperson Ian Bain came out publicly against large-scale development on lands (or in this case waters) that may be underwater by 2100. Given that the Redwood City Council has consistently supported Cargill’s desire to build on the salt ponds, this is an encouraging development.

Newark Area 4 wetlands

Newark’s “Area 4" tidal marsh. Photo by Margaret Lewis, courtesy

Newark’s “Area 4″ tidal marsh. Photo by Margaret Lewis, courtesy

And then there is Newark. If ever there was a city government that turned its back on the Bay and its wetlands, Newark may be the one. Despite massive logistical and regulatory hurdles, Newark has persisted in pursuing an ill-advised plan for a golf course and upscale housing development at the (unromantically named) Area 4 wetland. Area 4 was historically part of the bay before being walled off by levees in the 1960s. Yet even levees and regular pumping can’t keep the land dry; despite these measures, over half of the land is active wetland.

This April, the Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge won a lawsuit over the city’s Environmental Impact Report (also opposed by the Sierra Club), which had found that the site was just fine for development. Unfortunately, winning a CEQA lawsuit does not magically stop bad projects. The City simply rewrote part of the document — changing essentially nothing — and the project starts up again.

But that struggle isn’t over. The developer and the City still need permits from many agencies. Now is the time for citizen activism. We’ll be working to get these lands absorbed into the adjacent Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. If you are interested in helping you can call me at (415)680-0643.

— Arthur Feinstein, Conservation Chair

Setback for Sharp Park wetland

California red-legged frog

California red-legged frog

On April 16th, the California Coastal Commission approved an after-the-fact permit for a very large water pump that had been installed by San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department (Rec & Park) at the Sharp Park Golf Course on the coast of Pacifica. In addition to hosting a golf course, Sharp Park is home to a wetland complex that provides invaluable habitat to the endangered San Francisco garter snake and the protected California red-legged frog.

The approval for the permit was moved by San Mateo Supervisor Carole Groom (a regular golfer at Sharp Park) before being unanimously approved by the rest of the Commission. Stipulations for approval of the permit were that SF Rec & Park monitor and report on the effects their pumping has on the wildlife that rely on this wetland habitat for survival.

The bigger picture problem at Sharp Park is that SF Rec & Park has no long-term management plan for how the golf course and this important wetland system will co-exist. Nor do they have a plan for dealing with rising sea levels, which will affect both the natural and public uses.

In fact, SF Rec & Park will go back in front of the Coastal Commission in the coming months for another after-the-fact permit on arming the sea wall that has been erected on the western edge of the property. This will be another opportunity for us to weigh in on the mismanagement of this wetland system. To get involved, contact conservation manager Jess Dervin-Ackerman at or at (510) 848-0800 x 304.

Safe harbor for Alameda’s seals — M.O.U. ensures replacement haul-out site

Photo courtesy Andrew Reding on Flickr.

Photo courtesy Andrew Reding on Flickr.

There’s great news on a project in the City of Alameda that could have left harbor seals homeless. As part of a project to construct a ferry-maintenance facility at Alameda’s Inner Bay Harbor, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) plans to remove an abandoned dock that harbor seals currently use for feeding, hauling out, and even delivering pups. But following a backlash from environmentalists and other fans of the seals, WETA has signed a Morandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Alameda to build an alternate haul-out site for the harbor seals to replace the old dock.

According to the staff report, WETA will establish a $100,000 holding fund earmarked for planning, design, and construction of the new haul out. The location of the haul out will be determined in coordination with the City, but WETA will be the lead party responsible for permitting and building the haul out — construction on which must begin on or before August 2016 and prior to demolition of the existing haul-out site. If the City determines that WETA is unable to commence construction of the new haul out by that date, it has the right to take over the project and use the funds in the holding fund account. Once the haul out has been built, WETA will be responsible for keeping the structure in good repair.

As the WETA representative admitted at a recent City Council meeting, they’re already spending tens of millions of dollars on this project, so they wouldn’t not agree to spend a relatively small amount more in order to be able to move forward. Whatever the reason, we’re thrilled that the seals will have safe “harbor” in Alameda!

Let’s keep the “wet” in “wetlands” at Sharp Park

Save the FrogsUpdate: The California Coastal Commission will consider the permit for the Sharp Park Pump House Project on Thursday, April 16th, at 3501 Civic Center Drive, Suite 329, San Rafael. We’re asking folks to show up around 10 am so we can get speaker cards in before the hearing. If you are planning to attend, contact Jess Dervin-Ackerman at or call 510-848-0800. If you cannot attend the meeting but want to submit a comment, send it by Monday, April 13th, to

At its April meeting in San Rafael, the Coastal Commission will consider an application by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department for an ill-conceived project in one of the most biologically-important areas managed by the department.

The goal of the so-called “Infrastructure and Habitat Enhancement” project is to dry the naturally-wet Sharp Park Golf Course by dredging nearly 100,000 gallons of sediment and native vegetation from what remains of the Laguna Salada wetland complex in order to speed the flow of water to a pumphouse. The increased flow would be disastrous for the breeding of the California red-legged frog in the wetland’s pools and lagoons. The water is also vital to the survival of the San Francisco garter snake and the many other species in this vital wetland ecosystem.

The Coastal Commission is the first agency reviewing this project that has a responsibility to reasonably protect wetlands and other coastal resources. Showing up to the Coastal Commission hearing is the best way to fight for the integrity of this sensitive wetlands ecosystem and the species that reside there.

Facing up to the grim reality of sea-level rise — How can we save our shoreline communities?

Author Arthur Feinstein leads a talk at the MLK, Jr. Regional Shoreline

Author Arthur Feinstein leads a talk at the MLK, Jr. Regional Shoreline

The City of Oakland is considering an 800-acre development along its San Leandro Bay shoreline (just opposite the Oakland airport) called the Coliseum Area Specific Plan, or Coliseum City.

The City of Newark is considering a 500-acre development on wetlands and low-lying land immediately adjacent to the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

What do these proposals have in common with the San Francisco and Oakland airports, as well as the campuses of Google, Apple, and Hewlett-Packard? At least one startling fact: they are all likely to be under water by the year 2100 — if not sooner.
While it still defies one’s imagination, the reality of climate disruption and sea-level rise is that many, if not most, of our bayshore communities face potential inundation from a three- to six-foot rise in the Bay’s water level. And by inundation we are not talking about occasional flooding, but rather being underwater all the time as the Bay rises above present shoreline elevations.

Add an increased number of extreme weather events (remember last December’s four to 11 inches of rain in one day) and even those shoreline communities not actually inundated by a higher sea level will face increased risk of significant flooding during storms and high tides.

It is a grim picture but an all-too-likely reality. The question now is: what do we do about it?  The best solution, of course, is to stop global climate disruption altogether, and the Club is doing all it can in that area. Unfortunately, it is probably already too late to avoid some of the worst impacts.

So what can we do to mitigate these impacts? It is a question all the regional agencies are considering. The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission — the state agency charged with protecting San Francisco Bay—recently adopted a Climate Change Amendment to its Bay Plan that calls for halting new developments along the shoreline until we figure out how we can protect them, or whether we should build them at all.

The fact is, shoreline protection such as levees is expensive, and, as we’ve seen in New Orleans, not a sure thing. There are estimates that building levees around the Bay could cost many tens or hundreds of billions of dollars. Where would that money come from? And who will pay for their maintenance? Moreover, the environmental impacts of traditional-style levees are immense, including wetland destruction and loss of habitat for fish and other species.

The Coliseum Area Specific Plan would create three new professional athletic stadiums, many units of housing, and lots of commercial property. Although Oakland can probably use all of this, its location is highly questionable. Most of the site was once the tidal marshes of San Leandro Bay, filled in with soil from the early 1930s into the 1960s.

The Coliseum project extends to the shoreline of San Leandro Bay, one of the Central Bay’s richest aquatic wildlife habitats, sustaining tens of thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds. The Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Park located on San Leandro Bay would be adjacent to the proposed development. This park’s waters and wetlands support one of the largest populations of the endangered California clapper rail (now called Ridgway’s rail). Massive development is not usually a good neighbor to a flourishing wildlife habitat and it is likely that Coliseum City would have devastating impacts on this rich aquatic habitat.

Similarly, the Newark development is located on a site that was once known as the Whistling Wings and Pintail duck clubs. Its wetlands support the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse—the only mammal to survive on saltwater and found only in San Francisco Bay. The Newark site once hosted thousands of waterfowl, but its wetlands are now drained yearly. Nevertheless, the site is included in the expansion boundary of the National Wildlife Refuge and it offers a rare opportunity to restore an entire tidal marsh slough system — if we can succeed in stopping the development.

It will take our best efforts, and huge amounts of money, to save our existing shoreline communities. Does it make sense to build new communities in these threatened areas? We don’t think so.

Recently, the Newark project lost a battle in court for failing to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act’s requirement for full analysis of the project’s impacts. While this doesn’t kill the project, it does give Newark residents and others a chance to reexamine it and discuss how appropriate it is to build in lands that will be submerged someday soon.

Meanwhile, the comment period for the Oakland project’s environmental impact report just ended, and the Bay Chapter submitted a letter expressing the concerns just discussed. There are many steps yet to go in this project and lots of opportunities for citizens to take part in the decision-making process.

If you are interested in engaging in how the Bay Area should address sea-level rise, contact Arthur Feinstein at (415)680-0643. You are also invited to attend the Conservation Committee’s regular meetings, held on the first Thursday of each month at the Chapter office.

— Arthur Feinstein

Development discussion and walk in the MLK, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park

Willets at Arrowhead Marsh. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons,

Willets at Arrowhead Marsh. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons,

Sunday, December 7, 9:30 am. Join the Bay Chapter’s Conservation Committee for a leisurely, three-mile hike on paved, level paths along Oakland’s San Leandro Bay shoreline, starting at Arrowhead Marsh in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline Park.

San Leandro Bay is one of the Central Bay’s most glorious bodies of water. We’ll enjoy great views, see thousands of water birds and shorebirds, and hopefully spot a few endangered species. Along the way, we’ll see some of the region’s most successful wetland-restoration projects. We’ll also walk the site of the Bay Area’s first major development proposal for lands that will likely be under water by 2100.

As we explore land likely to disappear under sea-level rise, we will reflect on the impact of development and climate disruption to species that depend upon tidal marshes; explore new proposals to preserve the Bay’s remaining wetlands; and consider whether it is appropriate to build in areas threatened by sea-level rise.

The proposed Oakland Coliseum Area development would be an enormous (780-acre) project, described in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) this way: “Overall, this proposed Project would create three new sports venues, 5,750 housing units, and almost 8 million square feet of net new commercial and business uses.  The Coliseum Area would have around 7,000 residents… by the time of project Buildout in… 2035”.

How does the DEIR address expected sea-level rise? It suggests that buildings have car garages on the first floor with businesses and housing on the second floor “to allow sea level rise to impact uninhabited parking structures rather than dwelling units.” Perhaps the idea is that as sea level rises and the garages flood everyone will take to boats. Another solution proposed by the DEIR is to have all essential infrastructure built above the anticipated sea level, 3 to 6 feet in the air. The image brought to mind is of elevated roads surrounding lower blocks of housing and businesses (with the garages now flooded) like a gigantic waffle.

The DEIR does acknowledge that something would need to be done to avoid catastrophe for the 7,000 residents whose homes would be underwater. Perhaps, it suggests, a massive levee will be required along the entire length of the bay shoreline? We won’t go into the costs or headaches of the DEIR’s strikingly inadequate proposals here. Suffice to say that such short-sighted plans only punt, abdicating responsibility for the consequences of their actions to future generations and shifting the burden of response to relevant regional agencies.

We will ponder these questions and more, while enjoying a spectacular—and endangered—natural area. Join us! For more details, visit the Bay Chapter activities calendar.

Feds continue court action over Crown Beach Park

Crab_Crown_TrailmapLast July, the Alameda City Council heeded the will of Alameda citizens (and the Sierra Club) by zoning federal surplus property near Crown Memorial State Beach as open space. As a result, a private housing developer recently defaulted on its contract to purchase the property from the federal General Services Administration (GSA), and walked away from a plan to build 48 houses on the property.

One might think this is great news for the East Bay Regional Park District—that the way is now cleared for the district to acquire the land for the purpose of expanding the park at Crab Cove, just as the voters intended back in 2008 when they passed Measure WW. But the United States Department of Justice, acting on behalf of the GSA, is continuing its action to take over title of McKay Avenue, the state-owned street leading to the Crab Cove Visitor Center. If the GSA were to take control of McKay Avenue, the GSA could transfer the right to a private developer to dig up the street in order to install the utilities necessary for its project. The state and park district are fighting to kill the eminent domain action so that the GSA—which currently only has utility easement rights for federal government agencies—is compelled to sell the empty lot to the park district.

The Department of Justice says it needs to seize McKay Avenue for the “continuing operations of the Alameda Federal Center,” which is located on the upper part of the street. (The 3.89 acres vacated by the Department of Agriculture—and now zoned open space—are located at the end of the road closest to the beach.) However, the state and the park district argue that the eminent domain action is actually intended to secure a more profitable sale of the vacant property.

On November 10, the court sided with the state and the park district on a motion to strike affirmative defenses. In his ruling, Judge William Alsup determined that the Department of Justice’s claim that it needs to take ownership of McKay Avenue for its “continuing operations” is disingenuous and “belied by the easement it already retains and the circumstances around the now defunct sale to the private developer.” The judge went on to write, “The only real reason the United States seeks to obtain title to McKay Avenue in fee simple is to secure easements for a prospective private development of the vacant federal parcel.”

This ruling was good news, but it is far from the last word on the matter. Judge Alsup ordered the United States to file a summary judgment motion, in which the judge decides the case based on undisputed facts without a trial, on or before February 16, 2015, and also urged the parties at the hearing to pursue immediate settlement negotiations.  If the case is neither settled nor resolved by summary judgment, it is scheduled for trial in October 2015.


Write to the Alameda City Council, Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and ask them to help end the eminent domain action and make way for the expansion of the park at Crab Cove.

—Irene Dieter

Read more about Crab Cove in “Promising news for Alameda’s waterfront”.

In Alameda, rare S.F. Bay harbor seal habitat at risk

harborsealPacific harbor seals have been coming to Alameda Point to find food, suitable breeding habitat, and resting area in recent years, taking up residence at a site adjacent to Enterprise Park and the Bay Trail. The seals have been using the Alameda Point Channel and Inner Harbor for feeding, hauling out, and even delivering pups. Rather than encouraging their homestead, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) wants to kick them out. If WETA gets its way, it would be a permanent loss for the seals and a lost asset for the community of Alameda and visitors.

WETA’s plan for the Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility in Inner Bay Harbor—a ferry maintenance facility project—will have a profound impact on the marine ecosystem. One of its most prominent inhabitants, the harbor seals, have not been adequately addressed in the Incidental Harassment Authorization Level B permit application by WETA.

Following the end of Navy operations at Alameda’s Naval Air Station in 1997, the Navy’s recreational boating dock fell into disrepair. The simultaneous lack of maintenance and lack of human presence on the docks was ultimately fortuitous for the harbor seals that frequent the protected waterway. The dock itself, along with odd wooden structural debris that lodged against the dock, became an easy and inviting haul out for the seals, and an ideal spot to rear their pups.

Shoreline development is one of the primary reasons for harbor seal abandonment of San Francisco Bay. When haul-out sites are disturbed by nearby development or regular human presence, the seals are prone to depart for safer surroundings. In the case of the WETA ferry facility project, it is not a traditional natural shoreline that will be disturbed or destroyed.  But the dock’s demolition and replacement with an active berthing facility for 11 ferries will leave the harbor seals little choice but to move on.

The Sierra Club recommends that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)—which will decide on WETA’s harassment authorization permit—apply additional mitigation measures to the project to compensate for the loss of harbor seal habitat. Given the geography of the Alameda Point Channel and Inner Harbor, the addition of a new haul-out dock nearby, possibly an anchored floating dock, should be evaluated as a mitigation measure to help retain the colony of harbor seals that find respite along Alameda Point’s shore.

It is unknown when NMFS will issue a finding on WETA’s petition application to move forward with its ferry project. NMFS could also call for going from an Environmental Assessment to an Environmental Impact Statement, which would undoubtedly involve a full-blown study of harbor seals at Alameda Point.

Before the project can begin, WETA will need a construction permit from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC). It is unknown when they will apply for that permit, but likely after NMFS issues a decision on the harassment permit—probably early next year. BCDC can also require mitigation as a condition of issuing a permit.


Add your name to the petition asking WETA not to harass and displace the seals. For more information or to get more involved, contact Richard Bangert at Look for future alerts calling on the BCDC to protect these precious marine mammals.

Promising news for Alameda’s waterfront

Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda.  Controversial federal surplus parcel that was recently rezoned as open space is directly adjacent to this area.

Crab Cove at Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda. Controversial federal surplus parcel that was recently rezoned as open space is directly adjacent to this area.

Open-space activists in Alameda are making important advances in turning more of the city’s waterfront property into public parkland.

This summer, the Alameda City Council unanimously adopted a Sierra Club-backed citizens’ initiative that rezoned a 3.89-acre federal surplus parcel next to Crab Cove from “residential” to “open space.”

This means Tim Lewis Communities, the housing developer that had contracted to buy the site from the federal General Services Administration (GSA) and hoped to build 48 luxury homes on the waterfront, can no longer do so. The move also means that the East Bay Regional Park District is in a better position to acquire the property and expand Robert Crown Memorial State Beach.

With the city council’s action, the Crab Cove Open Space Expansion Initiative will not have to go before voters on the November ballot.

The Bay Chapter will continue to work to stop the GSA’s eminent domain action on the state-owned street leading to the parcel, which has been undertaken for the purpose of helping the private developer secure easement rights.

In other Alameda news, thanks in part to the strong lobbying efforts of the Sierra Club, the city council agreed to remove pavement and a few buildings from the western side of the Seaplane Lagoon at Alameda Point sooner rather than later.  The city’s Town Center and Waterfront Precise Plan now states that this completely paved area will be converted to a natural wetland park once funding is secured, rather than when buildings there are no longer commercially usable due to sea level rise. If you know of funding that is available now, please contact Irene Dieter at idsierraclub at

Visit the Alameda Point Environmental Report blog for updates.

—Irene Dieter