The Berkeley City Council did the right thing on June 19 by separating the lands east of Aquatic Park from the overall rezoning of West Berkeley. Instead the Council is putting the park area into a study zone for future analysis.
This makes good sense because of the park’s distinct needs as a stopover point for migratory waterfowl and as a recreational area.
The park with its mile-long lagoon is vital for migrating birds, which visit here to rest and feed, and in some cases to breed. Already most boating is prohibited on the water from November to April to prevent disturbance to the birds. It is important that adjacent development not interfere with birds in the park; in particular, that nearby buildings be made as “bird safe” as possible to prevent birds from colliding with them.
Development also has important implications for human recreationists. Park users do not want to look at a wall of buildings, or to be frozen out by perpetual shadow.
Write to Mayor Tom Bates and your councilmember. Support true protection for Aquatic Park, including zoning that will not overwhelm the park and its wildlife. Urge the Council to listen to the concerns of the Sierra Club, Citizens for East Shore Parks, and Golden Gate Audubon Society.
The Club’s Northern Alameda County Group and East Bay Public Lands Committee will participate in the ongoing planning process. To get involved, contact Group chair Kent Lewandowski at (510)547-1207 or email@example.com; or committee chair Norman La Force at (510)526-4362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Norman La Force