Think of it as money that goes to ‘save Nemo’

I am writing in support of the current ballot measure to upgrade critical elements of Alameda’s storm-drain system. The wind is blowing 25 mph as I write, fanning the flames approaching Healdsburg, and as I look at the leaves and dirt swirling in the gusts, I am grateful that I live on a relatively protected island, but mindful that we have our own issues and responsibilities. The global heating that drives California’s wildfires is the same driver of more powerful rainstorms and a rising sea level. We must do what we can to:

  • Keep those swirling leaves from reaching the bay and depleting oxygen needed by sea life.
  • Filter out the trash and pollutants that would foul the same bay we admire and play in.
  • Reduce flooding and protect our threatened shoreline from rising seas and storm surge.

Our storm-drain system — street drains, trash filters, underground pipe, pumps, outfalls and sea walls — is our first line of defense and it needs more money than our out-dated fee structure provides. Three of our 10 pumping stations are 70 years old and need $30 million in upgrades.

The city’s full report is available online at

If you own a typical Alameda home, you recently received a mail-in ballot which must be returned by Monday, Nov. 25, to raise your annual fee from $56 to $134. If you rent, persuade your landlord of the importance of this vote. Just do it, by Nov. 25.

Meanwhile, having already mailed my ballot to extend the life of our drains, pumps and shoreline, I will be sweeping, not just raking, the leaves from my own curb and gutter to help all the clams and mussels, all the crabs and sandpipers, and all the Nemos and Dorys and Squirts that animate my children, and, with luck and effort, their children and their children’s children.

Please join me — thanks.


David Teeters Alameda dad