Mayor Updates Community

Mayor Updates Community

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft

Paving the way for De-Pave Park: A World War II-era run¬way on the westernmost side of Seaplane Lagoon at Alameda Point will eventually be converted into a 12-acre urban park and tidal ecosystem.

De-Pave Park will be an ecological open space designed to sequester carbon and adapt to sea level rise by inundating over time, creating additional wetlands.

A raised boardwalk, trails, and observation areas will provide opportunities, for people of all physical abilities, to view shorebirds, waterfowl, and marine mammals in their natural habitat.

This fall, city staff will ask City Council to authorize staff to submit a new grant application, in October 2021, for a $1.6 million grant from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority (SFBRA).

The grant would fund a master planning process to solicit and incorporate design input from Alameda residents, with a focus on equity and inclusion, by reaching out to disenfranchised communities, including Alameda Point residents.

Grant funds would also be used to develop construction documents and secure regional permits for the new park.

The Vision Plan for De-Pave Park was developed by many key stakeholders. These include Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda (CASA), Sierra Club’s Alameda Chapter, Friends of Alameda Wildlife Reserve, Golden Gate Audubon Society’s Alameda Chapter, San Francisco Baykeeper, Alameda Point open space advocates, and Alameda’s water sports community.

In September 2020, the City Council, following the Recreation and Parks Commission’s recommendation, adopted the vision plan.

In October 2020, Alameda applied for, but wasn’t awarded SFBRA grant funding. However, SFBRA staff and grant reviewers were impressed with the City’s proposed inclusive public input process and encouraged Alameda to reapply in 2021.

They also acknowledged the City’s innovative partnerships, including scientific consultation with the San Francisco Estuary Institute and working with San Francisco-based non-profit Literacy for Environmental Justice to develop a community stewardship program.

SFBRA grant reviewers suggested that a closer partnership with the Veteran’s Administration would strengthen a subsequent grant application since De-Pave Park will connect to the VA wetlands, which will be developed soon. They also noted that while the City matching funds are not required, their inclusion would be viewed favorably.

City staff and council will carefully consider this constructive input. Despite an initial setback, Alameda doesn’t give up easily!

COVID Caution: Alameda County’s vaccination rate is impressive — more than 71% of County residents 12 years and older are fully vaccinated, and more than 83% have received their first vaccine.

City of Alameda’s rates are even higher — as of July 26, almost 77% of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated, and close to 90% have received their first vaccination.

However, we are seeing an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, due largely to the more contagious Delta variant. As a result, all Bay Area public health departments now recommend that everyone, vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks indoors in public places to protect themselves and others.

This includes grocery and retail stores, theaters, family entertainment centers, and indoor restaurants, except when eating or drinking.

“After vaccination, masking is the next most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves and each other during this latest wave of infections . . . especially indoors and in crowded outdoor settings to contain this more transmissible variant,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss.

If you or someone you know isn’t vaccinated yet, or if you need to schedule your second dose, please visit https://covid-19.acgov. org/ to find a convenient vaccination site, or call 510-208-4VAX (510-208-4829).

Have a great summer, everyone. Let’s stay Healthy and Alameda Strong!

Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft is the mayor of Alameda.