crown beach

The 53rd annual Sand Castle and Sand Sculpture Contest held June 8 on Crown Memorial Beach featured a vast array of original works in both the architectural and creative divisions. The Alameda Recreation and Parks Department, which hosts the event, reported 475 people participated with 50 sand castle entries and 64 sand sculpture entries. 

Winners were divided into age categories with the judges’ favorites being named “Best in Show” for each division. The top three entries from each category — which include the best in show entries — received ribbons for their efforts.


The 51st Sand Castle/Sand Sculpture contest took place last Saturday, June 10, at the Robert Crown Memorial Beach.

The Urban Gorillas from Alameda and Oakland won the Sand Castle best-in-show award. The Shimohan family from Walnut Creek won the Sand Sculpture best-in-show award.


The East Bay Regional Park District has teamed up with All One Ocean to help keep plastic and other litter from invading San Francisco Bay, killing birds and fish. They have installed three boxes and stock them with recycled coffee bean bags. Visitors to the Alameda shoreline are invited to take these bags and use them to pick up any plastic they find, put the plastic into the coffee bags and dispose of the bags in the nearby garbage cans. 

The Friends of Crown Beach (FCB) group has collected enough signatures to get the Crab Cove zoning measure placed on the November ballot, according to the Alameda city clerk’s office.

FCB, a local group leading the effort to expand and enhance Crown Beach at Crab Cove, has dubbed the petition the Crab Cove Open Space Expansion Initiative. The group has been on a quest to acquire enough signatures from Alameda residents to have the measure on the upcoming November ballot since March. 

A commonly found beautiful local bird called the house finch, is helping humans solve complex questions about epidemics and disease spread. I’ve had the opportunity to observe them during twice-monthly bird surveys at the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary at Crown Beach this past year.

On one of my forays last spring, the cheerful bird with the red headband, rump and breast flew from a bird feeder to the top of a nearby tree. He perched there like a perfect ornament, surveying his territory. This male house finch mated and raised a family this summer along our shoreline. 

Alamedans who have visited Alameda’s shoreline parks, Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary, Crown Beach or Seaplane Lagoon have likely seen the elegant snowy egret. The Audubon Society’s Guide to North American Birds describes the snowy egret as, “A beautiful, graceful, small egret, very active in its feeding behavior in shallow waters. Known by its contrasting yellow feet, it could be said to dance in the shallows on golden slippers.”

The City of Alameda’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP) adopted by City Council on July 16 marks an enormous step toward sustainability and combating climate change. The plan focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing climate resilience and addresses one of Alameda’s most pressing issues: sea-level rise. 

One of the areas at highest risk for flooding lies in the vicinity of the Webster and Posey tubes, with expected flooding of a minimum of 36 inches. 


The Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau identified a man who drowned in the waters off Crown Beach on Friday, June 1, as 73-year-old Dr. Andres Caicedo. The victim, a surgeon from Walnut Creek, died while kite-surfing. Firefighters were called to Crown Memorial State Beach at 4:26 p.m. 

The Alameda Fire Department (AFD) received a report that a kite-surfer had brought a second, unresponsive kite-surfer ashore. AFD transported Caicedo to Alameda Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

In a unanimous vote at its July 1 meeting, the city council decided to adopt the Crab Cove initiative to rezone the federal surplus property on McKay Avenue as “open space.” This means that the initiative, “Crab Cove Open Space Expansion Initiative,” will not have to appear on the November ballot. 

Both Friends of Crown Beach and the Sierra Club “strongly disagree” with the federal government’s plans.

According to a letter obtained Monday by The Alamedan, the federal government plans to sue the state of California to reclaim ownership of MacKay Avenue, the street that Roseville home builder Tim Lewis Communities needs to rekindle its Neptune Pointe home building plans. Lewis is in the process of purchasing federal property along McKay.