The Navy’s cleanup program has not only removed toxic substances from below ground, it has dramatically improved some of the above-ground environment by creating new native grassland and wetlands. January rains filled the Navy’s new seasonal wetland on the northwest shoreline corner of Alameda Point and fostered growth of newly planted native grass seed on the surrounding soil.
While some communities around San Francisco Bay are looking beyond a landscape of pavement to better the natural environment, members of Alameda’s city staff have decided to shelve a plan for creating wetlands at Alameda Point. Why? Because they’d rather earn lease revenue from a few buildings.
The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club considers this shortsighted. Postponing wetland creation in the face of both ecological crisis and opportunity is tantamount to denial of history and science.
The plan for a so-called “De-Pave Park” on the western side of the Seaplane Lagoon would be something to cheer about if the park had any chance of ever being created. The concept behind the park is to remove the concrete tarmac and shoreline boulders, allowing for a natural wetland shoreline. The text of the city’s recently released draft Town Center and Waterfront Plan, however, allows existing industrial buildings to remain there “if needed.”