McLaughlin Eastshore State Park

Dedicated in 2002, the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park is a San Francisco Bay Area treasure, providing recreational opportunities for approximately 2 million park visitors each year. Administered by the East Bay Regional Park District, the 8.5-mile-long park preserves more than 2,000 acres of uplands and tidelands along the scenic Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany and Richmond waterfronts. Citizens for East Shore Parks played an important role in the 30-year effort of community activists and environmentalists to create the park.

Please read about the many ongoing developments in the McLaughlinEastshore State Park: http://www.ebparks.org/parks/eastshore

THANKS TO YOU WE DID IT!!
McLAUGHLIN EASTSHORE STATE PARK
is established

Santa Monica, CA -- On Friday, September 28 the California State Park and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to rename Eastshore State Park as McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in honor of San Francisco Bay champion Sylvia McLaughlin.

Citizens for East Shore Parks, the nonprofit organization instrumental in establishing the Eastshore State Park, spearheaded the campaign to rename the park after Sylvia McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, the Sierra Club, and CESP led the charge to create Eastshore State Park, which runs 8.5 miles along the East Bay shoreline. The Park was established on December 6, 2002.

Sylvia McLaughlin is the co-founder of CESP and Save San Francisco Bay Association (Save the Bay). Thanks to McLaughlin and hundreds of other activists, San Francisco Bay is now 40,000 acres larger than it was in 1961. More than half of it is ringed with public trails connecting a series of shoreline parks. An environmental activist all her life - Sylvia also helped establish the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, the first coastal protection agency in the US. And climbed a tree at the age of 90 in an effort to save a grove of oaks from a proposed UC development.

Thanks to all who submitted a letter or resolution, signed the petition, or called the Commission!

Supporters included:
Alameda County Board of Supervisors 
Citizens for the Albany Shoreline 
City of Alameda 
City of Albany 
City of Berkeley 
City of El Cerrito 
City of Emeryville 
City of Oakland 
City of Richmond 
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors 
Contra Costa Hills Club 
East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plants Society 
East Bay Regional Park District 
Friends of Olmstead Parks 
Friends of Five Creeks 
Golden Gate Audubon Society 
Mare Island Heritage Trust 
North Richmond Shoreline Open Space Alliance 
Regional Parks Association 
Richmond Progressive Alliance 
Save the Bay 
Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter 
Trails for Richmond Action Committee 
More than 600 individuals (and counting)

Thank you for your help to honor pioneering 
SF Bay champion Sylvia McLaughlin!

Read more about Sylvia McLaughlin >>
Mercury News: Eastshore State Park renamed to honor Berkeley environmental champion
El Cerrito Patch: Eastshore Park Renamed in Honor of Sylvia McLaughlin >>
See the September 21, 2012 Berkeley Daily Planet article - Campaign for McLaughlin Park on State Parks Commission Agenda for September 28 >>
See the August 6, 2012 coverage of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in the Bay Citizen >>
See the May 11, 2012 editorial in The Berkeley Daily Planet >>

See the May 11, 2012 article in the Berkeley Daily Planet >>

McLaughlin Eastshore State Park to be managed by EBRPD
East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) has signed a 30-year operation and management agreement with the CA Department of Parks and Recreation for McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. This agreement simplifies long-term park management under EBRPD and allows local decision making, ultimately accelerating our goal to ‘complete’ the Park. The agreement also includes a $5 million commitment to fund the long-awaited Berkeley Brickyard design and restoration.


Aquatic Park Heights Study:
A survey of proposed building heights on two private properties adjacent to Aquatic Park in Berkeley was commissioned by CESP in the fall of 2012 and can be viewed here.


Dirt Hotel to leave Brickyard

On August 24, 2012 East Bay Regional Park District announced the beginning of the next construction phase for the second entrance to Point Pinole Regional Shoreline at Atlas Road.

The Dirt Hotel at the Brickyard in Eastshore State Park will supply the dirt to build a bridge, part of the SF Bay Trail.

CESP has been monitoring the Brickyard anticipating its future as accessible parkland.
Read media coverage here: Richmond Confidential, SF Chronicle.

Albany Beach Habitat Restoration and Public Access Feasibility Study

The Eastshore State park General Plan (2002) identifies potential restoration and public access improvements for the Albany Beach area. A study is currently underway to evaluate the feasibility of implementing these improvements.

See the Full Story >>

Read More: http://www.ebparks.org/planning%23albany
                 (scroll down page to find Albany)

Albany Beach Restoration Plan: Detailed Outline (pdf)


Saturday, April 16, 2011, 9am- 5pm
Berkeley Bay Festival & Meadow Dedication

To celebrate the completion of the Berkeley Meadow Restoration at Eastshore State Park and to HONOR Sylvia McLaughlin and Dwight Steele, founding members of CESP 11:30 am

Berkeley Meadow southwest entrance, along Marina Boulevard (Adjacent to Berkeley Marina) Please RSVP: bmontano@ebparks.org or call 510-544-2200

See Map and Directions

Flyer

Remarks by Robert Cheasty, Honoring Sylvia McLaughlin & Dwight Steele


Citizens for East Shore Parks endorses Prop 21

Patricia Jones, CESP Executive Director and volunteers at State Parks Advocacy Day in State Capitol steps, March 8, 2010

Help keep our beautiful state parks open and well-maintained. If approved by a simple majority of voters, the State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010 will raise roughly $500 million a year, a significant increase from the current annual budget of $380 million. The ballot proposal would give 85 percent of fee revenue to CA State Parks.

What's at stake? The 1.5 million acres of California's 278 state parks and beaches offer vital protection to unique ecosystems and recreation areas throughout our state. The 64 state beaches preserve nearly a third of California's coast. The state parks home to more than 160 rare, threatened, and endangered species (second only to the national parks) are among our best places for enjoying nature and outdoor recreation. California state parks are priceless public assets and vital legacies for our children and grandchildren.

Why is it needed? Our state parks are in peril with no other remedy in sight. Budget cuts have starved state parks for decades. Twice in the past two years, state parks were on the brink of being shut down. Only last-minute budget reprieves kept them open, albeit with reduced hours, maintenance, and programs.

What Can YOU Do?

Volunteer to write letters to the editor, distribute literature, and aid in a variety of other tasks to help pass Proposition 21, the California State Parks Initiative. To get involved, contact Patricia Jones (pjones@eastshorepark.org) or call (510) 524-5000.

To learn more about Prop 21 see www.YesForStateParks.com

Please encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to vote YES on Prop 21.

Prop 21 in the News: Endorsements 2010–Yes on 21; parks need a stable source of funds

For More Info: State Parks Initiative


Albany Beach Habitat Restoration and Public Access Feasibility Study

The Eastshore State Park General Plan (2002) identifies potential restoration and public access improvements for the Albany Beach area. These concepts include restoration and protection of Albany Beach and dune habitats, expansion of dune areas behind the beach, enhancement of water access to San Francisco Bay, closing of a key gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail, shoreline stabilization, public access improvements and other park facilities such as picnic areas, interpretive signage and restrooms.

EBRPD has prepared 3 plans which are detailed on the maps below and summarized as follows:

Concept 1: Restoration efforts will include the removal of construction debris along the neck leading to the bulb as well as cleanup of the creosote timbers which currently litter the beach. A vegetated buffer will be installed to separate the beach from the parking lot. A new access point from the Bay Trail as well as a small picnic area are also planned.

Concept 2: Concept 1 plus the acquisition of 2.8 acres in the corner of the existing parking lot to be converted to a non-motorized loading zone, bike racks, restrooms, and dedicated parking. The acquisition will also allow for a new portion of Bay Trail. Environmental restoration efforts will include the installation of Oyster Habitat/Reef Balls to foster a living shoreline. The eucalyptus grove will be preserved and the sand along the beach will be supplemented to reduce erosion causing wave energy and create a nice sandy beach.

Concept 3: Concept 2 plus significant shoreline and offshore stabilization and restoration. These efforts will include the placing of sand offshore, the creation of a pocket beach where the neck meets the Albany Bulb, and a shoreline access ramp. Public access upgrades will include an elevated Bay Trail section, a second picnic area and a boardwalk through the eucalyptus grove and the beach area.

The full report, presentation materials, maps and appendices are available here on the EBRPD website. This project is still in the planning phase and community involvement is encouraged.

For more information contact:

Chris Barton, EBRPD Senior Planner, by email or by phone at (510) 544-2627.

California's Largest Burrowing Owl Population Is in Rapid Decline

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. - New surveys show a 27-percent drop in the number of breeding burrowing owls in California's Imperial Valley and provide some of the most striking evidence yet that the species is badly in need of state protections. Recent surveys of the state's largest burrowing owl population have been conducted by the Imperial Irrigation District. The Imperial owl population has declined from an estimated 5,600 pairs in the early 1990s to 4,879 pairs in 2007, then dropped sharply to 3,557 pairs in 2008.

See the Full Story >>

More about the owl populations

State Parks Petition To Secure Funding for CA State Parks Passes the First Hurdle

Hurry! The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010, an initiative to restore funding to state parks, may soon qualify for the November ballot. Thanks to Citizens for East Shore Parks volunteers, who contributed their time and energy to help gather signatures, about 763,000 signatures were submitted, exceeding the minimum of 433,931 required by California State law. The next step is for the elections officials to verify the signatures by June 24.

We've overcome the first hurdle, but we still have a battle ahead of us. Once the initiative is approved for the ballot, California residents will get a chance to vote on the measure in the upcoming election. We need your help to ensure that the public approves the initiative. Please help us spread the word to Save Our State Parks!

If approved by a simple majority of voters, the measure would raise roughly $500 million a year, a significant increase from the current annual budget of $380 million. The ballot proposal would give 85 percent of fee revenue to CA State.

Why We Need this:

How did California's 278 state parks, once the best in the country, sink to being among the shabbiest? Call it death by a thousand budget cuts. Our parks are falling apart because of persistent underfunding. The state still owns the lands-the spectacular vistas, historic sites, and beaches-but roofs and sewage systems leak, restrooms aren't washed out regularly but trails are, and campgrounds and visitor centers are shuttered. The repair backlog in California state parks tops $1 billion, and it's growing.

As if that weren't enough, twice in the past two years, the whole state-park system was on the verge of being shut down. Only last-minute budget reprieves kept it open. But nearly 60 state parks are to have reduced hours or calendars because of this year's budget cuts, and more reductions are expected next year. Major cutbacks in the Bay Area will include campground, picnic, and parking-lot closures on Mount Tamalpais, Angel Island, Mount Diablo, Samuel P. Taylor, Tomales Bay, and China Camp state parks. Facilities at Olompali State Historic Park, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, and the Benicia Capital State Historic Park will be closed.

That's why park supporters are placing a statewide initiative on the November 2010 ballot called the California State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010. It will protect state parks and conserve wildlife by establishing a trust fund in the state treasury to be spent only on state parks, wildlife and marine conservation, and state conservancies.

Funding will come from an $18 surcharge on the registration fee for California vehicles, including motorcycles and recreational vehicles but not larger commercial vehicles, mobile homes, and permanent trailers. Surcharged vehicles will receive free admission to all state parks. In comparison, park visitors currently pay up to $125 for an annual pass or $10 - 15 per day at most parks. There will still be charges for camping and other special services.

The trust fund will be sufficient to adequately fund state parks, freeing them from annual budget cuts and threatened closures. Spending from the trust fund will be subject to oversight by a citizen's board, full public disclosure, and independent annual audits. Money from the general fund currently spent on parks will be available for other vital needs, including schools, health care, social services, and public safety.

HELP SAVE OUR STATE PARKS!

For more info: http://www.calparks.org/takeaction

Documents:

 

Saving the Bay

In October 2009, Saving the Bay premiered on KQED Channel 9. Included in the film were CESP Board members, Sylvia McLaughlin, Doris Sloan and David Lewis talking about local grassroots efforts to save San Francisco Bay, geologic origins of the Bay and the Bay's (and its shorelines’) historical and natural resource significance. You can still find it running from time to time on the PBS channels

See More: http://www.savingthebay.org/

 

Eastshore State Park’s Berkeley Meadow Restoration Nearing Completion

On June 17, 2009, the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors approved construction of the third and final phase of the Berkeley Meadow Restoration Project at Eastshore State Park in Berkeley. This $2,000,000 project begins construction in early July and will create seasonal wetlands, coastal prairie and coastal scrub atop an old landfill. The 72-acre Meadow is being restored in three phases over five years in order to minimize impacts to wildlife and to create a diverse and thriving habitat for plants and animals in this urban area.

About 30 acres of the Meadow Phase III area will be cleared of non-native vegetation and debris, and capped with about 28,000 cubic yards of clean imported soil. This will create a new barrier to isolate landfill garbage from wildlife that uses the restored habitat. The soil will be contoured to provide a more natural looking surface and planted with native vegetation. Special measures will be taken to protect an additional 7 acres of existing wetlands and a nesting location for the northern harrier, also know as the marsh hawk.

The Meadow restoration enjoys strong community support. The public has had a hands-on involvement in its restoration. The Park District, Citizens for East Shore Parks, Friends of Five Creeks and other organizations have hosted several community stewardship events in previously completed phases in the Meadow restoration. The events have provided the opportunity for the public, in particular school groups, to learn about the history of the Meadow and to make a personal connection with the environment. More community stewardship events will be scheduled over the coming years to help assure the success of this important restoration project.

During project construction the trails through the interior of the Meadow will be closed. The purpose of these closures is to protect the public from construction equipment operating adjacent to the trails and to make some needed repairs to the trails. The public can still use the perimeter trails to watch project construction. Major project construction activities should be concluded by the end of October 2009 and the trails will be reopened for all to enjoy.

The 37-acre Phase III project is funded primarily through a $1,400,000 grant from the California Coastal Conservancy. The Park District is providing $200,000 in Measure AA funds and the City of Berkeley is contributing $100,000. Knapp excavators also donated about $300,000 in soil for the project. The cost for restoring the entire 72-acre Meadow is about $6,000,000.

Press release: June 23, 2009:
Shelly Lewis, Public Information Supervisor, (510) 544-2208 or slewis@ebparks.org
Brad Olson, Environmental Programs Manager, (510) 544-2622 or bolson@ebparks.org
Link to this release online.

Resources

  • Berkeley Meadow Restoration – Fact Sheet
  • Detail map of Berkeley Meadow – Phase III
  • Berkeley Meadow Aerial View – Phases I - III

  • Phase II of Berkeley Meadow Restoration

    Measure WW Passes!
    Thanks for supporting our parks!

    On November 4, 2008, voters in Alameda and Contra Costa counties overwhelmingly said Yes to Parks! Measure WW, the EBRPD open space bond measure extension, passed with a 71% YES vote, easily meeting the 2/3 majority needed.

    Measure WW preserves vanishing open space and shoreline and helps communities meet their recreational needs.

    It is an extension of a 1988 bond measure that allowed the East Bay Regional Park District to establish our current network of parklands, recognized as one of the best of any urban region in the U.S. That measure provided funds to secure 34,000 acres, created 17 new parks and facilities, and added more than 100 miles of trails.

    The extension authorizes another 20 years of continued funding for 67 current and future parks, open space, and projects. Of the revenue raised, 25 percent will benefit local parks and recreation projects, while 75 percent will fund regional park acquisition and development, open space preservation, and habitat restoration.

    East Bay shoreline areas that will benefit include:

    • Eastshore State Park: $27 million to restore and expand while completing segments of the Bay Trail and developing access improvements
    • Bay Trail: $12.3 million to complete the 86-mile Bay Trail along the East Bay shoreline - connect urban communities to shoreline access and wildlife viewing
    • Point San Pablo/Point Molate: $4.5 million to acquire and restore the shoreline, complete Bay Trail
    • North Richmond wetlands: $3.6 million to preserve marshes and develop public access for education programs and wildlife viewing
    • Point Pinole: $7.5 million to develop new road, parking, recreational areas, visitor center, maintenance facilities; complete park boundary; and restore wetlands
    • San Pablo Bay Shoreline: $855,000 to acquire, restore, and provide public access
    • Oakland Shoreline: $10.8 million to clean and restore marshes for birds and shoreline access, trails and facilities for urban residents
    • Crown Beach: $6.5 million to replace and expand Crab Cove interpretative center; restore and expand Alameda Beach
    • Urban Creeks: $8 million to restore urban creeks and acquire creek easements

    Also, we’re pleased to congratulate CESP Board member and Richmond resident Whitney Dotson on his election to the EBRPD Board of Directors!

    Thank you all for supporting our parks!

    Measure WW

    CESP Executive Director Patricia Jones explains CESP's vision while tabling at an EBRPD's public meeting in Richmond.

     


    CESP works with park agencies to forge an affordable Brickyard Plan
    by Shirley Dean, CESP Board Member

    California's Department of Parks has designated the area known as the Brick-yard for intensified public access and for the headquarters of the Eastshore State Park. The State allocated $11 million for development of Phase I. All parties, including CESP, agreed that the funds are needed to create an inviting Park entrance, but differences of opinion regarding the design emerged between the State and the East Bay Regional Park District.

    Valid points were raised by everyone. The State wanted a design that some called a "classic urban park." Phase I would include infrastructure utilities, turf, a parking lot, extensive pathways, and a building that could serve as a visitors' center. The State got some preliminary concurrence in its design concepts from various stakeholders, including CESP as an organization that represents the public interest.

    The Park District felt that the north shore of the Brickyard, which is open to the Bay, is susceptible to erosion and needed riprap protection, and they wanted to include a corporation yard. The city of Berkeley originally objected to that because the City already has one a short distance away. Additionally, the District wanted a design that wouldn't require large amounts of funding for ongoing maintenance. The State estimated that its design would require more than $300,000 annually for maintenance, money the District does not have in its budget. Unfortunately, the state's severe budget crunch prevents State Parks from contributing to the maintenance costs at the Brickyard.

    Everyone had the best intentions. State Parks and the District wanted to come to some meeting of the minds, but there appeared to be a logjam over getting the two concepts to meld. In particular, the State was concerned about any significant design changes without getting public input. CESP stepped in to speed the resolution of the different interests.

    CESP met with representatives from the State and District, providing a forum for people to explain their concerns and offering suggestions to resolve problems. Phone conversations between the two parties were held, and today, CESP is optimistic that a plan for the Brickyard will soon emerge. CESP will continue to help facilitate outreach to the public, including hosting public forums to review the new plans. The State will circulate its new design aimed at providing needed infrastructure, pathways and low maintenance landscaping, will consider District budgetary concerns, and likely delay opening a visitor's center, but allow for some presence of a District maintenance facility. The District is also continuing to work with the city of Berkeley to address corporation yard issues.

    It is good to get this long-delayed project going. CESP thanks Ruth Coleman, Director of State Parks, and Pat O'Brien, General Manager of the Park District, for their efforts, and Assemblywoman Loni Hancock for her continued work behind the scenes on this process.


    Play ball!
    by Jessica Tse, CESP intern

    On September 6, 2008 CESP joined local residents to celebrate the ground-breaking ceremony of the newest addition at Eastshore State Park, the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex.

    The sports complex is named for Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates in recognition of his contributions to the creation of the Eastshore State Park. With the help of CESP and other conservation groups, the East Bay Regional Park District successfully acquired what was in 2003 an unused 16-acre lot in Berkeley. This shoreline parcel has been transformed into an active recreation area with three natural turf and two synthetic turf fields.

    A total of $20 million was spent on the ball fields, including the purchase price of the land. State grants totaling $5 million from the Urban Parks Act, the California Youth Soccer & Recreation Facility Grant, and the California Healthy Communities Grant enabled construction to begin. Next will be adding amenities such as a bathroom, but that is contingent on additional funding. Renting the fields to schools for a full season is under consideration.

    Creating the ball fields at the Gilman site required mitigation for the Western Burrowing Owl, a Species of Concern in California. On April 16, the City of Albany and the District started a project at the Albany Plateau to create habitat for the owls. There will be a permanent 4-foot fence around the conservation area, which is estimated to be completed in June. Funding to mitigate the loss of habitat from the ball fields is provided through a joint powers agreement between Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, and Richmond.

    The Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex will serve the greater East Bay region. According to Berkeley Park and Recreational officer Roger Miller, sports leagues will be required to book for a whole season and any other special event will be by reservation only. All other times will be available for public use.

    CESP welcomes this addition to our shoreline park to provide a much needed resource for organized sports teams, as well as offering affordable sports programs for youths.

     

     


    Burrowing Owl Conservation Project Complete at Albany Plateau

    The City of Albany and the East Bay Regional Park District have completed the 2008 conservation project at the Albany Plateau to create habitat for the burrowing owl. A portion of the Eastshore State Park General Plan includes enhancing and restoring a number of ecosystems and habitat types throughout the park. The Western Burrowing Owl Conservation Area is one such project. Other birds, such as the Northern Harrier and White-tailed Kite will also benefit from the protected habitat.

    The conservation area includes a fenced 8.0 acre section area providing low ground cover and some open space with the goal of providing some protection from local predators. Burrows were created inside to simulate the abandoned rodent holes the owl typically inhabits. Included in the plan is preserving and enhancing the half-mile of viewing trail around the perimeter and along the bay and mudflats, which provides excellent bird viewing areas. The East Bay Regional Park District will install interpretive panels about the project.

    The burrowing owl is listed as a Species of Concern in California. The rapid development of its grassland habitat has lead to a steady decline in the owls' population. The project includes installation of a four foot permanent fence around the conservation area, and a second temporary six foot chain link fence to close the area during project construction. Estimated time of completion is approximately June 22.

    Funding was provided by the five-city (Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, and Richmond) Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Agency to mitigate the loss of habitat from the Tom Bates Regional Sports Complex.

    While a few dog walkers have complained about losing access to some of the Park, the plateau has been divided half for recreation and half for conservation. This seems like an equitable solution for a park with many uses, especially as dogs have free access to the majority of the Park.

    For more information, please contact:

    Anne Chaney, Community Development Director
    City of Albany
    (510) 528-5768

    Shelly Lewis, Public Affairs
    East Bay Regional Parks
    (510) 544-2208


    California Coastal Conservancy Grants Help Eastshore State Park

    Funds became available in 2007 for the progression of ongoing projects at the Berkeley Meadow and Brickyard Cove of the new Eastshore State Park. The California Coastal Conservancy gave generous grants to the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and the California State Parks Department in order to continue efforts to improve the Berkeley waterfront for people and wildlife alike. EBRPD received $1.5 million and California State Parks received $120,000 for their respective work on the Berkeley Meadow restoration and the Brickyard Cove design. EBRPD will use the grant to complete the third and final phase of restoring Berkeley Meadow. A former landfill, the 90-acre meadow between Interstate 80 and the Berkeley Marina will be largely converted into a natural habitat for birds, though some parts will remain accessible to people. The entire restoration should be completed by 2010.

    Meanwhile, California State Parks will use the money for planning a 30-acre park that is to encompass the area now known as Brickyard Cove. The park will provide vital open space on what is considered an extremely accessible and visible part of the shoreline. The Coastal Conservancy granted funds to the State Department of Parks and Recreation on May 24, 2007 to complete the plans and design for the Brickyard portion of the project. State Parks subsequently earmarked state bond funds for the eventual construction. However, due to disagreement between State Parks and EBRPD, the design work was not completed and the project is on hold. Once the project is able to move forward, there will be a public planning process and a final Master Plan and Preliminary
    Grading Plan will follow.

    Both projects signify a major advance for the Eastshore State Park. Dedicated in 2002, the waterfront park has certainly become a treasure of the East Bay, providing recreational opportunities for approximately 2 million park visitors each year. Berkeley contains the largest portion of the more than 2000 acres of park land. Citizens for East Shore Parks played an instrumental role in the creation of the park and now identifies as one of its primary goals the maintenance and development of the Eastshore State Park, in a way that promotes habitat restoration and recreational use.


    Feature Map
    Click here to download a large version of this map. [File size: 1.1mb]