CESP is currently focusing our efforts on two major projects along our East Bay shoreline:

1. Completing McLaughlin Eastshore State Park:
• Berkeley Brickyard
• Albany Shoreline: Albany Bulb, Beach, Neck and Plateau

2. Expanding/improving parks in Richmond:
• University of California/Lawrence Berkeley National Lab Richmond Bay Campus
• South Shoreline Specific Plan
• Point Molate
• North Richmond

In each of these projects CESP will be working with local groups and environmental organizations to preserve open space, provide access to the shoreline and create shoreline parks and trails.

Completing McLaughlin Eastshore State Park

Eastshore State Park was established in 2002 and renamed McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in 2012 in honor of CESP Co-Founder Sylvia McLaughlin and the many citizen activists that helped create the Park. CESP continues to work to complete MESP as outlined in the General Plan.

Berkeley Brickyard
The Berkeley Brickyard is located south of University Ave. and west of Frontage Rd. at a prominent entry to McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. The Brickyard terrain is shallow open water, tidal mudflats, and a sand beach. The western shoreline has large slabs of concrete rubble, and the eastern edge and area around the cove is littered with old bricks, which give the area its name. The cove is a prime bird habitat. The piped outfall for Strawberry Creek is located at the northwest corner of the Brickyard.

On May 7, 2013, East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) signed a 30-year operation and management agreement with the CA Department of Parks and Recreation for McLaughlin Eastshore State Park; it came with a $5 million commitment to fund the long-awaited Berkeley Brickyard design and restoration. EBRPD released the Berkeley Brickyard Concept Plan in December 2013.

McLaughlinCESP is pleased with much of the plan, however, we ask EBRPD to consider revisions to make it better. Specifically, CESP feels strongly that this prominent entrance to the Park honoring Sylvia McLaughlin should also recognize Sylvia’s partner in creating the Park, Dwight Steele. The Dwight Steele Visitor Center would provide an opportunity for EBRPD to educate hundreds of visitors about the Park, SF Bay and the Park District. Consolidating four proposed buildings into one central building would save money for future park uses.

Remarks by Robert Cheasty, Honoring Sylvia McLaughlin & Dwight Steele
MESP General Plan

What can you do to help?
Attend an EBRPD Board meeting and speak up for the Berkeley Brickyard design including the Dwight Steele Visitor Center. Click here to see the EBRPD Board meeting schedule.
Click here to email comments to EBRPD Board and CC CESP.
Click here to receive action alerts from CESP. You may customize your content by selecting the city you are interested in receiving updates about.

Albany

Albany Shoreline

Albany ShorelineThe 190-acre Albany waterfront is a distinct feature of the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park and the greater East Bay shoreline, as well as the site of a proposed Bay Trail expansion.

The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is working to expand the Bay Trail to connect the Albany Shoreline to the Berkeley’s northern side of McLaughlin Park.

Currently the 102-acre Golden Gate Fields racetrack and parking lot on the southern end of the Albany shoreline divides the Park. Albany Beach is adjacent to the racetrack.

Albany MapThe Plateau, Neck and Bulb comprise the northern end of Albany’s shoreline.

A coalition of environmental groups—including CESP, Citizens for the Albany Shoreline and the Sierra Club—share a common vision of the Albany waterfront entailing mixed land use for both parkland and development, with the majority of the waterfront closest to the shoreline preserved as open space – and the majority of Albany residents agree.

The result of the 2010 Voices to Vision community-driven study proposes a plan for the waterfront that includes 75% of the land for park/open space and 25% for development.

Visioning Presentation
Albany Chooses Open Space
CESP Campaign for Open Space on Albany’s Waterfront

Local environmentalists speak out against plans for huge development on Albany Shoreline
See some of what speakers had to say Sept. 19, 2011, during the public comment period of Monday's City Council meeting related to development at Golden Gate Fields >>

Albany Beach, Neck and Plateau
EBRPD currently manages the Beach, Neck and Plateau, as part of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. EBRPD recently began the Albany Beach Restoration and Public Access Project, a 5-year project to implement General Plan improvements including erosion repair, tidal habitat, upland buffers, drainage and ADA Access on south Albany Neck, adding parking and restrooms and closing a key gap in the SF Bay Trail between Gilman and Buchanan.

The Albany Bulb
Albany Bulb
The City of Albany is moving steadily to prepare the Bulb for transition to management under EBRPD as part of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.

CESP has been working since 1985 to create a necklace of parks from Oakland to the Carquinez Strait, and the Albany Bulb was the first parcel to be designated as part of what is now McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. The Bulb was incorporated into the park’s General Plan and designated as an area for conservation.

In 2002, the transfer of management of the Bulb into the Park was deferred because of a cap and seal order from the Regional Water Board. Through the work of CESP, this order was lifted in 2005. Unfortunately, from 2009 until 2014, the Bulb’s camper population was allowed to grow from 12 to more than 60. May 2013 the City voted to enforce the No Camping Ordinance on the Bulb and adopted the Albany Waterfront Park Transition Plan. Berkeley Food and
Housing Project was hired to conduct outreach to help campers with transitional services, support, and shelter.

On April 23, 2014, the City settled a lawsuit campers filed November 2013 that claimed the enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance (Albany Municipal Code Section 8-4) was illegal. The City agreed to pay persons named in the suit $3,000 to relocate and stay away from the Bulb for 12-months, and 28 agreed to the terms. By late May 2014, all known campers were gone from the Bulb.

The City moved quickly to clear out debris left behind at the encampments filling almost 5 dumpsters per day while simultaneously performing vegetation management so any future attempts to camp will be more visible. The Coastal Conservancy awarded the City of Albany a $168,000 transition planning grant to clean up the Bulb and transfer management to McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.

CESP applauds the City of Albany’s efforts to make the Albany Bulb a safe and healthy place for all to enjoy.

Will you help us clean up the Bulb and urge EBRPD to work diligently with the City of Albany and State Parks to accept management of the Bulb as part of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park?
Attend an EBRPD Board meeting and speak up for transitioning the Albany Bulb to EBRPD management as part of McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.
Click here to see the EBRPD Board meeting schedule.

Click to email comments to EBRPD Board and CC CESP.

Click here to receive action alerts from CESP. You may customize your content by selecting the city you are interested in receiving updates about.

Expanding/improving parks in Richmond

Richmond is home to 32 miles of shoreline, the most of any city in the SF Bay Area, creating wonderful opportunities for shoreline parks and open space.

Expanding/improving parks in Richmond
S RichmondThe Zeneca/Campus Bay properties border a 3/4 mile east-west stretch of the Bay Trail north of Pt. Isabel and south of Richmond's Marina Bay. Stauffer Chemical Company and later Zeneca Inc. manufactured hazardous chemicals at the site until 1997 when the facility was shut down. Zeneca failed to appropriately clean the site and the property remains one of the most toxic sites in the Bay Area. The adjacent University of California Richmond Field Station site also has confirmed metals, VOCs, PCBs, and pesticides in soil and groundwater.

Richmond Bay Campus
The Richmond Field Station is the project area selected for the future Richmond Bay Campus, which is adjacent to the shoreline and home to creeks, woodlands and rare coastal prairie. After a series of community workshops in 2013 and 2014, UC and LBNL released the Long Range Development Plan and Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) which was approved by the University of California Board of Regents in May 2014. In certifying the EIR, the Regents ignored concerns of CESP and the environmental community which asked UC to:

• Protect the sensitive coastal prairie.
• Create a management plan to protect the coastal prairie prior to, during and after construction.
• Address the significant impacts on all biological resources: wetlands, marshlands, creeks and wildlife.
• Address cumulative significant impacts of transportation and traffic on the coastal prairie and the
SF Bay Trail.
• Do a full clean-up of the project parcels, as well as adjacent parcels which leach toxic substances into the project area.

In addition to UC’s Long Range Development Plan, a Draft Removal Action Workplan was released by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The plan evaluates clean-up alternatives to remaining legacy pollution at the Richmond Field Station. CESP submitted a letter asking DTSC to do a full clean-up to residential guidelines.

South Shoreline Specific Plan
The City of Richmond is working with the community to develop the area adjacent to the Richmond Bay Campus. CESP is concerned about the long history of toxic contamination in this area.

After several community workshops in 2013, a Draft Land Use Map was released in March 2014. In addition, the Transportation Connectivity Plan proposed new connections and street and network corridor improvements for the area. CESP is concerned about the sensitive coastal prairie at the project site and asked the City to take steps to protect the coastal prairie; specifically to not extend Lark Drive through this area. In May 2014, the Richmond City Council adopted a resolution to protect the coastal prairie at this site by removing any plan to route vehicle traffic through the prairie site and to direct staff to create alternative routes around the prairie site. CESP also asks the City to:

• Respect the community and the 2012 General Plan - reaffirm the open space designation between Bayview Ave., Hoffman Marsh and the shoreline.
• Do a full clean-up to residential standards of the contaminated area in the plan.

Risk assessment of the South Richmond Shoreline at the Zeneca/Cherokee and Campus Bay/UC Richmond Field Station sites continues under the direction of the state Dept. of Toxic Substances Control. www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public

The Richmond Southeast Shoreline Area Community Advisory Group (CAG) invites public participation at its monthly meetings, held at 6:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday each month at City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza Basement. CESP encourages those concerned about the future of this environmentally endangered site to attend.

Richmond Bay Campus Environmental Documents including Long Range Development Plan and FEIR are available to view here.

Ready to get involved? Click here to receive action alerts from CESP.
You may customize your content by selecting “Richmond Interest”

Birds

Point Molate
Point MolatePoint Molate is a former U.S. Naval facility which closed in the 1990s located just north of the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge on the San Pablo Peninsula. The eastern half of Point San Pablo is owned by Chevron, which had been a supporter of open space on Point Molate.

As part of closing the base, the Navy had to go through the BRAC process (Base Reuse and Closure) which required a clean-up of toxics and turning over the facility to the public in the area. In 2003, the Navy turned the property over to the City of Richmond. After many public meetings with the Blue Ribbon Committee the city adapted a plan for limited development of the old Winehouse Winery and associated buildings. However, in 2004 the City ignored the Blue Ribbon Committee plan and signed an agreement with a consortium to develop a Nevada- style casino at Point Molate. CESP filed a lawsuit against the City of Richmond citing its failure to conduct an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prior to entering a binding agreement, a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).With the support of the East Bay Regional Park District and the State of California, CESP succeeded in blocking a binding agreement between the City of Richmond and developers without an EIR.

In 2009, CESP, once again filed a lawsuit to block the Pt. Molate casino plan backed by the Richmond City Council to allow a consortium of a corporation controlled by Berkeley developer James D. Levine, teamed with two Native American tribes (the Guidiville Rancheria Band of Pomos, who would own the land as a reservation, and the Rumsey Band of Wintuns). The lawsuit charged that the City and the Navy breached CEQA when they reached an early transfer agreement giving most of the site to the City, and again when the City and Upstream, Levine’s company, signed a remediation agreement in which Upstream agreed to pay for the remaining clean-up or containment of hazardous materials remaining from the naval operations.

On October 19, 2010, CESP signed the Point Molate Shoreline Protection Agreement to settle the lawsuit CESP filed January 2009 challenging the Pt. Molate development. More than three fourths of the 412- acre site was to be restored and protected in perpetuity. This agreement created much stronger protections than a courtroom victory would have because of the limitations of CEQA (environmental protection) lawsuits and the federal requirement of economic benefit from the closed Navy facility. Buildings were to be placed only in areas previously used by the Navy, avoid sensitive habitat areas, and be set back from the Bay to allow for a continuous shoreline and expanded Bay Trail. More than $48 million was made available for shoreland acquisition, habitat restoration, park creation, and recreational access, including $5 million for the Bay Trail. Click here for more information on the Point Molate Shoreline Protection Agreement.

However, after the agreement was signed, a new Richmond City Council voted to end consideration of the Casino project.

Click here for pictures from an open space study of Point Molate.
Click here for an update on the Point Molate Lawsuit.
Click here for an additional update on the Point Molate Lawsuit.

CESP continues to support open space and park use for Point Molate. The site should be protected and developed in accordance with the recommendations of the Reuse Plan of the Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee, as adopted by Richmond City Council in 1997.

Point Molate Beach Park reopened to the public in October 2013 and a grand reopening celebration was held in April 2014.

Point MolateGrand reopening of Point Molate Beach Park next month, Richmond Standard, 3/7/2014
Richmond reopens Point Molate Beach for first time in more than a decade, CC Times, 10/14/2013
Chevron Donates Easement To East Bay Regional Park District for Bay Trail

North Richmond: Breuner Marsh, Point Pinole and adjacent shoreline properties
Breuner

CESP supports open space and park use for the North Richmond Shoreline which contains some of the last pockets of pristine tidal land in the East Bay. The North Richmond shoreline, which stretches from Pt. Pinole to Wildcat Creek Marsh, contains 500 acres of tidal marshes and 800 acres of mudflats. Three creeks - Rheem, San Pablo, and Wildcat - empty into the San Pablo Bay at the shoreline.

ShorebirdThis unique ecosystem is home to many threatened and endangered species and millions of migrating birds every year. The largest eelgrass bed in the entire San Francisco Bay is just offshore; it is a breeding habitat for many species of invertebrates, waterfowl, and fish.

Click here to download a PDF describing key North Richmond shoreline properties.

CESP supports the creation of a Shoreline Scenic Protection Zone from the land on the bay side of the Richmond Parkway until it intersects the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. From there, the Scenic Protection Zone would be made up of the land west of the railroad tracks as far north as Point Pinole. See map.

The creation of a parkland destination will enhance the image of Richmond, improve the quality of life and raise property values. CESP wants to restore community access to a protected shoreline, which will provide much-needed recreational opportunities to residents of adjacent neighborhoods. CESP would like to see the North Richmond Shoreline transformed into one of the outstanding jewels in the Bay's necklace of shoreline parks.

Click here to download a PDF of CESP’s vision for the North Richmond.

Click here for more North Richmond shoreline history.

Urban CreeksUrban Creeks 2.0
- Video of the
North Richmond
Shoreline


 

Breuner Marsh

The Breuner property, the cornerstone of the North Richmond Shoreline, is one of the most important expanses of undeveloped shoreline in the Bay Area. It shows the Bay as it once was: an open saltwater marsh and coastal prairie, filled with wildlife. The endangered Saltmarsh Harvest Mouse and California Clapper Rail and many other species of flora and fauna call the Marsh home.

Breuner Marsh

Earth Day 2014 marked the groundbreaking of the Breuner Marsh Restoration and Public Access Project, a part of the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The project will restore approximately 60 acres of wetlands and adds a 1.5-mile extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail. The groundbreaking is a milestone in the 20-year effort to protect Breuner Marsh as open space. CESP Executive Director, Patricia Jones attended the event and captured the following images.

Breuner

Breuner Marsh History

Key project goals are to restore historic San Francisco Bay wetlands, close a key gap in the San Francisco Bay Trail, and develop other public access facilities.

Point Pinole

Point Pinole
In October 2010, the East Bay Regional Park District began Phase I of a multi-phase project to build a second entrance area and other amenities at Point Pinole. The new entrance will be near the center of the park's eastern boundary at Atlas Road, providing better access and more recreation opportunities for visitors. The main portion of the Phase I project includes the Atlas Road Bridge over the railroad tracks, setting the stage for additional phases of park improvements such as a parking lot, picnic areas, and a future interpretive center in this new location. The bridge will serve as both a vehicle and ADA compliant pedestrian bridge, which also connects to the San Francisco Bay Trail.

The project addresses the interests of local residents and, when all phases are complete, provides the access, programs, trails, and improvements envisioned by our larger community while protecting the natural values and features of the park.

Ready to get involved? Click here to receive action alerts from CESP.
You may customize your content by selecting “Richmond Interest”.