Urban Shield conducts hostage rescue training on Nature Reserve

On Sept. 9, the tranquility of the remote shoreline on the federal property at Alameda Point was interrupted by participants firing blanks as an Urban Shield police tactical team staged a mock hostage rescue.  The gunfire was part of the emergency preparedness training that was performed in an area the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agreed not to use for this purpose. 

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Osprey Family Thrives in Face of Adversity

Ospreys returned again this year to nest at Alameda Point’s Seaplane Lagoon.  But midway through the rearing process, the female became the sole provider and protector of her three chicks, after the male became entangled in fishing line.  Such osprey single parenting is unheard of.

Male osprey with fishing line and bobber. Credit: Phil Dauber.

Continue reading “Osprey Family Thrives in Face of Adversity”

Bottlenose dolphins visit Breakwater at Alameda Point

Bottlenose dolphins do not usually come to mind when thinking of wildlife at Alameda Point.  In fact, only three have been observed there in recent years, and those sightings were from canoes and kayaks.  But on July 24, two more dolphins were observed with two regulars meandering around next to Breakwater Island.  The standalone rock wall, or breakwater, is visible from Pier 3 where the USS Hornet Museum is berthed.

The first-time visitors were from Monterey Bay and identified by researchers with Golden Gate Cetacean Research (GGCR).  The group tracks the dolphins using a catalog of 91 dolphins showing individual markings, some with names. Continue reading “Bottlenose dolphins visit Breakwater at Alameda Point”

Demolition Underway at Alameda Point

Developer finding ways to recycle material

The heavy equipment was already demolishing buildings and pavement as the ceremonial groundbreaking took place on May 23.  Workers had already leveled many of the structures.  They had already begun separating the remains into distinct piles of concrete, asphalt, structural steel, sheet metal and rebar for recycling.

“Everything that can be recycled is being recycled,” said Joe Ernst, president of srmErnst, one of the Alameda Point Partners group busy at Site A.  “In our bidding we pushed for everything to be separated and recycled, with the value of recycled material offsetting demo cost.  All of the ground-up asphalt and concrete will remain onsite and be used under streets and any exterior concrete structures and surfaces.” Continue reading “Demolition Underway at Alameda Point”

Navy’s Cleanup Drawing Scrutiny

Recent revelations of falsified cleanup data at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco have caused many people to wonder about the integrity of cleanup at Alameda Point.  Can we trust the Navy’s reports concluding that goals have been met and land is suitable for transfer to the City?

The Navy thinks we can.  “To date, the Navy found no indication of data falsification at Alameda,” said Cecily Sabedra, Navy Environmental Coordinator for Alameda Point.

But more importantly, the rigorous and extensive testing requirements of cleanup at Superfund sites suggest that the process itself is what the public should look to for reassurance.  The data review process is exactly why a couple of employees were caught handing in fake soil samples at Hunters Point.

Groundwater cleanup is a good place to look at how the process has been working at Alameda Point, considering that is where the majority of the contamination has been.  The groundwater contamination resulted from releases of jet fuel and cleaning solvent and two leaky gas stations.  This cleanup has left the base riddled with groundwater sampling wells and injection wells used for injecting cleanup solutions or extracting pollutants. Continue reading “Navy’s Cleanup Drawing Scrutiny”

Ocean Cleanup Project to Launch from Alameda Point

Plastic is one of the biggest threats the oceans face today.  The Ocean Cleanup organization has a plan to start cleaning it up.  It has designed and tested a floating net system that will be assembled at Alameda Point and towed out to the Pacific Ocean garbage patch this summer.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest of the five offshore plastic accumulation zones in the world’s oceans,” states The Ocean Cleanup.  “It is located halfway between Hawaii and California.”

For the past two years, Ocean Cleanup has been systematically retrieving trash and analyzing the contents.  “The vast majority of plastics retrieved were made of rigid or hard polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP), or derelict fishing gear (nets and ropes particularly),” states the group.  The trash ranged in size from small fragments to larger objects and meter-sized fishing nets.  Forty-six percent of the total mass is made up of fishing nets.

The following videos from Ocean Cleanup tell the story in more detail. Continue reading “Ocean Cleanup Project to Launch from Alameda Point”

Environmental cleanup meeting tonight

Presentation will feature history of radiological cleanup

The Navy will make a presentation on the status of its radiological investigation and cleanup at the next Alameda Point Restoration Advisory Board meeting, which will be held Thursday, March 22, 2018. The meeting is open to the public and begins at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor meeting room at 950 W. Mall Square on Alameda Point.

Multiple sites became contaminated with paint waste that contained radium-226, an element used in making aircraft dials glow in the dark.

Navy contractor scanning for radiation in Building 5 hangar. Navy photo.

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