News About Cleanup, Sustainability, Parks, Open Space, and Wildlife at Alameda Point, Alameda, CA
My blog is Alameda Point Environmental Report covering environmental issues from wildlife to cleanup at the former Navy base in Alameda now called Alameda Point.
Articles on my blog are frequently printed in the Alameda Sun newspaper.
I also host a Twitter site and a Flickr photo site.
I hope you find my stories and photos of interest.
The true extent of the contamination is unknown, which is why Chevron is first taking soil samples at 43 spots around the open field next to the self-storage business near the intersection of West Oriskany Avenue and Skyhawk Street. The investigation work was announced in a Work Notice/Fact Sheet from the Regional Water Board. Work began on May 15 and will continue until May 26. Their findings will provide the basis for a cleanup plan.
The petroleum cleanup site was put on the shelf until now because the Navy and the City figured that it was not causing any harm, therefore nothing had to be done until a developer purchased the lot. The Regional Water Board, which has sole regulatory authority over petroleum cleanup, instead wanted to close the books on this outstanding cleanup site.
A new warning about the heightened risk of liquefaction in Alameda during the next big earthquake should catch the attention of leaders at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They plan on building its VA medical clinic and veteran benefits administrative facility on an artificially constructed hill out on the old airfield in the middle of an earthquake liquefaction zone.
On April 18, the city council will meet in closed session to negotiate four property leases at Alameda Point. Two are for buildings, and two are at a pier. It is unknown if either of the two proposed building leases will include the option to purchase. Nor is it known if the city council has weighed selling rather than leasing the two buildings and how it fits in with the goal of replacing antiquated infrastructure.
City staff and the council will be negotiating a lease with an Oakland company called Pyka, which makes drone airplanes designed for spraying pesticides on agricultural crops in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Their pesticide-spraying aircraft is called “Pelican Spray”. The pilotless plane was recently approved by the Costa Rican government for flying in Costa Rica to spray large commercial banana plantations, both day and night.
Alameda Point harbor seal float inspires research at New York Aquarium
The harbor seal float at Alameda Point has been wildly successful. It started out as an experiment. Now it’s a model being studied at the New York Aquarium.
In July 2022, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium installed a float in an exhibit modeled after the float at Alameda Point. The research project was initiated by aquarium keeper Payden Sra as part of her work toward a graduate degree. Studying haul-out behavior of harbor seals in a controlled setting “can better advise conservation actions for the growing wild seal populations managed by local officials on the East Coast,” Sra wrote in the description of her study. “While once a rare sight, it is increasingly common to see seals in New York.”
During its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 7, City Council will hold a work session to discuss the pros and cons of leasing versus selling buildings at Alameda Point in the area designated for repurposing old buildings for reuse.
The designated Reuse Area is a large swath of real estate extending from the aircraft hangars to Main Street near the ferry terminal. The work session was spawned by the Council expressing concern that it had no policy guidance upon which to make decisions on whether to lease a building or sell it.
Most Alamedans have read about the Navy’s plan for upgrading and expanding wetlands at Alameda Point where a regional park is planned. Unexpectedly, however, and behind closed doors, a single advisory staff member at a state agency halted the approved wetland expansion plan. He did so as work was already underway, and over 7,000 truckloads of soil had been delivered to upgrade the site. The controversy centers on the health risk that radium-226 luminescent paint waste artifacts may or may not pose to park visitors.
Alameda Post podcast highlights of the story – Friday, January 20, 2023.