Navy plan to destroy wetlands lacks scientific backing

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.

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Great Blue Herons fishing at Alameda Point: Photo essay

Alameda Point supports a thriving colony of Great Blue Herons.  Their roosting and nesting site is on the Runway Wetland on federal property adjacent to the city’s future De-Pave Park. 

Much of the herons’ days are spent standing still in the wetland and preening their feathers.  During spring and early summer they can be seen nesting in two dead cypress trees in the wetland.  When they leave the wetland in search of food, they do so individually and can often be seen standing motionless along the Alameda Point shoreline waiting to pluck a passing fish from the water.

Here are three fishing episodes from 2022.

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Navy recruiting volunteers for Alameda Point cleanup board

The Navy is seeking new members to serve on its volunteer Restoration Advisory Board (RAB), which reviews and comments on environmental cleanup of the former Navy base.  The Navy is also conducting an online community survey to better understand the interests and concerns about the environmental cleanup at the base.

Despite all the new construction at Alameda Point, there are still a variety of cleanup issues for the Navy and regulators to address.  Some issues are new, some involve the long-term monitoring of sites that maxed out the active remediation methods and now rely on natural biological degradation of the remaining contaminant.  And sometimes ongoing monitoring results show that the remediation has not sufficiently reduced a contaminant.  This leads to follow-up work plans, which are vetted by the RAB.

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Navy to lock down PFAS in groundwater with carbon

The Navy is ramping up plans to inject a state-of-the-art powdered charcoal product into PFAS-contaminated groundwater at Alameda Point, according to an October 13, 2022, cleanup document posted on the California Department of Toxic Substances Control website.  The project will take place at a small area where Navy firefighters trained with PFAS-containing fire suppression foam next to the Oakland Estuary.  The goal is to prevent the migration of PFAS into the Oakland Estuary.

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Vote for these turkeys!

Go wild!  Vote for the weirdly beautiful wild turkeys of Alameda!  They deserve widespread voter support because they favor open space, the urban forest, and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. 

Despite an overabundance of feathers —  as many as 6,000 — they mostly get around by walking, even though they can fly short distances and sometimes perch in trees to avoid predators.  

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Changing stories, ballooning costs cloud VA project at Alameda Point

Every couple years there is a new story from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on why there are delays in building the veterans facilities at Alameda Point.  Meanwhile, the costs have skyrocketed from $208 million to $395 million. 

Two new stories emerged this summer, just as the VA is requesting another $128 million in the 2023 federal budget for the Alameda Point project. 

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Alameda Point developer completes public art installations

During August, an art sculpture was placed in the street median at the so-called gateway location, another in the Seaplane Lagoon waterfront park.

These two projects satisfy the city’s public art requirement in the development deal for Site A, which stipulated that the developer spend $300,000 on public art.  The budget for the gateway artwork was $100,000, and $200,000 for the waterfront park project.

In order to select its artists, the developer, Alameda Point Partners, conducted a Request for Qualifications process for the two sites at Alameda Point.  The process generated 172 submissions, which were reviewed by an evaluation panel of six Alameda community members, design professionals, and stakeholders. The panel then selected seven finalists to create proposals, offering an honorarium of $1,500 to each finalist. After reviewing the proposals, the panel conducted one round of follow-up questions before making their selections.

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