Birds on the rocks – 2018

Pelican and cormorant on top of jetty at entrance to Seaplane Lagoon.
California Brown Pelican, juvenile, one or two years old, as indicated by all brown head, with Cormorant on Seaplane Lagoon jetty.

Continue reading “Birds on the rocks – 2018”

BART station may come to Alameda Point

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) staff are in the early stages of planning for a second tube across San Francisco Bay.  One of the routes being considered is under Alameda and would bring with it at least one station.  It could also bring Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor train service running in tandem with BART trains across the Bay.

Before any plans are drafted, the transit agency must first determine the amount of ridership the transit system will serve in the decades ahead.  To get there, BART is looking at more than just the traditional 9-county region.  They are looking at projected transit needs of a 21-county mega-region stretching from Placerville to Monterey.  And standard-gauge rail agencies, like Amtrak, have become a partner in BART’s planning effort. Continue reading “BART station may come to Alameda Point”

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. 

Continue reading “Urban Shield conducts hostage rescue training on Nature Reserve”

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”