New infrastructure in the pipeline at Alameda Point

Replacing the antiquated underground infrastructure at Alameda Point will be accomplished slowly through the sale of parcels owned by the city.  

One major infrastructure project is now underway and is expected to take two and half years to complete.  This $31 million contract was awarded to A&B Construction in March 2022 and covers seven blocks through the heart of the former Navy base.  The streets around two of the blocks will receive a deluxe upgrade to what is termed a “complete street.”  This means that in addition to new underground utilities, storm water lines, and sewer lines, there will also be a natural filtration system for storm water runoff, bike lanes, transit stops, street lighting, and full landscaping.  The other nearby blocks will only receive new water lines due to lack of funding.

Continue reading “New infrastructure in the pipeline at Alameda Point”

Seaplane Lagoon waterfront park to be officially named

On Thursday, July 14, the Alameda Recreation and Park Commission will be asked to make a recommendation to the City Council on a name for the park along the north side of the Seaplane Lagoon.  The first phase of the park is complete and open to the public.  Currently the City refers to it as Alameda Point Waterfront Park.  The park was the site of an opening festival on April 9th staged by Rhythmix Cultural Works and West End Arts District.  Other phases will build out the entire northern edge of the Seaplane Lagoon as a waterfront promenade with the western edge being De-Pave Park, an ecological nature park.

Continue reading “Seaplane Lagoon waterfront park to be officially named”

Caspian and Elegant Terns join Least Terns to nest at Alameda Point

Naval Air Station-Alameda gained notoriety as a refuge for the endangered California Least Tern when the base closed in 1997.  Over 500 acres were dedicated to protecting the terns’ adopted nesting site next to a runway formerly used by jet aircraft. 

This unlikely bird habitat for the Least Terns some 400 miles north of their historic breeding grounds along the southern California coast offered the birds something they had lost, which drove them to the brink of extinction – nesting sites free of human disturbance near a source of small fish to feed their chicks. 

Surprisingly, two other tern species have recently begun nesting in the vicinity.  Elegant and Caspian Terns seem to be thriving there, while the endangered Least Terns are struggling.

Continue reading “Caspian and Elegant Terns join Least Terns to nest at Alameda Point”

Opening of park at Seaplane Lagoon highlights climate change

On April 9, 2022, the first phase of the terraced Alameda Point Seaplane Lagoon waterfront park officially opened with cultural performances.  One of the groups christening the new three-acre park was Fog Beast, in collaboration with the Shawl Anderson Youth Ensemble.  Their performances captured the nature of the park, highlighting climate change and sea level rise.

Continue reading “Opening of park at Seaplane Lagoon highlights climate change”

Alameda Point harbor seals attract educational groups

About 240 students from Eldorado Middle School in Concord visited Alameda Point to make observations of the harbor seals on March 22.  The school participates in an educational program sponsored by the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito called Ocean Ambassadors. 

The students arrived in two groups.  While the first group was at the trailside viewing site, a second group was on a ferry ride around San Francisco Bay to view marine wildlife. The second group arrived in the afternoon, while the first group went on the ferry excursion.

Alameda Point was chosen for viewing harbor seals because it is the only place on the Bay that is easily accessible for viewing seals.

Continue reading “Alameda Point harbor seals attract educational groups”

Jet fuel cleanup relies on laundry detergent booster

Draining jet fuel from Navy planes, known as defueling, was a routine step before doing maintenance work on the planes.  This defueling process at Alameda Point inadvertently contaminated groundwater at one location across the street from the Pottery Barn Outlet on West Oriskany Avenue.  During February, the Navy’s cleanup contractor conducted a form of industrial-scale in-ground chemotherapy known as oxidation. 

The injected chemical compound breaks apart the fuel molecules, turning them into harmless carbon dioxide, water, and oxygen.  The main ingredient in this oxidation process is sodium percarbonate, the same active ingredient in OxyClean™ laundry whitener and stain remover, albeit with a different objective.

Continue reading “Jet fuel cleanup relies on laundry detergent booster”

Mia Bonta introduces fix to Surplus Lands Act for Alameda Point

An amendment to the California Surplus Lands Act that went into effect in January 2020 brought long-term leasing and land sales at Alameda Point to a screeching halt for two years.  The new law mandated that no government-owned land could be sold, or leased for more than a year, without first offering the land to affordable housing providers on a state clearinghouse.  After the city listed six initial sites on the clearinghouse, the process ended in January 2022 without yielding one single unit of additional housing of any type.

In an effort to remedy the flawed law, Assembly Member Mia Bonta has introduced legislation to exempt Alameda Point from the process, citing the agreement with the Navy to follow the community base reuse plan.  Under the current process, it forces Alameda to entertain ad hoc changes, such as offering to place housing in job-generating commercial zones.  The Community Reuse Plan for Alameda Point adopted in 1996 spells out the types of uses for all of the areas, and the Navy has been conducting environmental cleanup based on those agreed-upon uses.   

Continue reading “Mia Bonta introduces fix to Surplus Lands Act for Alameda Point”