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Re: [betterbayview] Pristine waterway to replace polluted inlet Community effort in Bayview

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  • Alex Lantsberg
    having been involved in getting this concept off the ground (i wrote the first grant to the state coastal conservancy) about six years ago, this is very
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 10, 2007
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      having been involved in getting this concept off the ground (i wrote the first grant to the state coastal conservancy) about six years ago, this is very exciting.


      On 8/9/07, Mendell Street <mendellapt@...> wrote:

      It seems to finally be coming together. Years of planning and community efforts are finally coming to fruition. Very exciting.

      Elizabeth Dubuque <thinkelizabeth@ yahoo.com> wrote:

      is it just me or does it seem like there's a lot
      happening all of a sudden. This is all very exciting!
      --- bayview94124 <mendellapt@...> wrote:

      > This from SFGATE (Thanks David for the heads up on
      > this article.)
      > Pristine waterway to replace polluted inlet
      > Community effort: In neglected Bayview neighborhood, forgotten slough's
      > restoration will be part of planned 350-acre waterfront park
      > Julian Guthrie, Chronicle Staff Writer
      > Monday, August 6, 2007
      > The transformation of one of San Francisco's
      > last stretches of  undeveloped land is about to begin, as a small tidal
      > inlet on the  city's southern shoreline is readied for
      > restoration.
      > The revitalization of the inlet across from Monster
      > Park is part of  an ambitious plan to turn hundreds of contaminated
      > acres at Bayview- Hunters Point into a pristine Crissy Field south,
      > complete with  stunning vistas, a thriving habitat, open green
      > space and recreation.
      > Behind the greening of the degraded land is a deeper
      > goal: to bring  new life and industry to the most marginalized and
      > isolated area of  San Francisco.
      > The cleanup of Yosemite Slough will create San
      > Francisco's largest  contiguous wetlands and two new nesting islands for
      > migratory birds,  and will renovate and open 34 acres that have for
      > decades been closed  to the public. It will create new paths to be linked
      > to the Bay  Trail. The first phase of the 18-month project is
      > expected to cost  $15 million - $12 million has been raised so far -
      > and begin at the  end of the year.
      > By the time the Yosemite Slough project at Candlestick Point is
      > completed, work is scheduled to begin at nearby Hunters Point Naval
      > Shipyard, similarly turning contaminated land into usable space. The
      > Navy has spent more than $500 million cleaning up its former military
      > base, and is in the process of handing decontaminated parcels over to
      > the city for reuse.
      > "We have a plan that calls for 350 acres of new
      > waterfront park,  which will be the largest parks improvement project
      > since Golden Gate  Park," said Michael Cohen, Mayor Gavin Newsom's
      > director of military  base reuse and real estate development. "We'll have
      > parks and open  space and this wonderful connection to the Bay
      > Trail. This is really  an opportunity to do the right thing for a portion
      > of the city that  has been neglected for way too long."
      > Cohen said the city has two sets of plans for the area: one that
      > includes a new stadium at Hunters Point and the other without, in
      > case the 49ers relocate to Santa Clara.
      > "There's so much at stake for the city in terms of parks, jobs,
      > affordable housing and development that we're going forward with or
      > without the stadium," he said.
      > Yosemite Slough, last in the news in 1990, when a wayward whale named
      > Humphrey drew international attention by becoming lost there, is
      > about a mile north of Monster Park. Currently fenced off, the area
      > has been a dumping ground. Weedy lots are dotted with old buildings
      > covered in graffiti. The shoreline is strewn with discarded
      > industrial detritus - huge concrete steps, buckets, tires, steel
      > pipes and fencing.
      > Touring the area last week, Elizabeth Goldstein,
      > president of the  California State Parks Foundation, said, "It's a big
      > lump of  discarded everything that we're converting into a
      > park." 
      > The nonprofit foundation is managing the project on
      > behalf of  California State Parks, and has received donations
      > from state  agencies including the California Coastal
      > Conservancy and the  Wildlife Conservation Board, and from private
      > sources - notably $1.5  million from San Francisco philanthropist Richard
      > Goldman, who runs  the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund and the Goldman Environmental  Prize.
      > Ann Meneguzzi, a park ranger for 30 years who now supervises the
      > Candlestick Point State Recreation Area, said there is an impressive
      > array of wildlife despite the spoiled land. She regularly sees
      > herons, egrets, coyotes and red-tailed hawks in the area, to name a
      > few. A 2004 study of Yosemite Slough by the Audubon Society observed
      > 118 species of birds, 14 butterfly species, three snake species, and
      > mammals including rodents, rabbits and seals.
      > Meneguzzi has been a ranger in spectacular wilderness, including
      > Calaveras Big Trees State Park, with its giant sequoias, and in Big
      > Sur, with its sweeping vistas. She chose to work at gritty
      > Candlestick Point because she was drawn to the idea of creating open
      > space in an urban environment.
      > "This is exciting to bring parks to people who
      > haven't had such  opportunities," Meneguzzi said, walking along the
      > rocky shore. "You  can get the same refreshment of the spirit right
      > here."
      > Before that happens, the land - covered in non-native fennel and ice
      > plant - will be excavated and tested, with polluted parts hauled
      > away. The site will be graded and turned into wetlands, before being
      > replanted with thousand of native plants.
      > The native vegetation is being propagated by Bayview youth at a half-
      > acre nursery across the road from the Alice Griffith Public Housing
      > Projects. Under a sign, "Plants Gone Wild," is some of the vegetation
      > that will eventually take root around Yosemite Slough. The vegetation
      > includes alkali heath, gum plant, coyote bush, California sage, blue
      > wild rye, red fescue, buckwheat and salt grass. An estimated 10,000
      > plants are needed from the nursery each year.
      > Patrick Rump, who works for Literacy for Environmental Justice,
      > manages the nursery. Seven youths from the neighborhood participate
      > as interns in the yearlong program, working up to nine hours a week
      > and receiving an hourly stipend of $9.14.
      > "The site that we're restoring is heavily polluted,"Rump
      > said. "We're trying to remediate this little piece of urban land and
      > return it to a state that's safe and usable for the community. We're
      > trying to provide a better quality of life." 
      > One overlooked aspect of improving quality of life
      > is providing clean  open space and access to the waterfront, he said.
      > "You can take an hourlong bus ride to Crissy Field,
      > but if people are  going to have a strong connection to the
      > environment, it helps to  have it closer to home

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