|Bay Trail Controversy Stems
from "For-Profit" Wetlands Proposal
July 21, 2002
Bay Trail on Richmond's North Shore? Act before July 31.
Dear Friends of the Bay Trail,
Hopefully each of you has enjoyed the Bay Trail on Richmond's South Shore throughout the Marina Bay area and southeast to Point Isabel Regional Shoreline. Now, TRAC (Trails for Richmond Action Committee) needs you to speak up for completing the Bay Trail along a beautiful stretch of shoreline on Richmond's North Shore.
An outpouring of letters from throughout town will send a needed message to a developer, City management and elected officials. Below is background on the situation followed by a request for a short letter from each of you before July 31.
The linked map will help you see the importance of the Bay Trail gap between Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline and Goodrick Avenue where the trail has been completed south along the Richmond Parkway to the Wildcat Creek Regional Trail. Note the planned shoreline spur trail from the end of Goodrick Avenue leading to EBRPD's spit of land protruding 1/4 mile into San Pablo Bay.
The proposed Edgewater Technology Park on the upland area is good in that it includes a spine Bay Trail segment from Goodrick Avenue along the west side of the rail embankment to near the border of Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. However, the other project -- the Breuner Marsh Restoration Project -- tears out an existing bridge and road which has been designated in the Bay Trail Plan, the North Richmond Shoreline Specific Plan and the Richmond General Plan for a 0.7 mile shoreline Bay Trial spur leading to a scenic spit of land protruding 1/4 mile into San Pablo Bay.
This isolated spit of land, which is included in Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, offers spectacular vistas looking toward Point Pinole and over San Pablo Bay. If accessible, it would provide a great site for picnicking, bird watching and simply enjoying Bay views and solitude. However, there will not be any access to this public land if the planned 0.7 mile shoreline trail is not built.
The problem is that the Breuner Marsh Restoration Project is a for-profit wetlands mitigation bank for selling credits to those who destroy habitat elsewhere for clapper rails and salt marsh harvest mice. Even though these species are observed near the Bay Trail elsewhere and there are no clapper rails on the site now, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has taken the very conservative position that trails can not be tolerated in a wetland mitigation bank that is compensating for habitat destruction elsewhere. In short, Richmond is being asked to give up a planned shoreline trail leading to East Bay Regional Park District land so that developers can destroy wetland habitat elsewhere and make money by selling wetland mitigation credits.
Something is seriously wrong if the adults and children of Richmond canıt have this planned shoreline trail to learn about wetlands, fish and enjoy the spectacular vistas from this spit of land. The people in affluent Silicon Valley have trails in their wetlands. For example, there is a boardwalk through marshes in the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve.
The planned shoreline trail could be built if Breuner Marsh were acquired for restoration by a public agency such as East Bay Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). EBRPD has built trails through wetlands elsewhere in the East Bay where clapper rails are present and flourish, e.g. at Arrowhead Marsh in Oaklandıs Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline and along the Bay Trail between Marina Bay and Point Isabel in Richmond
The for-profit Breuner Marsh project is not appropriate for the site if it does not either include the planned shoreline trail or, alternatively, provide full mitigation for precluding it.
Please Send A Letter before July 31 As Follows:
Address it to:
Suggested Points to include using your own words and perspectives derived from the above background:
Please call or send me an email if you have any questions. TRAC would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of your letter by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 235-2835. Thanks very much!