Public Workshop on the Berkeley Waterfront

An open letter to the dragon boat, outrigger, and open-water rowing communities of San Francisco Bay (March 29, 2001)

Thursday, April 26, 7:00 PM, at Hs. Lordships Restaurant!

This is the first public workshop run by the planning consultants and the state and regional authorities who will design the Eastshore State Park.

A strong showing by advocates of all water-related uses will make a very big difference in the final character of this large section of the East Bay shoreline, and will determine the level of water access that the new park will allow.

This park development presents superb opportunities for paddling, rowing, and (non-motorized) small craft activities at all levels - but there are some perceived conflicts between "active" (water-related) and "passive" (open space and habitat preservation) uses. Although these conflicts are, in my humble opinion, greatly exaggerated - there is still some serious opposition to development of the support facilities necessary to make water-related uses accessible.

That's why a strong showing by the paddling, rowing, and small craft communities at these workshops is vital.

For more background on the opportunities and problems that this planning process presents to us, see my Berkeley Waterfront website at

The letter I sent to this list last month, which outlines some development scenarios in more detail, is posted there.

Paddlers might also enjoy the fictional article in the February issue of the local sailing magazine "Latitude 38," beginning on page 150.

Another way for our voices to be heard is on the the web-based discussion forum that the planning consultant as initiated at

This discussion forum has received very light traffic to date, and a few posts by paddlers, rowers, kayakers, and windsurfers will go a long way.

Hope to see you all at the workshop. Meanwhile, walk the site, brainstorm new approaches to the politics, and contact me if you have any questions or comments. I'll be organizing some short sailing tours of the Berkeley Waterfront over the next few weeks, aimed at other city officials and planning staff. Watch the website for details, and let me know if you'd like to participate.

Paul Kamen
Chair, Berkeley Waterfront Commission 510-540-7968