Open Letter #8
To the Paddling, Rowing, Windsurfing, and Sailing Communities:
This is a reminder that Monday, September 24, is the big public workshop for the Eastshore State Park. 7 pm, Hs. Lordships Restaurant, Berkeley Marina, in the upstairs banquet room. A good showing is critical.
The main issue is the amount of support that the new park will provide for
water-related activities. Launch and storage facilities for a very diverse
range of non-motorized watercraft, from kayaks to dragon boats, are
possible on the Berkeley and Albany waterfronts. There might even be State
Park money to help make it happen. See
The Sierra Club and Citizens for the Eastshore State Park (CESP) are opposed to facilities development on the land areas of the Park, and have called for virtually all of the water areas to be designated as "preserve" with limited human access. Their literature suggests that the park is threatened by RV campsites and launching ramps for jetskis and powerboats.
Unfortunately, non-motorized water-borne activities are being put in the same category as jetskis and bass boats. So a good showing on Monday night is very important if we expect the park plan to include reasonable compromises between habitat protection and non-motorized human recreation.
Since the last open letter there have been some interesting
developments. A new coalition of park users has been formed, the Coalition
for Park Access and Conservation (CPAC). This new organization represents
off-leash dog advocates, kayakers, sailors, windsurfers, and playing field
users, with many more groups expected to sign on. You can see their
recommendations for the park at
Unlike previous workshops, this one will actually give the public an opportunity to draw things on a map. For the first time we'll be asked to provide input in spatial and quantitative terms, which is the key to understanding just how easy it really is to find compromises that satisfy the goals of all the various interest groups - including CESP and the Sierra Club.
The scale for the working maps is 1:6,000, or 1 inch = 500 feet. This is a small scale, but it will work out well if we all understand how big or how small things really are on this scale.
A square inch at this scale is 5.7 acres, or enough space to park over 700 cars (at 125 cars/acre).
You can find a template sheet drawn to the correct scale on the CPAC web page at www.well.com/user/pk/waterfront/CPAC/templetes.html.
This should be extremely useful in positioning proposed improvements and facilities on the working maps. CPAC will also have copies of these templates available at the workshop entrance.
And, if you can't be at the meeting, remember to weigh in on the public comment area of the planning consultants' website, www.EastshoreStatePark.org.