Parks and Cities Seek Shore Resilience

Alameda County

By Joe Eaton

For Alameda County, climate vulnerability is no abstraction. King tides push the waters of San Leandro Bay into parking lots at Martin Luther King Regional Shoreline. When Diablo winds rattle the eucalyptus, Berkeley and Oakland hill-dwellers recall the conflagrations of 1923 and 1991 and dread the next one. The county feels the bite of both edges of the climate sword: fire and flood. With highways, BART, a major airport and seaport, business parks, and sports complexes, the county is dense with critical infrastructure. Yet it’s also rich in open space, much of it in a regional park system shared with bordering Contra Costa County, its coastal units stitched together by the San Francisco Bay Trail. Some coastal wetlands harbor endangered species. There’s a lot at risk here, and cities, the East Bay Regional Park District, and other entities are engaging with climate adaptation on multiple fronts. These include a more equitable climate resilience plan for the City of Alameda, a new gravel berm to protect an outboard levee at the South Bay salt ponds, a climate-smart park plan for Coyote Hills, and detailed analysis of three lines of defense for the Hayward shore. 

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Photo: Seaplane Lagoon at king tide by Richard Bangert.

Previous Estuary News Stories

Harnessing a Watershed for Public Sediment, Alameda Creek RBD, June 2018

San Leandro Bay-Three Cities Confront Common Estuary RBD June 2019

Background

Alameda Climate Resilience Plan

East Bay Regional Parks Climate Smart Initiative

Hayward Shoreline Adaptation Master Plan

BCDC ART Resilience Study 2015

Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan

Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda

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About the author

Joe Eaton writes about endangered and invasive species, climate and ecosystem science, environmental history, and water issues for ESTUARY. He is also "a semi-obsessive birder" whose pursuit of rarities has taken him to many of California's shores, wetlands, and sewage plants.

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