A proposal for the
Eastshore State Park
Submitted to the
East Bay Regional Park District
City of Albany
The City of Albany acknowledges
ALBANY WATERFRONT COMMITTEE
Victoria Wake, Chairperson
Past members of the committee who served during
ALBANY CITY STAFF
Claudia Cappio, Planning Director
Appreciation is also given to
Penny Niland, photographer
Cover photos, top to bottom: view from the top of the bulb looking west to Mt. Tamalpais (photo by Katherine Mortimer); view to the Golden Gate from the top of Fleming Point (photo by Allan Maris); view from the neck looking west to south side of the bulb (photo by Katherine Mortimer); (small photo) burrowing owl on the bulb (photo by Katherine Mortimer)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The PlateauThe Bay Trail
Wildlife and Habitat ProtectionPriorities for Creating the Park
Appendix A: Plants Observed at the Albany Waterfront
Appendix B: Wildlife Observed at the Albany Waterfront
In 1992, state legislation (AB 754) was passed that directed the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) to acquire and develop an Eastshore State Park encompassing waterfront land in Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond.
Long before this legislation, the Albany Waterfront Committee, established by the city council in 1974, had been working to create a park on Albany's waterfront lands. The new legislation brought renewed immediacy to the project and the committee set to work to develop a proposal for Albany's portion of the new state park.
The proposal presented here is based on a "concept plan" adopted by the committee in August 1992. This concept plan, along with a questionnaire, was distributed to most of the households in Albany and reprinted in The Journal. A videotape based on the concept plan was produced and shown to various community groups and at two public meetings. The videotape was also shown on the Albany cable channel for several days at a time on two separate occasions. Several guided tours of the waterfront were conducted as well.
Based on the questionnaires returned, public response was generally, although not unanimously, in favor of the committee's concept. Many specific suggestions were offered for features to include, or exclude, from Albany's portion of the park. A detailed proposal, developed after a review of the public input and many hours of discussion in the committee, was issued in draft form in January 1995. Again, the committee actively sought comments and suggestions from the general public, community organizations, and various city commissions. The proposal was made widely available, public meetings were held, and tours of the waterfront were conducted. The committee then made further revisions to the draft proposal and submitted it to the city council for final review. The council approved the proposal on June 19, 1995.
The proposal is consistent with Albany's 1992 General Plan, which calls for maximum feasible open space, recreation, and public access to the waterfront area in the context of a complementary mix of private and public uses. The proposal also meets the objectives set forth in the East Bay Regional Park District's Master Plan as revised in 1989.
This document is intended to serve as a recommendation and guide for the development of the Albany portion of the Eastshore State Park. The responsibility for developing a master plan for the entire Eastshore State Park rests with EBRPD. It is understood that the recommendations contained in this proposal win be reviewed at the master planning level in the context of needs and opportunities throughout the entire Eastshore State Park. The purpose of this proposal is to acquaint EBRPD with Albany's hopes and wishes for that portion of the park within the city of Albany.
HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE WATERFRONT
The Albany waterfront is located on the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay and encompasses approximately 160 acres of land between Highway I-80 and the bay.
Most of the Albany waterfront - including the areas known as the plateau, the neck, and the bulb - was artificially created over a 30-year period, beginning in the 1950s, by filling in marshes and tidelands, primarily with construction debris. The beach is a recent, natural development generated by the interplay of tidal action and the contour of the landfill.
Fleming Point, where Golden Gate Fields racetrack grandstand and upper parking lot sit, was a naturally formed bedrock hill cut down during construction of the racetrack in the 1940s. Materials excavated from the hill were used to fill and level the racetrack and the lower parking lot to the north. The shoreline beneath Fleming Point is one of the few remaining natural features along this stretch of San Francisco Bay.
Most of the waterfront land is owned by Catellus Development Corporation, formerly the Santa Fe Railroad Company. The City of Albany owns the 31-acre bulb, currently under lease to the State of California, and approximately 7 acres of right-of-way connecting Buchanan Street to the bulb.
Approximately 367 acres of submerged lands to the north of the plateau and to the south of the neck and the bulb are "public trust lands," a designation that gives the California State Lands Commission review authority over any modifications or new activities proposed for these areas.
Albany's waterfront is varied topographically. Fleming Point is roughly 60 feet above sea level, and the plateau, neck, and bulb have points as high as 30 feet. Some portions of the site, including the racetrack's north parking lot, are about 10 feet above sea level.
This proposal calls for approximately 75 acres of the Albany waterfront to become part of the Eastshore State Park, either by acquisition, easement, or use agreement.
It is proposed that EBRPD acquire and develop on behalf of the State of California those parts of the Albany waterfront known as the plateau, beach, neck, bulb, and Fleming Point for inclusion in the Eastshore State Park.
It is further proposed that the following objectives for the development of Albany's portion of the Eastshore State Park be accomplished. All are of equal importance and the order here is not intended to imply an order of priority.
Protect and enhance land and water habitats.
Promote the appreciation of the natural features and beauty of San Francisco Bay.
Provide a safe and secure environment for children and adults.
Complete Albany's segment of the Bay Trail.
Provide adequate access to the waterfront for people of all ages and physical abilities.
Provide a variety of recreational opportunities, including organized and informal amateur sports, observation of nature, hiking, bicycling, and water-related activities.
PROPOSED USES BY AREA
THE PLATEAUThe plateau area should be developed for fairly intensive use by all age groups. Utilities should be installed, and restrooms and drinking water provided at a number of convenient locations.
The southern side of the plateau should have an area designated as playing fields for organized amateur athletic activities such as soccer, softball, and baseball. This area would be configured as needs are identified and space permits. No lighting would be provided for nighttime sports activities.
Given the strong winds that often prevail, the athletic facilities would only be useful if there are adequate windbreaks, to be created by tree plantings or other methods that do not interfere with visual or other values of the plateau. One such method might be to create berms, which could be used both for windbreaks and to provide seating for spectators along the edge of the fields.
North of the playing fields there should be areas and opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor pleasures, including spaces for impromptu ball games, designated barbecue and picnic facilities, and lots of grassy areas suitable for sunning, volleyball, throwing frisbees, reading, napping, and socializing. A small, enclosed play area, or "tot lot," reserved and designed for small children, should be included. These areas must also be protected from the wind in order to be usable.
Side-by-side pedestrian and bicycle paths should be designed around the northern edge of the plateau. Pedestrian and bicycle paths leading from these perimeter paths to other parts of the plateau may be desirable, with the appropriate number of paths and routes to be determined later. These lateral paths could also serve to organize and separate various activity areas. Secured bicycle parking areas should be provided at convenient locations throughout the plateau.
The northern edge of the plateau should have a barrier that would effectively isolate the areas of human activity from those reserved for a bird sanctuary in the upland habitat, Albany mudflats, and adjacent bay. The barrier would both protect the birds from human intrusion and protect small children from possible injury in trying to descend the cliff to the water's edge. The type of barrier, e.g., plantings, fencing, berms, may vary along the edge, depending on adjacent park activities and the need for wildlife protection. Using appropriately dense vegetation for the barrier would be preferable, if practicable.
Bird watching is an activity enjoyed by many, and observation of the varied bird life in the Albany mudflats offers both enjoyment and educational opportunities. Toward that end, there should be one or more breaks in the barrier leading to observation points along the northern edge. The observation points should be designed so that they do not provide opportunities to descend the cliff.
It would be desirable to have a small interpretive center, to be used by schools and park rangers to provide information and education on the history of the site, the geology and characteristics of the baylands and landfill areas, and other natural and important features of the setting. This information should emphasize the ecology of the area and the ongoing story of the reclamation of what was once a dumping site.
A refreshment stand selling food and drink of the type normally associated with picnic grounds and playing fields should be provided. The stand should be convenient both to users of the beach and the plateau.
Because it would be desirable to consolidate services and information under one roof, it is suggested that a single building be constructed, containing the interpretive center, restrooms, and refreshment stand, and that this building be located on the southwestern portion of the plateau.
This building should be of high quality, small in size, and designed for a low profile. In constructing this facility, consideration should be given to using materials from the landfill. The sole survivor of the street lamps that once lit the streets of Albany, now standing at the water's edge at the eastern edge of the plateau, could be restored to "stand guard" over the building. As an added convenience for users of the refreshment stand, outdoor seating should be placed nearby.
THE NECK AND THE BULBThe neck and the bulb should be preserved as a semi-wild area, reserved for hiking, enjoying the views, observing plants and animals, and providing opportunities for solitude not to be found in other areas of the site.
Many residents of Albany and neighboring communities already use the neck and the bulb as a park, and first-time visitors are often surprised and charmed by the experience. In the decade since the landfill was closed, a great variety of vegetation, both native and exotic (non-native), has sprung up, covering discarded remnants of old roadways and castoff remains of demolished buildings. Small animals live in the "ruins." Wetland plants are taking hold along the shore, foretelling a growing shorebird population.
In converting this unlikely wonderland into a public park, every effort should be made to avoid disturbing the existing landforms and wildlife. By undertaking a carefully planned effort, natural processes at work can be assisted and improved upon. For instance, historic native shoreline and upland habitats might be recreated in some areas.
Non-native plants that threaten to predominate should be brought under control or eliminated. Additional varieties of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation should be introduced as appropriate. New vegetation should be selected with a view toward providing shelter and food for animals and birds, and for the ability of the plants to survive in a wild state with little or no human attention.
The levees that surround the lagoon at the western end of the bulb provide shorebird habitat. This habitat should be enhanced by severing the connections between the southern and western levees, and between the northern levee and the bulb itself, thus reducing the likelihood of disturbance by humans and land animals (see Figure 3, page 9). Also, more rock should be added to the northern levee, making it usable for birds during higher tides.
Many of the narrow, meandering trails that already exist on the bulb should be preserved for hiking and exploring.
The upper road along the neck, which often narrows to a path, should remain as a trail for pedestrians only. The lower road along the neck should become a Bay Trail Spur (see The Bay Trail, page 12).
A pedestrian path should circle the bulb. This path would begin at water's edge at the base of the bulb, taking off south from the Bay Trail Spur and proceeding westward to the tip of the bulb. It would then continue north along the lagoon and the entire western end of the bulb, turning east to connect with the existing road that leads back to what would be the Bay Trail Spur. Some grading of this road, or the construction of a switchback, would likely be necessary to allow wheelchairs to reach the elevation of the Spur.
Most of this pedestrian path could follow what is now a relatively flat, wide area at water's edge. Along the western side, however, the terrain is steep and uneven, and doesn't offer a natural route for the path. To create a fairly level grade in this area, a wooden walkway may need to be built over the lagoon using either pilings or cantilever supports. This western segment of the path should be designed to minimize impacts on water birds using the lagoon and surrounding levees.
All modifications necessary for safety and the final closure of the landfill should be done (see Landfill Closure, page 17). Exposed concrete and rebar that pose safety hazards should be removed.
THE BEACHThe beach and the dunes behind it should be preserved in a natural state. An area east of the beach and dunes, 180 feet in width, should be converted from parking lot to natural landscape, allowing for expansion of the dunes and sufficient space for the Bay Trail. Along the shoreline, from the southern end of the beach to the beginning of the rise to Fleming Point, a band of similar width should be converted from parking lot to natural landscape.
There is currently a drainage problem east of the dunes during periods of heavy rain. This may have to be corrected, both to allow free passage on the Bay Trail and to eliminate pollutant runoff from the parking lot into the dunes.
In designing paths from the parking lot and the plateau to the beach, care should be taken to protect the fragile dune habitat that has developed and continues to grow. Food and refreshments should be available for sale at a convenient distance from the beach, but not at the beach itself.
The remains of two piers extend out from the shoreline just before the rise to Fleming Point. The taller of these piers, the southern pier, should be reconstructed to provide a fishing and viewing platform.
FLEMING POINTFleming Point should be preserved as a vista point along the Bay Trail. Along the crest of the point, an area at least 50 feet in width should be converted from parking lot to park in order to accommodate the Bay Trail and a viewing area with benches.
The striking view of the bay from the point should be accessible not only to walkers and bicyclists but also to those who can only reach such vantage points by automobile. Some agreement should be made with the racetrack to allow free automobile access, at least during the racetrack's off-season.
Wheelchair access to Fleming Point poses a challenge, given the steep incline, but every effort should be made to provide this access, perhaps by constructing a series of switchbacks.
Public use and/or acquisition of the horsemen's lot at the base of Fleming Point is desirable and should be pursued. The area is level, adjacent to the water, and somewhat secluded and sheltered, and could serve as a vista point or picnic area, off limits to automobiles.
THE BAY TRAILA regional effort is under way to create a pedestrian and bicycle trail around San Francisco Bay. Known as the Bay Trail, this 400-mfle pathway would link existing recreation and open space areas, and improve access to the bay shore. About one-third of the Trail is already in place.
From the north, the Bay Trail will enter Albany at the Richmond city line and run along the edge of the bay to Buchanan Street. This section will be built by Caltrans in conjunction with the widening of Highway I-80. At Buchanan Street, it is proposed that the Trail turn west, parallel the southern edge of the plateau, turn south behind the beach, and continue over Fleming Point to connect with the Berkeley portion of the Trail. For the most part, there is sufficient space along this section of the Trail to accommodate separate bicycle and pedestrian paths.
A barrier between the Bay Trail and the Albany mudflats should be installed to prevent access to the mudflats by people and dogs using the Trail, and to minimize visual disturbance of the water birds and shorebirds. The barrier should be located along the bay side of the Trail from the freeway to the plateau.
A Bay Trail Spur, also with separate bicycle and pedestrian paths, should extend from behind the beach, follow what is now the lower road along the neck, and terminate at a viewpoint on the bulb. The Spur should also serve as the access route to the bulb for emergency and service vehicles and should be no wider than necessary for that purpose.
Benches should be provided along the Spur and at the viewpoint, possibly made from material found on site. Interpretive signs should be placed along the Spur helping visitors understand the human-made formations and the evolving natural processes being observed.
For the safety of hikers, and the protection of plant and wildlife habitats, it is important that bicycles not leave the Bay Trail Spur to use the pedestrian path or the narrow trails on the bulb. Signs should be posted reminding bicyclists to stay on the Spur. If this proves ineffective, additional measures, including making the entire bulb off limits" to bicycles, should be considered.
WILDLIFE AND HABITAT PROTECTIONOne of the stated objectives of this proposal is to "protect and enhance land and water habitats." Throughout this proposal, many design features have been suggested to achieve this objective. These features, and others, are summarized here.
The Albany mudflats north of the plateau and the bay waters north of the neck and the bulb support abundant populations of water birds during fall, winter, and spring. When the mudflats are exposed at low tide, thousands of shorebirds of many species gather to feed on invertebrates in the mud. Herons and egrets often wade along the shoreline, searching for fish and other prey. Hundreds of ducks, grebes, cormorants, and other water birds feed in the open bay waters and on the mudflats when submerged at high tide. These birds often congregate in the calm waters near the landfill, which provides protection from the prevailing south winds.
All of these water birds are susceptible to disturbance by people and dogs. To minimize such disturbance, this proposal includes:
No public access along the northern shoreline of the plateau and neck.Most shorebirds need land to rest on at high tide. Good "roosting" sites must be relatively near their feeding areas, afford views in all directions to avoid predators, and be at a safe distance from people and dogs. Most shorebirds prefer roosting areas with little or no vegetation. Along the Albany shoreline, flocks of hundreds of shorebirds have been found roosting near the water's edge at the western and northern ends of the bulb, the northern side of the plateau, and the beach. Smaller flocks are seen on the old piers. It is proposed that known and potential roosting habitat be enhanced by measures such as:
Turning small peninsulas and levees into islands by excavating their connection to the mainland.The lagoon at the western end of the bulb provides calm waters for water birds that also use the open bay The levees surrounding the lagoon are used as high-tide roosting habitat by shorebirds, sometimes in flocks of many hundreds. Shorebirds typical of rocky habitats, such as turnstones and oystercatchers, also feed there. This proposal recommends:
Preventing public access to the western and northern levees.The beach provides foraging habitat for shorebirds, especially sanderlings, and high-tide roosting habitat for a variety of species. The subtidal waters just offshore support an eelgrass bed, an aquatic habitat limited in extent in San Francisco Bay and important to many species of fish and invertebrates. The dunes behind the beach are an unusual habitat along the bay as well. This proposal includes:
Preserving the beach and dunes in a natural state.The upland areas of the Albany shoreline support many species of birds and other wildlife. Species found in the area include red-tailed hawks, white-tailed kites, burrowing owls, ground squirrels, jackrabbits, and many species of songbirds. This proposal provides protection for these animals and their habitat by:
Preserving the neck, the bulb, and the northern edge of the plateau in essentially their existing state; the only development in these areas would be the Bay Trail Spur, a pedestrian path, and safety measures such as the removal of selected concrete and rebar.Finally, this proposal encourages the restoration of native shoreline and upland habitats. Such restorations should be designed and located to avoid conflict with other uses and to minimize human disturbance of wildlife attracted to the restored habitats.
WATER ACTIVITIESSwimming should be permitted at the beach if it is determined that the water quality, the surface of the bay bottom, and the slope of the bay are safe for such use, and that aquatic habitat will not be significantly disturbed. If swimming is permitted, toilets and small changing rooms should be located conveniently nearby, but not on the beach itself.
Non-motorized boating activities, such as kayaking and wind surfing, should be allowed along the beach, the south side of the neck, and the south and west sides of the bulb. To facilitate launching these small watercraft, a pathway to the water's edge should be constructed in an appropriate location clear of the dunes.
In order to protect bird feeding and resting areas, no boating activities should be allowed east of an imaginary line drawn from the northwest tip of the bulb to Pt. Isabel.
People now fish from the shores of the beach, neck, and bulb, and this should be allowed to continue. The proposed reconstruction of the southern pier would provide a fishing platform.
INAPPROPRIATE USESActivities considered inappropriate for the Albany portion of the Eastshore State Park are horseback riding, stunt and sport kites, motorized model planes, and other noise-generating devices.
Also inappropriate would be bicycle riding outside of designated bicycle trails and paths.
AESTHETIC POTENTIALEach phase of creating Albany's portion of the park should be seen as an aesthetic opportunity. Local artists should be asked to participate in conceptualizing and designing artistic components such as trail markers, benches, 'interpretive signage, and buildings. In some instances, rebar and concrete forms might serve as directional signage, rest area seating, windbreaks, and overlook fencing. By employing this perspective, the site could become an exciting artistic as well as environmental attraction for park visitors.
DOGSOpinions vary considerably within the community on the subject of dogs at the waterfront. Should dogs be allowed at all? Should they only be allowed in certain areas? Are there areas where dogs could be allowed off-leash? These are some of the questions that will need to be answered as Albany's portion of the state park takes shape.
In addressing the issue, primary consideration needs to be given to protecting wildlife from attack and harassment by dogs. The relative isolation of Albany's waterfront over the last ten years has allowed a variety of wildlife to flourish. In addition to being home to small mammals, the area has become prime habitat for hundreds - and at times thousands - of shorebirds, water fowl, and land birds, both migratory and resident. Opening the area to more intense public use will inevitably intrude on this habitat. Therefore, care needs to be taken to respect the natural processes at work while giving the public the opportunity to observe them. At minimum, dogs should not be allowed off-leash on the neck and the bulb.
Other factors relating to dogs that need to be taken into account include: Urban dogs need open spaces to walk and run; many people want their dogs with them for protection when they walk in parks; dogs not under the control of their owners can cause problems for people and other dogs; many children and some adults are afraid of dogs; some owners are more responsible than others in cleaning up after their dogs; too many dogs, leashed and well-behaved or not, can infringe on the enjoyment of other park activities.
Providing adequate facilities for dogs to walk on-leash and to run free is a regional concern that EBRPD will have to address with regard to the entire Eastshore State Park. The planning process should take into account the relative value of wildlife habitat at the various shoreline areas, and the number and distribution of regional park areas allowing dogs, both along the shoreline and inland.
LANDFILL CLOSURESince 1985, Albany has been under order by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to cap the former landfill at the bulb in the manner of Berkeley's Cesar E. Chavez Park. Grading and installation of a cap would destroy the vegetation and wildlife habitat that has evolved in the past decade.
Since the Albany landfill only accepted relatively inert wastes, such as concrete rubble and construction debris, and no household garbage or industrial waste, a cap may not be necessary. The city has completed a Solid Waste Assessment Test to determine whether the landfill presents any threat to bay water quality. It is hoped that, based on the results of this test, the state closure order can be modified to allow the preservation of positive aspects of the ecology at the bulb.
ACCESS TO THE PARKAccess to Albany's portion of the state park by foot, bicycle, wheelchair, and public transportation should be made convenient and appealing.
As part of the Highway I-80 expansion and the reconfiguration of the Buchanan Street interchange, Caltrans will be constructing a pedestrian and bicycle path from Buchanan and Pierce streets to the west side of the railroad tracks, 1-80, and 1-580. This path should meet the Bay Trail standard of a 14-foot width wherever possible.
EBRPD should involve AC Transit early in the planning process so that the bus district has sufficient time to plan and budget for good service to the waterfront via Buchanan and Gilman streets. Besides the obvious matters of bus schedules, stops, and shelters, the bus district should be consulted on design elements such as automobile and pedestrian circulation, and parking configuration to ensure that buses will be able to move in and out of the area efficiently.
Although likely to be built within the city limits of Berkeley, a new ferry service from San Francisco to a dock at or near the foot of Gilman Street would provide another form of access via public transit to Albany's portion of the Eastshore State Park. Albany supports the development of this service and encourages the EBRPD to incorporate ferry access in its planning.
Despite these efforts, no doubt many park users will arrive by automobile. Parking should be provided at the fringe, but private automobiles should not be allowed within Albany's portion of the park itself. However, access for police, fire, and ambulance vehicles must be provided.
Given that the existing large, paved parking lot for racetrack patrons is seldom filled to capacity, some arrangement should be made to share this space with park users rather than create a separate parking area on park land. If racetrack patrons continue to pay for parking and parking for park visitors is free, some method for separating traffic flow and/or parking areas will be necessary. Alternatively, consideration should be given to charging a parking fee to park visitors as a means of raising operating funds and encouraging other modes of transportation.
Albany's portion of the state park should be closed at night, in keeping with the practice at other regional parks. Any outdoor lighting installed to help visitors exit during the early evening hours should be of low intensity and shielded to prevent glare that might disturb Albany residents in their homes.
PRIORITIES FOR CREATING THE PARKIt is recognized that state and local funds now available will probably not be enough to create the entire Eastshore State Park. While EBRPD has established land acquisition as its first priority, a combination of many factors - technical, financial, and political - will likely determine the sequence of steps in the development of the park after acquisition.
The following groupings of priorities for developing Albany's portion of the state park represent a desirable order of events from Albany's perspective. High priority is given to those areas that will afford the greatest variety of recreational activities for the greatest number of people.
Priority Group #1:
Construct the Bay Trail.
Priority Group #2:
Complete landfill closure and address public safety problems on the neck and the bulb, simultaneously developing the park in these areas.
Priority Group #3:
Establish an interpretive center.
CONCLUSIONSome of the recommendations in this proposal are described in more detail than others. It bears repeating that this proposal does not constitute a master plan for Albany's portion of the Eastshore State Park, but rather a profile of its shape and character as Albany visualizes it.
Following the submission of this proposal to EBRPD, the City of Albany, through its waterfront committee, would like to develop more fully its ideas for particular aspects of Albany's portion of the park, such as interpretive facilities and programs, vegetation enhancement, and the connection between the waterfront and the Codornices, Marin, and Cerrito creeks watersheds. The city would then submit supplemental proposals to EBRPD on these features.
Although this plan includes specific reference only to Albany and EBRPD, many entities will ultimately be involved in the creation of the Eastshore State Park and particularly that portion within Albany. These include:
Bay Conservation and Development CommissionEach has powers to exercise, obligations to meet, and public or private interests to protect. The complexity of the undertaking is obvious, as is the need for a great deal of cooperation among all parties.
Albany submits this plan with pride and anticipation, and sincerely hopes that its effort to build a community consensus for a park on the Albany waterfront will hasten the day when that park becomes a reality.
PLANTS OBSERVED AT THE ALBANY WATERFRONT(Observed at the bulb, neck and beach on August 19, 1994)
Compiled by Barbara Ertter, botanist, August 19,1994
TOTAL PLANTS OBSERVED: 87Non-natives include at least 5 different acacias, 1 designated "noxious" by the California Department of Agriculture (kanagaroo thorn, Acacia paradoxa); 2 different eucalyptus; and several other plants known to be invasive in the East Bay, notably French broom (Genista monspessulana), yellow star-thistle (Centaurea solstitialis), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata).
The best representation of natives was on the beach and marshes, where natural recolonization is probably taking place. The marsh gumweed (Grindelia stricta var angustifolia), is on the California Native Plant Society List 4, a watch list for plants of limited distribution. Although locally common around San Francisco Bay, the marsh gumweed occurs only in coastal salt marshes from Marin to San Luis Obispo counties.
(underline = native)
TREES AND SHRUBSAcacia dealbata (silver wattle)
Acacia melanoxylon (blackwood acacia)
Acacia paradoxa (kangaroo thorn)
Acacia retinoides (everblooming acacia)
Acacia sp. (acacia species)
Albizzia lophantha (plume albizzia)
Baccharis pilularis (coyote brush)
Cotoneaster pannosus (cotoneaster)
Eucalyptus camaldulensis (red gum)
Eucalyptus globulus (blue gum)
Genista monspessulana (French broom)
Grindelia stricta var angustifolia (gumweed)
Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon)
Lavatera cretica (tree mallow)
Lonicerajaponica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Mimulus aurantiacus (bush monkeyflower)
Myoporun laetum (myoporum)
Nicotiana glauca (tree tobacco)
Phoenix canariensis (Canary Island date palm)
Prunus sp. (flowering plurrvcherry)
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)
Rubus discolor (Himalayan blackberry)
Salix lasiolepis (arroyo willow)
Salix sp. (willow)
Vitis vinifera (grape)
HERBACEOUS PLANTSAnwryllis belladona (naked lady)
Ambrosia chamissonis (beach-bur)
Anagailis arvensis (scarlet pimpernel)
Atriplex trianzularis (spearscale)
Carduus pycnocephalus (Italian thistle)
Carpobrotus chilensis (sea fig)
Carpobrotus edulis (ice plant)
Centaurea melitensis (tocalote)
Centaurea solstitialis (yellow star-thistle)
Centranthus ruber (red valerian)
Chenopodium ambrosioides (Mexican tea)
Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed)
Cotula coronopifolia (brass-buttons)
Euphorbia characias (spurge)
Euphorbia oblongata (spurge)
Euthamia occidentalis (western goldenrod)
Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)
Gnaphalium sp. (cudweed)
Heterotheca grandiflora (telegraph weed)
Jaumea camosa (Oaumea)
Lobularia maritima (sweet alyssum)
Lotus comiculatus (birdfoot trefoil)
Madia sp. (tarweed)
Malva nicaeensis (bull mallow)
Medicago polymorpha (California burclover)
Melilotus alba (white sweetclover)
Melilotus indica (sourclover)
Phyla nodiflora var nodiflora
Picris echioides (bristly ox-tongue)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain)
Raphanus sativus (wild radish)
Rumex crispus (curly dock)
Rumex pulcher (fiddle dock)
Rumex salicifolius var crassus
Salicomia virginica (pickleweed)
Spergula arvensis ssp arvensis (spurrey)
Spergularia macrotheca var macrotheca
Tetragonia tetragonioides (New Zealand spinach)
Xanthium strumarium (cocklebur)
GRASSES AND GRASSLIKE PLANTSAvena Barbara (slender wild oat)
Bnimus diandrus (ripgut brome)
Bromus hordeaceus (soft chess)
Brumus sp. (bromus species)
Cortaderiajubata (pampas grass)
Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass)
Distichlis spicata (saltgrass)
Hordeum murinum ssp leporinum
Juncus patens (rush)
Lolium multilflorum (Italian ryegrass)
Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu grass)
Phalaris aquatica (Harding grass)
Phrazmites australis (common reed)
Piptatherum miliaceum (srnilo grass)
Polypogon monspeliensis (rabbitfoot grass)
Zostera marina (eel-grass)
WILDLIFE OBSERVED AT THE ALBANY WATERFRONTCompiled by Steve Granholm, May 5,1995
(Wildlife biologist and member of the Albany Waterfront Committee.)
The following species were reported by reliable observers at the Albany Waterfront between 1975 and 1995. This list includes birds observed in the "Albany Crescent", the portion of the bay between the Albany landfill and Central Avenue; some of these species may actually have been in Richmond, not Albany. Observations were provided by Steve Granholm, Helen Green, DurreH Kapan, Pt. Reyes Bird Observatory, and Emilie Strauss. The list is incomplete, and reports of additional observations would be appreciated (submit observations to the Albany Waterfront Committee, City Hall, 1 000 San Pablo Avenue, Albany, CA 94706).
Botta's pocket gopher
California ground squirrel
BIRDSMiscellaneous Water Birds
Herons and Egrets
Great blue heron
Diurnal Birds of Prey
Rails and Coots
Gulls and Terns
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS(Lizards and snakes have been observed at the Albany waterfront, but no specific records of reptiles or amphibians were available.)