Response to the Eastshore State Park
Environmental Impact Report

Date: August 28, 2002
To: Robin Ettinger, ASLA
State of California
Department of Parks and Recreation, Northern Service Center
One Capital Mall, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Response to Eastshore Park Environmental Impact Report

Berkeley Design Advocates, an association of architects, planners, landscape architects design professionals and builders, has been following the planning process for the Eastshore Park General Plan by reviewing the documents, attending the public meetings and receiving presentations at two of our monthly meetings for the Eastshore Park General Plan. We are very excited that this eight and half miles of shoreline is being developed as a park and believe that the EIR is thorough in its evaluation of the proposed Park Plan with the exception of a few points. We would like to offer the following comments:

1. Technicalities of Restoring Natural Systems in an Urban Environment

We support the restoration of natural systems because the restoration of such systems will enrich the biodiversity of the Bay and will enhance the visitor's experience of the park. However, we understand that restoring such systems in an urban environment is very complex. Below we have addressed areas of concern that are not discussed in the EIR.

a. Daylighting Creeks - The EIR discusses daylighting creeks on page 127; however, several issues of daylighting are not discussed in this section.

  • What are the considerations for flood control?
  • Where and from what upstream point would the creeks be daylighted?
  • What environmental changes would accompany daylighting the creeks?
  • Would there be more fresh water along the bay frontage?

b. "Seasonal Wetlands" on the Berkeley Meadow - In general the EIR is clear in the description of the creation of the upland areas of the park, which are generally created from fill, including garbage, but it is our understanding that the CDFG (is this the correct agency?) does not permit standing water on landfills.

Is it technically feasible, and allowable by overseeing agencies, to create "seasonal wetlands" on fill?

If so, this statement should be qualified in the EIR?

c. "No-Access" Area in Berkeley Meadow - On page III-72 of the Park Plan in policy BM/NB-1 protection and enhancement of the upland Meadow area is proposed to be accomplished by fencing the central portion of the Meadow; however, there is no discussion of any necessary remediation for this large "no-access" area including emergency and maintenance vehicles which are restricted to the non-nesting season.

2. Future Plans for Golden Gate Fields

Although the parcels that constitute Golden Gate Fields are not owned by the EBRPD or the State Parks, they are a significant piece of landmass in terms of size and would connect the Berkeley upland parcels to the Albany upland parcels. Acquiring this parcel should be a top priority for the Park Plan and referencing future plans that are being considered for this area should be included in the Plan and EIR.

3. Ferry Terminal

On page 143 of the EIR the discussion for the rationale for the preferred location of the future ferry terminal should be more specific. It is critical that there be more detail in the report addressing the interfaces between the future ferry terminal and the park trails, open spaces and park use policies. The San Francisco Bay Water Transit Authority is actively pursuing this site for a future terminal by State Legislature mandate. Further discussion on the ferry occurs on page 182 of the EIR; however, the discussion will need to be updated to include recently published data, priorities and projected dates for establishing future service.

Overall we are happy with most aspects of EIR. Our concern is with the lack of information in the three points discussed above.

Respectfully Submitted,

David Snippen, Secretary
Berkeley Design Advocates