East Bay Regional Park District Boardmember Doug Siden (seated left) and Port Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin (seated right) sign ceremonial grant deeds for the transfer of Damon Slough Wetlands form the Port to the EBRPD at the July 23, 2012 celebration.Oakland, CA—July 23, 2012— Today the Port of Oakland joined with the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) and other environmental and community leaders to celebrate the restoration and transfer of nearly 8.5 acres of valuable seasonal wetlands from the Port of Oakland to the EBRPD.
Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin commented, “As a trustee of state tidelands this is an excellent example of the Port of Oakland’s commitment to protecting San Francisco Bay and providing public access. It also demonstrates the dedication of Port staff over the past decade to make this project a reality.” Executive Director Benjamin added, “The Port of Oakland is proud to turn over this restored seasonal wetlands site to the East Bay Regional Park District and its staff, who have the expertise to efficiently manage this property for future generations.”
“We thank the Port of Oakland and its staff for the considerable time and investment they have made to develop this land into seasonal wetlands,” said EBRPD Boardmember Doug Siden who spoke at the event. “This is an important addition to the existing MLK Regional Shoreline Park; and will be another amenity for Oakland residents as well as for the birds and other wildlife that these wetlands support.”
The Port of Oakland undertook the design, restoration and monitoring of the Damon Slough site as mitigation for a runway overlay project at Oakland International Airport in 2002.
"Damon Slough is a valuable ecological area because of the need for seasonal wetlands in San Francisco Bay. This is a significant addition to the wetlands at MLK Regional Shoreline Park in San Leandro Bay," noted Richard Sinkoff, the Port's Director of Environmental Programs and Planning. "This project is a great example of what can be accomplished by government agencies, the environmental community, and interested citizens working together for a common goal."
The Port of Oakland, EBRPD, Golden Gate Audubon Society, Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Save the Bay, US Army Corps of Engineers, URS Corporation, City of Oakland, Regional Water Quality Control Board, and Federal Aviation Administration worked together to:
- Expand and Enhance nearly 8.5 acres of Seasonal Wetlands at Damon Slough
- Extend the S.F. Bay Trail 500 feet Linking Garretson Point to the Damon Marsh Trail in MLK Regional Shoreline Park
- Create Wildlife Habitat and Open Space in Perpetuity for the Residents of Oakland and Neighboring Communities
- Plant, Maintain and Monitor over 7,000 Plants Creating Nesting and Foraging Habitat for Wildlife
The Port successfully completed all permit requirements and monitored the site for over five years to ensure the viability of the site as seasonal wetlands.
The event included Port of Oakland and EBRPD officials as speakers, a ceremonial grant deed signing of the nearly 8.5 acres transferred, a celebratory cake cutting, and optional guided tours of the S.F. Bay Trail and Save the Bay’s nursery.
About the Port of Oakland:
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.
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