Alameda Sun: Locals Plan to Hold Back Sea Level Rise, August 14, 2014


On the southwest shore at Alameda Point is a spot called Seaplane Lagoon. Out in the water, seagulls swarm around a harbor seal as it thrashes around a stingray. Richard Bangert is capturing it all on camera. He’s a blogger for the Alameda Point Environmental Report and comes out here at least twice a week to observe the wildlife.

"There have been over 180 species of birds recorded at Alameda Point over the past decade," he says.

Bangert is standing on the former Naval Air Station — about 10 acres of pavement with old, unused buildings. Like the eastern shoreline, Alameda Point is expected to be under four feet of water by the year 2100 if nothing is done to protect it. Unlike the eastern shoreline, the city does have a plan for protecting this area.

"A better environmental use of this area would be to remove the pavement, remove the building and make it part of that wetland area," says Bangert.

Wetlands would provide a buffer from sea level rise and storm surges. And wetlands reduce erosion. The area around Seaplane Lagoon is actually slated for tidal wetland development in the Alameda Point Master Infrastructure Plan. The plan outlines the city’s vision to build a mixed-use development that will include about 1,400 new homes. It also includes other strategies for protecting the Point from sea rise.