Alameda Sun: New WETA Facility Raising Concerns, February, 26, 2015


The lease for the Water Emergency Transport Authority (WETA) ferry maintenance comes before the City Council on March 3. Readers have expressed concerns about the harbor seal haul-out currently at the site of the facility. Despite lobbying and verbal assurance from WETA that it will build a new harbor seal haul-out, no written memorandum of understanding on the harbor seals exists for the City Council to consider. The lengthy lease agreement does not even mention the seals.

Supporters of the haul out fear that WETA is hoping that the City Council OKs the lease and accepts a “gentleman’s agreement” that WETA will do something about the harbor seals whose habitat it is taking over if such a move is commercially feasible. Supporters also worry that WETA wants to avoid any commitment that might interfere with the authority’s plans for the site.

Michael Brune the executive director for the Sierra Club, wrote a letter about the seals to the National Marine Fisheries Office of Protected Resources. The letter is part of the City Council’s packet so staff and the City Council members should have read it before the meeting.