EAST BAY UPDATES FOR SAN FRANCISCO BOARDSAILING ASSOCIATION
At last we have some good news on access at three windsurfing sites in the East Bay: Berkeley, Albany Beach, and Pt. Isabel. In Berkeley, the Department of Boating and Waterways has given the City a grant to design improvements for the South Basin. Those improvements would pave the parking lot, complete another segment of the Bay Trail, and relocate the windsurfing rigging area to the north edge of the lot, taking up much of the area where dry boat storage is now located. An access ramp meeting the requirements of the American’s with Disabilities Act is proposed for the middle dock. The windsurfing rigging area would be larger than currently, but somewhat less convenient. The City has held two workshops to solicit input from the windsurfing community, and a third workshop is scheduled for December 11th before the Waterfront Commission.
The East Bay Regional Park District is moving forward with improvements to Albany Beach which would make it more attractive for kiteboarding and kayaking. The District Board certified the Final EIR on November 20, 2012, clearing the way for the project to begin moving into land acquisition and construction. The District has funds for at least the initial stages of construction, and the project has been supported by SFBA and local kiters, see commentary here: http://www.bayareakiteboarding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&;t=10593
I have submitted a proposal to enhance the beach at Pt. Isabel. Pt. Isabel was designated for improved access in the adopted master plan for the East Shore State Park, but nothing has yet been done to implement that proposal. A copy of the letter is posted on our web site. On November 27, 2012, I heard from Brad Olson, of the East Bay Regional Park District. Brad has been working on Albany Beach as his current priority, but told me that the idea of improving access has been supported by staff at the Coastal Conservancy and the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Apparently $275,000 is available from mitigation funds for other sites where access was not feasible that can be applied to improvements at this site. Kudos go out to Bob Battalio, coastal engineer at ESA/Phil Williams who prepared preliminary concept plans for SFBA on a pro-bono basis.