(Richmond, CA) San Francisco Baykeeper is removing the last remaining toxic debris from Point Molate Beach Park in Richmond this week, after a three-month restoration project to clean up nearly 100 tons of contaminated material. As a result, the city-owned park, which has been closed for a decade, will reopen to the public in July.
Light machinery is being used to remove contaminated logs and other large debris. Reporters are invited to visit Point Molate Beach Park this week and observe the cleanup, which will generally be complete by Friday, June 28.
As a result of Baykeeper’s cleanup project, the City of Richmond is preparing to reopen the park in July, restoring access to this shoreline open space after a ten-year closure. San Francisco Baykeeper and volunteers have removed up to 100 tons of toxic debris from the beach in the last three months. The debris includes huge piling logs contaminated with creosote, a now-banned wood preservative. For years, creosote leached from the pilings has polluted San Francisco Bay waters and Point Molate Beach, damaging habitat and threatening both wildlife and people. The beach has also been littered with metal shards, tires, and other large objects dumped on the shore.
“Point Molate is one of the last remaining undeveloped sites along San Francisco Bay, and a true treasure for the people of Richmond and the Bay Area,” said Ian Wren, Baykeeper Staff Scientist. “The cleanup is designed to make the beach more pleasant and healthy for recreation, and it will also improve wildlife habitat along the beach, including sub-tidal eelgrass beds that shelter herring and other Bay fish.”
Machinery with minimum impact on the beach environment is being used to remove the debris. All contaminated material will be taken to a landfill that accepts this type of waste. The effort is funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and disposal of the debris is being coordinated through the city of Richmond.
Photos of the debris removal operations at Point Molate Beach Park are available