When Point Molate Beach Park in Richmond reopened officially on April 19, Baykeeper received a big thanks for removing 96 tons of toxic debris from the beach last year. Our cleanup helped make the reopening possible. Next month, Baykeeper and volunteers will return to the park to remove more debris, including contaminated logs that have washed on shore since last year’s cleanup and tires stuck in mud near the shore.
At the reopening ceremony, Baykeeper staff scientist Ian Wren and Baykeeper head skipper Geoff Potter held the ribbon as it was cut by Richmond mayor Gayle McLaughlin. Ian and Geoff headed the cleanup team in last year’s effort, and will be out on the beach again in May.
For years, Point Molate’s beach had been blighted by hundreds of pilings contaminated with creosote, a now-banned wood preservative that poses a threat to both wildlife and people. Baykeeper’s cleanup stopped the leaching of creosote into the water and shoreline soil. It will also make the area safer for fish and harbor seals, improve the health of sub-tidal eelgrass beds along the beach, and allow the sandy beach area to naturally expand inland.
Point Molate is one of the last remaining undeveloped sites along San Francisco Bay. For several years, this rare, wild shoreline was considered as a site for a new mega-casino. Baykeeper helped defeat that proposal. We are pleased that we have helped make one of the largest sandy beaches on the Bay’s eastern shoreline accessible to the public, and that we are able to follow through with further debris removal. The park is a true treasure for Richmond residents, who have borne a disproportionate share of the Bay Area’s toxic pollution, and for all visitors to this lovely shoreline location.