Baykeeper Update

Good Choice, Alameda! Replace Pavement with a Healthy New Wetland

DePave Park Area

Future sea level rise poses a major threat to Alameda, a low-lying island in San Francisco Bay. Alameda’s shoreline neighborhoods will face a high risk of flooding, and rising tides could wash pollution into the Bay from contaminated shoreline sites.

That’s why Baykeeper advocated for the Alameda Recreation and Parks Commission to prioritize a proposal to remove pavement from a portion of the city’s shoreline—a project aptly named DePave Park.

To create DePave Park, 16 acres of land at Alameda Point will be converted into a newly constructed wetland and shoreline park. These adaptation steps will protect the city’s shoreline, provide new wildlife habitat, and help fight climate change.

Plans for this effort have been in limbo for years. But Alameda recently adopted a Climate Action and Resiliency Plan that features DePave Park. The City Council will consider moving forward with implementation of the new park and find funding at a future meeting.

Local residents strongly favored the project and turned to Baykeeper for support. And getting our support was easy—creating new wetlands is one of the best actions a community can take to defend its shoreline and the Bay from sea level rise.

These future wetlands will:

  • Provide beautiful habitat for wildlife, including fish and birds.
  • Filter out pollutants before they reach the Bay.
  • Protect shoreline neighborhoods from flooding and storm surges, by acting as a sponge that traps and slowly releases rising waters.
  • Help to combat climate change by absorbing and storing carbon.

“DePave Park is a great example of how local cities can make decisions to help prepare for the impacts of climate change,” said Cole Burchiel, Baykeeper Field Investigator and Science Associate. “Prioritizing wetlands over pavement is a victory for both Alameda and San Francisco Bay.”