Aquatic Park EGRET Analysis of APIP
Aquatic Park Improvement Program (APIP) -- 2008
Your help is needed to prevent the City of Berkeley from using habitat restoration money
for flood control purposes, and destroying habitat in the process.
The City of Berkeley plans to use $2 million in Clean Water Bond money from the
State Coastal Conservancy to open discharge outlets from the City's primary storm drains into the tidal bay ponds of Aquatic Park.
Discharge of contaminated storm water into the enclosed ponds has been prohibited by the State since 1971, but the City hopes to
overturn that restriction and replace it with a permit allowing such toxic discharges in perpetuity. The use of high-pressure
pumps can increase the capacity of the City's drains and avoid violations of the Water Board's prohibition. Improving circulation
within the lagoon system must begin with regular maintenance of the existing culverts, the option selected by Council in 1994
when staff first proposed the project in an earlier version. Additional water circulation can be safely engineered with a one-way
flow out of the lagoons, thus prohibiting the introductions of toxic storm runoff. Such one-way outbound options have been
recommended for consideration by the State Water Board regulator in his project analysis, but they have not yet been modeled.
Project analysis documents
The following organizations have written letters to the City opposing plans that increase stormwater
in Aquatic Park. (Documents below are in PDF format unless otherwise specified.)
EGRET's Letter to the Editor
in the Berkeley Daily Planet, June 19, 2008 (HTML page)
Actions you can take
- Write or call the Mayor and City Council asking them to remove from consideration any project that allows the flow of storm water into Aquatic Park. Tell them to direct staff to bring the City into full compliance with Water Board Order 70-14, which states that "[T]he discharge of all wastes, including storm drainage which may contain wastes, to the Berkeley Aquatic Park Lagoon is prohibited effective July 1, 1971." Such compliance includes replacement of the storm weirs between Potter Storm and the Model Yacht Basin, access covers on storm water pipes that are secured closed during storms, and a back-flow preventer on the storm water diversion pipe the Water Board ordered the City to build in 1970. Tell Council to increase storm drain capacity in an environmentally responsible way by using high-pressure pumps, as is done by neighboring bay cities. Circulation changes in the lagoon that prevent storm water intrusion by one-way outbound flows should be modeled, as recommended by the Water Board.
- The primary habitat needs of the park have been identified in multiple planning reports. Native plantings, coupled with a program of removal of invasive plants, can create shelter, screening, and roosting for wildlife. In particular, replacement cypress trees along the bay shoreline are needed for roosting egrets and herons. The east side of the park needs native revegetation, particularly along creeklets, and seasonally wet areas. Trails should be pulled away from the shoreline and buffered with planted berms Tiered wildlife overlooks at regular intervals can increase visitor options while greatly reducing their impact on the wildlife. Islands and other offshore roosts should be constructed to provide safe roosting for water birds.
- Phone numbers
and email addresses for the Mayor and Councilmembers can be found here.
Documents below are in PDF format unless otherwise specified.
- City of Berkeley, APIP Project Description, January 23, 2008 (2.8 MB)
- City of Berkeley, Staff recommendation and City Council Motion, June 24, 2008 (77 kB)
- Laurel Marcus and Associates/Hydrologic Systems Inc, Executive Summary, APIP, March 2008 (22 kB)
- Laurel Marcus and Associates/Hydrologic Systems Inc, APIP Summary Report, March 2008 (126 kB)
- Water Board, Brian Wine's commentsJune 6, 2007 (135 kB)
- City of Berkeley, APIP Phase I & II Interpretive Features Design Hydrology and Habitat Restoration, May 8, 2007 (45 kB)
- Laurel Marcus & Associates, Aquatic Park; Open Water, Tidal Wetlands and Shoreline Habitats, Presented to Aquatic Parks Subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Commission, March 2007
- City of Berkeley, Storm Water Improvements, presentation from Public Works to City Council, April 25, 2006 (178 kB)
- Lee Trampleasure, EGRET, Photographs of flooding and geyser from Potter Creek stormdrain, December 18, 2005 (HTML, with images)
- City of Berkeley, Aquatic Park Natural Resource Management Study (NMRS), July 2003 (12 MB)
- EGRET, Storm water project redux or just a coincidence? APIP 2008 & City of Berkeley Storm Drainage Master Plan 1994, June 2008 (HTML)
- Stormwater Features, A Practical Approach to Designing Small Stormwater Pumping Stations, 2001. (479 kB) While
this article addresses small scale pumping, the concept can be upscaled to meet Berkeley's needs.
- Philip Williams & Associates, Ltd., Hydrology and Water Quality: Berkeley Aquatic Park, January 3, 1990 (1.1 MB)
- Aquatic Park: Stormwater: Opportunities and Constraints, presentation to Council, includes many alternatives
that reducing flooding by slowing and retaining waters within the city (many also also help to purify the stormwater). Date and author uncertain (possibly Spring 2007) (4.4 MB)