Aquatic Park EGRET Analysis of Dredging and Culvert Cleaning
July 2008 Aquatic Park Cleaning (Dredging) Project
The City of Berkeley Public Works Department
proposes to dredge the area in front of the five tide tubes to the SF Bay (see PDF map, 622kB).
This proposal is the "completion" of their ill-fated dredging of the area in front of the Strawberry Creek culvert at the
north end of the park (see
Daily Planet article from July 3, 2008).
Their current plan is ill-conceived and misdirected. Problems with it include:
- The tubes they propose to clean are CalTrans responsibility, and as such the City of Berkeley should not undertake
the expense to clean them.
- The dredging is being presented to improve habitat by improving water/tidal circulation, but none of the research from the APIP process
points to this as a necessary or even having a positive impact. In addition, dredging of this quantity may be desired, but
rather than proceeding with it as an individual project, this should be folded in the greater APIP plan, with dredging, if needed,
conducted at the locations determined to the of most importance (e.g. there has been discussion of dredging to increase the depth of
the lagoon at selected locations, with the spoils used to raise the elevation of Bird Island.)
- The un-permitted work begun in November 2007 (dredging in front of Strawberry
Creek culvert) had an estimated cost around $80,000, and this has ballooned to over $300,000. None of this work
was budgeted for, and we question what city services will be cut to pay for it.
- Any City of Berkeley funds for cleaning culverts should be limited to the equalization tubes that connect Main Lagoon and the Model Yacht Basin and the
connection between Potter Culvert and the Model Yacht Basin.
- No dredging should occur at this time. The CEQA Review process for the APIP can address the environmental impact and
habitat value of dredging, and dredging now is "putting the cart before the horse."