The Newspaper of the San Francisco Bay Chapter
November - December 2007
Trucking terminals threaten Arrowhead Marsh and Martin Luther King Jr Shoreline
The Golden Gate Audubon Society has filed suit to stop a 24-hour trucking terminal from being built next to the sensitive wildlife habitat of the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline and its Arrowhead Marsh.
The suit, filed Sep. 13 in Alameda County Superior Court, names the Port of Oakland and Swan Terminal LLC. Audubon is asking the court to invalidate the project approval granted by the Port in May to Kansas-based Swan, a developer that plans to rent a freight terminal to Roadway Express, an interstate-trucking company based in Ohio. Audubon is asking the court to require a complete Environmental Impact Report before a permit can be approved.
The proposed terminal is adjacent to the critical 72-acre wetland complex and seasonal ponds of Arrowhead Marsh, which hosts one of the most critical populations of shorebirds and waterfowl in the Central Bay, including federally endangered California clapper rails, brown pelicans, and California least terns. The Sierra Club Bay Chapter has joined Audubon in opposing the terminal development.
A second trucking terminal is proposed for another eight-acre lot, owned by Ohio-based RLR Investments LLC and also adjacent to the wetlands and crucial habitat, threatening to double the impact on the sensitive birds and wetlands.
The proposed trucking terminals would operate 24 hours a day, shedding light and noise onto the wetlands. Light and noise pollution at night stress wildlife, especially birds, and can cause them to leave habitat or can lead to reproductive failure and even death. Night lighting also exposes wildlife to nocturnal predators.
In 1986 Golden Gate Audubon sued the Port of Oakland over its destruction of wetlands on the Oakland Airport property. The settlement of that suit included $2.5 million for restoration of wetlands. The restored wetland complex, completed in 1998, is the same area that is threatened by the Port's current actions. San Leandro Bay once had 1,600 acres of wetlands. These had been reduced to just 70 acres, and the restored 72-acre wetlands doubled that habitat. (Overall, San Francisco Bay has lost 85% of its wetlands to development.)
Each year about 300,000 visitors come here to one of the few shoreline parks available to East Oakland residents. For many this park represents a rare connection with nature. Golden Gate Audubon's Eco-Oakland education program brings about 3,000 elementary school children and their families each year from East Oakland to learn about and enjoy this oasis of nature in the industrial areas near the Oakland Airport.
After years of struggle to restore a portion of these destroyed wetlands, we must continue to protect this invaluable resource from developments that would threaten the wildlife and diminish the visitor experience.
Contact Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums at (510) 238-3141 or email officeofthemayor -at- oaklandnet.com
and Oakland City Council Members or call (510) 238-3266
Urge them to act to stop the building of trucking terminals adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline.
Contact Roadway Express at (800)257-2837 or email terry.gilbert -at- roadway.com
Ask the company to find a better location for its trucking terminal.
To work with the Sierra Club Bay Chapter's East Bay Public Lands Committee on this issue, contact conservation manager or call (510) 848-0800 ext 307
© 2007 San Francisco Sierra Club Yodeler
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