Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sharp Park Working Group Vision


*** Press Release ***
A Vision for Sharp Park Comes into Focus
Restoration of Laguna Salada Wetlands Would Help Protect SF Garter Snake and California Red-Legged Frog
For Immediate Release
February 23, 2011
Contact:          Elton Pon
Phone:            415-831-2782
SAN FRANCISCO - A vision for Sharp Park could balance ecological and recreation objectives, according to findings released this week by a working group of land managers from local and federal agencies including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Mateo County, the City of Pacifica and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.
The short-term restoration of the Laguna Salada wetlands at Sharp Park will be the first step in the recovery of the endangered San Francisco garter snake and the threatened California red-legged frog.  Restoration efforts would triple the current amount of habitat available to those species by moving built up sedimentation in the wetland area and by forming a connecting channel to nearby Mori Point by moving the 12th hole of Sharp Park's golf course.
Over the long term, Sharp Park will face serious challenges from climate change, expected to cause a rise in sea level between .6 and 2 meters by 2100.  A long-term plan to naturally manage the coastal areas of Sharp Park was found to be the most sustainable and cost-effective approach to creating additional habitat and breeding opportunities for the protected species.  A technical study, followed by development of a range of alternatives to be set forth in an environmental document, will explore viable ways oftransitioning from the current seawall to a more natural beach and lagoon barrier system.
Further armoring or heightening of the existing seawall was not recommended to be part of any future plan because it would result in the continued and accelerated erosion of the beachfront. These land management changes are similar to those called for in the recently released Sharp Park report of Wild Equity Institute and the Center for Biological Diversity.
The working group noted that with consideration of the needs for sustainable species habitat and the more natural function of a barrier beach and lagoon system, the 18-hole golf course could be redesigned to coexist with viable populations of sensitive species in the long term.  Any long-term solution would need to address periodic flooding of the residential area.
"Our priorities have been to meet the ecological requirements of the species and to maintain golfing as a valued recreational pastime at Sharp Park," said Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, which owns and manages the park.   "We also accept the consensus which is forming to naturally manage the coastal areas at Sharp Park over the long term. The working group's findings suggest there is a win for all parties and interests at Sharp which we intend to pursue."
Sharp Park is a multiple use facility owned and maintained by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, located in the City of Pacifica, San Mateo County and within the boundary of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Members of the working group include Dave Holland (San Mateo County Department of Parks); Steve Rhodes (city manager of City of Pacifica); Dawn Kamalanathan (San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Director of Planning and Capital); and senior staff from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  Amy Meyer, co-chair for People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area and a former Recreation and Park Commissioner, facilitated the six-month study.

Submitted by both Todd Bray and Richard Harris


Kathy Meeh said...

"Any long-term solution would need to address periodic flooding of the residential area".

1 meter = 3.2808399 feet
Variable ocean rise estimate .6 meters (1.97 feet) to 2 meters (6.56 feet) in 80 years.

"These land management changes are similar to those called for in the recently released Sharp Park report of Wild Equity Institute and the Center for Biological Diversity".

For sure, follow the best science, but is this really the land solution?

Steve Sinai said...

I think they got the sea level rise units wrong.

I'd always heard about a foot by 2100, and on Wikipedia it says, "In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) predicted that by 2100, global warming will lead to a sea level rise of 180 to 590 mm."

That's anywhere from about 7 inches, to 2 feet.

Anonymous said...

Surfs up dude....

ian butler said...

I am pleasantly surprised by this new development. Just when it looked like our only 2 choices were the Swaim plan or the CBD/WEI plan, along comes the working group which appears to take a middle path.

While their long term vision is similar to the CBD/WEI plan, with a natural back-barrier lagoon replacing the seawall and pumps, they believe that the golf course could be modified to fit such a system. They don't specify how that would work, but I would assume that much of the course would eventually have to be moved to higher ground.

For anyone who thought this was over when the Swaim report came out, it appears to just be getting started!

todd bray said...

Ian, I'm glad it gives a nod to your folks but it also clearly says the mitigation would be to move hole 12 leaving the course intact as is. A hundred years from now the assumption seems to be the entire area will be under water. Rather than continue to play sides how about embracing amore holistic view of the entire area not just your specific wish list. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Sea level rise is well, on the rise. it's not a fixed number. Some countries are already noticing less land. Sadly, this is only one result of global warming.

More about Sea Level rise from the leading resource on this:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Good thing Bo Links was able to instruct San Mateo County Parks Dave Holland what to write in his report. Saves Dave a lot of time and effort.