Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Point San Pablo

Point San Pablo is a little cut off from the rest of Richmond by rail lines, highways, and the big Chevron refinery, but some of it is accessible, including Point Molate Beach Park (no photos this trip). The end of the Point and the site of the old Red Rock warehouse on the north side are normally off limits, but we were able to visit them on last Saturday's field trip. 


The restoration work done to date involves the removal of the old overwater structure along with hundreds of creosote piles (BayNature). Eelgrass is being planted offshore and there's interest in improving other subtidal habitats as well. There are also plans to remove another large dilapidated structure at the tip of the Point.

Other than cleaning out much of the old debris, little has been done to restore the shoreline itself, which consists of a rubbly gravel beach backed by an eroding bank of fill and concrete slabs. It appears that much of the upland behind the beach may be fill, extending bayward from the old rocky bluff (where I suspect there may once have been a narrow beach). Carving back into that fill might provide opportunities for riparian vegetation, removal of more debris, and the creation of a more natural upper intertidal and backshore. One might even be able to create more beach - a future public amenity as well as an environmental one.

These last couple of pictures are taken on the south side of the Point, where there's a nice pocket beach and a lagoon (created by an old rail line) with a view of downtown San Francisco beyond the Richmond Bridge.

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