Spring 2016 Shore Lines newsletter

From Robert Cheasty, CESP Executive Director

Dear Parks Supporter:

Welcome to the spring edition of the Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) Shore Lines newsletter. Thank you for celebrating 30 years of advocacy with us last year! Much has happened since our last correspondence at the end of 2015. CESP moved its office to Solano Avenue in Berkeley (on the Albany border). In addition to the move we had internal staff changes. Former Executive Director Patricia Jones retired in January 2016, Robert Cheasty switched from Board President to Executive Director and Cameron Wilson was promoted from Administrative Assistant to Program Manager.

We’re pleased to introduce our new Board. We welcome new President Shirley Dean, and new Board members Helen Burke and Lana Husser.

These physical and internal changes present an invaluable opportunity to step back and review our organizational mission, reposition ourselves and take strategic next steps. CESP is the driving force behind the local shoreline park movement, involving thousands of community residents over three decades. Shoreline parks are a huge asset along our East Bay shoreline. They create a balanced space for wildlife habitat and recreation for people while protecting our dense urban neighborhoods by providing a buffer for rising tides due to climate change.

CESP is working to ensure that parks and open space remain a priority on our East Bay shoreline both within and beyond McLaughlin Eastshore State Park (MESP). Our priorities for 2016 include:

Expanding the Park and the Resilient Shoreline: CESP is meeting with city leaders from Fremont to Hercules to promote the unified, resilient shoreline. MESP is a shining example of a unified shoreline but some areas of the park are not complete and much of the shoreline north of MESP is at risk. We need support from our leaders as we push for completing MESP and expanding the Park north toward the Carquinez Strait. We’ll continue to expand our outreach to county and state officials as well as agencies affected by rising sea levels.

Completing MESP: Two areas in MESP are on their way to completion: Berkeley Brickyard and at the end of University Ave. and in Albany, the Beach and Neck. CESP is working with the City of Albany to transition the Albany Bulb to MESP to be managed by East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD). More on these projects is included in this issue of Shore Lines.

Albany Bird Study: Last year CESP, with the backing of the California State Parks Foundation, put out a call for birders to help conduct a bird study at the Albany Bulb and now the 12- month bird study is in full swing. The data from this study will help guide park development when the Bulb is transitioned into EBRPD management. CESP was able to conduct this study thanks to Safeguarding Resources funding from the California State Parks Foundation. Read about preliminary results of this Bird Study in a write up by CESP Board member Steve Granholm in this issue of Shore Lines.

Come out to the shoreline this season. You can find CESP at the Berkeley Bay Festival, Saturday, April 16; the Albany Earth Day Shoreline Cleanup, Saturday, April 23; and the Albany Arts & Green Festival, Sunday, May 1. Thank you for supporting CESP. We couldn’t do it without you! Please use the enclosed envelope or visit our website to make a donation.

Click here for the full spring 2016 Shore Lines newsletter in PDF format.