Friends of the Estuary presented to the East Bay Regional Park District two Outstanding Environmental Project Awards during the San Francisco Estuary Partnership’s biennial State of the Estuary Conference in Oakland on October 30, 2013.
The Big Break Visitor Center at Big Break Regional Shoreline in Oakley is one of the East Bay Regional Park District’s proudest accomplishments. Completed in 2012, the 5,500 sq. ft. building is certified three Green Globes by the Green Building Initiative for building design, engineering, construction, and facility operations. The center is staffed by naturalists who provide visitor orientation and interpretive programs highlighting the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, its ecosystems, and wildlife.
Big Break Regional Shoreline is a part of the great 1150-square-mile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. The water flowing past Big Break through the Sacramento and San Joaquin-the State's two greatest rivers-drains half of California and creates the largest estuarine environment on the Pacific coast. This area is also referred to as the "Inland Coast." Big Break was once an upland farm now submerged.
The East Bay Regional Park District initiated the Tidewater Service Area Outreach Project with the opening of the Tidewater Boating Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline on San Leandro Bay, in 2011. The Center ensures that the youth of East Oakland can take full advantage of recreational and interpretive programs in their watershed, and the Estuary. The Park District partners with charter schools, community-based organizations, low-income housing developments, and other non-profits to empower and educate youth about the importance of a clean and healthy Estuary.
Next to the commercial bustle of Oakland International Airport is a 741-acre park leased from the Port of Oakland, protecting the remainder of a once-extensive marshland at San Leandro Bay. The 50-acre Arrowhead Marsh is a stopover on the Pacific Flyway and is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.
The San Francisco Bay-Delta is named in the federal Clean Water Act as one of 28 “estuaries of national significance." For over 20 years, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership has worked together with local communities and federal and state agencies to improve the health of California’s most urbanized estuary.
Read more about the San Francisco Estuary Partnership and other awards at www.sfestuary.org/