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Letter from the South End Rowing Club's President

October 19, 2023


San Francisco Recreation & Parks Commission


Re:  Opposition to the Proposed “Marina Green Improvement Project”


Dear Commissioners,


I am writing on behalf of the South End Rowing Club’s Board of Directors and its 2100+ members to express our opposition to San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s proposed “improvements” to the Marina Green area. 

While the environmental clean-up is necessary and the proposed “improvements” are well-intended, the introduction of breakwaters, a water taxi, and more and larger vessels into this segment of the Bay will compromise the safety and access of our members who regularly swim and row in this area.    

The northern coast of San Francisco Bay west of Aquatic Park cove is used daily by our member-athletes for recreational open water swimming and rowing.   Aside from the daily workouts of many individual swimmers and rowers, our club sponsors scores of annual organized sports events – club swims and regattas -- that serve hundreds of our members. 

And we comprise a subset of a substantial and growing community whose daily, year-round recreation will be impacted adversely if these changes are implemented as designed. 

It is quite possible that those involved in planning and designing these water “improvements” are unaware of the amount of activity already occurring in this area that will be impacted.  Enclosed is some information that shows you just how much this area is used.

Specifically, we object to

·       The introduction of breakwaters and the marina reconfiguration accommodate more and bigger boats.  More motorized vessels make the area much less safe for our organized and individual activities.

·       The introduction of a water taxi is, perhaps, the most objectional element, as it will encourage regular motorized water traffic into our routes of daily out-of-cove swim and rowing between Aquatic Park Cove and Fort Mason – putting our clubs’ recreational athletes at risk. 


At our September Board meeting, we voted overwhelmingly to oppose the elements that compromised our activities.  The motion reads: 

The South End Rowing Club opposes the Marina Green Improvement Project's introduction of more marine traffic to the Northern Waterfront, which compromises the safety and access of open water swimmers and rowers who regularly use and pass through this area for recreation.

We ask that the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department reconsider these “improvements” in relation to the water recreation already occurring in this area.  We request the removal the water taxi from the plans, and the reconsideration of the Marina expansion in favor of either reducing or remaining steady state its accommodation of water vessels.

Many thanks for your consideration.



Fran Hegeler

President, South End Rowing Club



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