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Thanks to unanimous passage of the Gas House Cove Ordinance proposed by Supervisors Safai and Peskin with cosponsors Chan and Preston, this plan is no longer active. RPD is now tasked with a new design and project plan.

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For two decades, the City of San Francisco engaged in a legal battle with PG&E over toxic sediment in the San Francisco Bay resulting from PG&E's legacy operations in Gashouse Cove (aka East Harbor). A former PG&E manufactured gas plant (MGP) had long-ago dumped its toxic waste into the water at the base of Laguna Street. The city sued PG&E. In 2021, PG&E and the City reached a settlement agreement. PG&E agreed to contribute up to $190 million for toxic cleanup (remediation) and repair of the Marina's East Harbor/Gashouse Cove.

No New Boat Harbor Figure.png

The Recreation & Parks Department (RPD) seized the opportunity to address an unrelated issue with the settlement funds, i.e., expensive annual dredging of the West Harbor. The proposed solution involves building a new breakwater and extending. the West Harbor directly in front of the Marina Green Promenade (marked "X" on the RPD map above) from the end of Pierce Street to Buchanan Street. About 50% of the East Harbor slips will be relocated to the extended West Harbor.

 

In exchange for PG&E funding the  construction of the harbor and breakwater, PG&E will be allowed to perform minimal toxic remediation (15%) in Gashouse Cove. The contaminants in Gashouse Cove will be left to silt-over and become a shallow basin recreation area (marked "?" on the RPD map above). Meanwhile, no one seems to have considered that excess rainwater drains directly into Gashouse Cove when the streets, and all they contain, overflow.

RPD named their plan"The Marina Remediation and Improvement Project." The plan would use PG&E settlement money to build a new harbor and breakwater. Under that auspice, it was approved with conditions in 2021 by Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors.  Keep the Waterfront Open was organized in an attempt to educate the Recreation and Parks Department staff on the public's opposition and to ask that alternatives be considered. We found the Department to be minimally responsive and close-minded to alternatives. We found the Rec&Park Commissioners to be sympathetic. However, the Commissioners approved the plan and gave RPD permission to move on to environmental review despite the large public outcry against the plan during public comment.  

Are Additional Boat Slips Worth It?

Sailing Class

The opposition is not boaters vs. non-boaters or wealthy vs. non-wealthy. Boats are as much a part of San Francisco’s character as the Golden Gate Bridge. RPD's proposal gives the boating community a nominal number of additional slips when there are already over 700 slips in the combined Marina harbors to the East and West. The proposal takes away from millions of non-boating residents, visitors and tourists the incredible panorama of a clear sight line across the Bay. It takes away a unique youth sailing program sponsored by the yacht clubs. It prevents hundreds of people from swimming in the Bay waters. It chases away the waterfowl from their habitat in the open waters. It’s truly a matter of highest and best use for the greatest number and diversity of users.

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