The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) board of directors on Tuesday voted unanimously to re-name Breuner Marsh, a 60-acre wetland at Pt. Pinole Regional Park, after the Dotson family for their long-standing efforts to save the Richmond shoreline from development.
The former Breuner Marsh was, at various times, slated for housing, an airport, industrial complex and transit center. But thanks in part to the Dotson family and residents of the adjacent Parchester Village neighborhood, those plans were defeated and in 2011 the land was acquired by the Park District following a three-year eminent domain case.
“This was all possible because of decades of community engagement for environment justice in an area impacted for so long by industrial uses,” said Park District General Manager Robert Doyle. “The Dotson family and other Richmond residents worked hard for this project, and we’re thrilled to honor them this way.”
The marsh is currently undergoing an extensive, $14 million habitat restoration that’s being funded by more than 10 agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and through Measures CC and WW. When the restoration is complete, the marsh will be a self-sustaining wetland complex that will filter polluted run-off and provide habitat for high-quality native plants and threatened and endangered species.
The project also includes a 1.5-mile extension of the San Francisco Bay Trail, a 24-space parking lot and two new trails, to be named the China Clipper Spur Trail and Cordgrass Jetty Trail.
“This is a tremendous honor,” said EBRPD director Whitney Dotson, whose family has been on the forefront of Richmond environmental advocacy and justice for many decades. “This beautiful marsh is an asset not just for Richmond residents but the entire Bay Area.”
The restoration is expected to be complete in late spring, 2017.
The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 120,000 acres in 65 parks including over 1,250 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature learning.