Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 26, 2017

Oakland Ballpark Plan Would Threaten Lake Merritt & Wildlife

Golden Gate Audubon Press Release

A’s Stadium Plan Threatens Lake Merritt and its
Wildlife

The large-scale ballpark proposed by the Oakland A’s for the Peralta Community College
District site could be disastrous for the abundant birds, fish, and other animals that rely
on Lake Merritt.

Golden Gate Audubon Society — which represents over 7,000 members in Oakland and
nearby cities — opposes selection of the Peralta site because of the loud noise, intense
light, trash, and harmful contaminants it would generate directly alongside the Lake
Merritt channel, a narrow and vital waterway connecting the lake to the estuary and
San Francisco Bay.

Peralta is the smallest and densest of the three proposed stadium sites. It is ill-suited
for the huge footprint of a stadium plus parking, and the additional planned housing
and commercial development.

Golden Gate Audubon raises the following concerns over the site proposal:
• Lake Merritt, the nation’s oldest wildlife refuge and a public asset, is home to nearly
200 species, including ducks, herons, songbirds, nesting cormorants, fish, and other species.
• Siting a ballpark at Peralta could jeopardize major improvements recently made to Lake
Merritt through $198 million in Measure DD bond funding, including environmental
cleanup, restoration of water quality, enhanced bird and fish habitat, and connection to
the Bay ecosystem.

• Restoration of the Lake Merritt Channel has helped connect Lake Merritt and its
ecosystem to the surrounding communities and public institutions, such as the Oakland
Museum, Oakland Main Library, and Laney College.

• Tens of thousands of people would pour over the Lake Merritt Channel bridge at every
home game to get to the stadium from the Lake Merritt BART station, dropping trash
(including plastic) that is both unsightly and dangerous to wildlife.

• Loud noise from PA systems, amplified music, traffic, and crowds can frighten birds away
from their habitat and into roadways. Fireworks are particularly hazardous, panicking birds
and sometimes leading them to abandon their nests and young.

• Bright lights such as scoreboard lights, parking area lighting, and security lights take a severe
toll on wildlife – disrupting bird and animal sleep patterns and disorienting birds that migrate
or forage at night.

• The proposed new I-880 ramps, plus parking for over 500 cars, will channel heavy metal
emissions of lead, zinc, and copper into the improved estuary habitats that were recently
restored at public expense. These pollutants pose serious health risks to both humans and
wildlife.

Of the three properties being considered for a new A’s ballpark, Golden Gate Audubon
supports the renovation and transformation of the existing Coliseum area complex. This site
would avoid further displacement of people, wildlife and small businesses, utilize an already developed site, minimize impacts to biodiversity, and allow for a reimagined ballpark village
that could help revitalize East Oakland and contribute to the City’s tax base.


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