Restore Sharp Park to a Natural Back Barrier Lagoon System

Letter

Posted by
Tue, December 15, 2009


On 12-16-09, there will be a meeting at the SF City Hall Rm. 263. The Board of Supervisors Government Audit & Oversight Committee will have an oportunity to hear from The SF Park & rec Dept. and us, the public, about the future of Shark Park.

This is such a once in a liftime opportunity to correct a situation that was made 77 years ago.  They had no idea what this wetland with its own lagoon meant for our coastline and our planet.

The GGNRA want to make it part of their managed properties as a national outdoor multiuse recreational park for all to use, not just the priviledged few who golf. This would be a federally funded project that our Congress has alloted funds for and is highly approved and recommended for the improvement of our environment.  This national park would stimulate Pacifica’s economy, protect our environment, have outdoor education & recreation, endangered species recovery(the Red-Legged Frog & SF Garter Snake live in Shark Park & both are endangered species) & natural flood control done through the land management of GGNRA. Plus, they want to have the only visitors center in all of San Mateo Co.  National & International visitors who come to see our coastline would be drawn to Shark Park & continue on down Highway 1.

There are only 10% Coastal Wetlands and one like ours, here in Pacifica, is even harder to find because they need a sheltered and rocky coastline to protect it.

This national park would be a fine jewel in the midst of a crowded and bulging population in our bay area.

Please watch these video links that explain in more detail:

1)  http://wildequity.org/sections/5
 
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wfd3Ms4bKDY&feature=related

Please come & support our environment,our planet, our future.

Get there early, before 1 PM because it will be crowded & you will need to sign up to speak to show support to restore Shark Park.


More Legal Violations at Sharp Park Unearthed
E. coli, fecal coliform, ammonia, phosphates, zinc, mercury, selenium, copper: these are just some of the pollutants found in the aquatic habitats for two endangered species at Sharp Park Golf Course, and two new legal notices filed by the Wild Equity Institute demand that the City clean-up its act.

Sharp Park Golf Course maintains several culverts and drainage ditches which the golf course uses to collect storm water and irrigation run-off, and then discharges this water through point sources into endangered species habitats on the property. The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants into United States waters without a permit, but water sampling data shows that Sharp Park’s discharges contain a variety of pollutants. The Golf Course does not have a permit, and in a letter prepared by the law firm Environmental Advocates, WEI demands that San Francisco put an end to these illegal discharges immediately.

A second notice letter alleges that San Francisco’s proposal to invest up to $11million dollars in golf course improvements designed to push endangered species off City property and onto adjacent lands violates the Endangered Species Act and jeopardizes recovery efforts for the species. The City’s plan has been heavily criticized as fundamentally flawed by ecologists, biologists, and coastal engineers because it fails to assess how climate change will affect the property and because it makes the preposterous assertion that picnickers are a greater threat to endangered species than golf course lawn mowers and pumping operations.

By what twisted logic did the seniors, juniors, minorities and working class folks who comprise the bulk of the users of the public golf course at Sharp Park get turned into the “priviledged (sic) few”?

Oh, wait, I get it. It’s their fault for being politically vulnerable to San Francisco inside-ball politics.

Comment 3
Tue, December 15, 2009 5:15pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

That’s a good point.  Sharp Park is pretty much a blue collar course, despite its pedigree.

I’ve never played a game of golf, and I know that golf courses are environmentally problematic. But I’m troubled by the idea of getting rid of a existing course that serves people with few options.

Thank you for your comment, Mike, I looked up the definition of “privilged” and it means
“a right or immunity granted to some not others”.  Now, my words can always be twisted around when misinterpeted.  I am sorry, that I wasn’t as clear as I had intended.  I know that you can not walk around the golf grounds freely and usually pay to play golf.  And, that is all I meant by “privilged few”.  Nothing else.  There are so many people, including the seniors,juniors,minorities,and working class folks that would benefit from this golf course being restored back to a wonderful coastal back barrier lagoon wetland. And, did I mention that it the GGNRA would make it a free national multiuse recreational park?

Kathy writes:

“And, did I mention that it the GGNRA would make it a free national multiuse recreational park?”

I am unaware of any proposal from the GGNRA and I would think that if there was one we’d be aware of it because any “free national multiuse recreational park” would need environmental vetting just as thorough as the golf course is getting.

Did you watch the videos or go to the websites that I mentioned?  Please do.  Become aware.

Government agencies usually speak for themselves. Those are not GGNRA websites. Nor are they National Park Service -NPS - websites. If you have specific knowledge of an official GGNRA plan - preferably one that stands a reasonable chance of being funded - then provide it. Such things are usually available in electronic format.

Why do you doubt that this really is being worked on?  Why don’t you come and see for youself.  Everything is very official.  SF, CA City Hall Rm. 263 at 1 PM. I would welcome you.

I’ve been working on my speech for SF City Hall, 12-16-09, Wednesday, tommorrow at 1 PM Rm 263.  And, for those who can’t come to the meeting, here’s what I plan to say tommorow.  I hope its clear and that you like it:

Hi, my name is Kathy Engelhard.  I’ve lived in Pacifica since 1977. I support “no Golf”. 

I am in favor of Sharp Park being added to the GGNRA .

I am for restoration that converts the Sharp Park parcel to a recreational area

that everyone can enjoy.  Through the GGNRA, the SF Garter Snake and the CA Red-legged Frog

would be protected in an endangered species recovery program.

The coastal area would have a natural flood control program,

an outdoor ed & rec and,one of own back barrier lagoon systems!   

There would be a National Park Visitors Center recommending Pacifica’s Palmetto business district

for national & international visitors helping the visitors and giving a financial booast to our area. 

The National Park Service would be the protector of our environment.

Sharp Park’s inclusion in the GGNRA has congressional approval.  And, I, too approve! 

Thank you.

The 1899 map shows the original Laguna Salada (Salty Lake) in the middle of a larger area named Salt Valley.  There’s a reason people bestowed those names. It’s called salt.

Red-legged Frogs have a low tolerance for salt. “Restoring” the wetland area to its original saltiness is potentially deadly to that endangered species and a significant negative impact to it’s predator - the even more endangered San Francisco Garter Snake.

The GGNRA know how to protect endangered species, that is one of their specialites.  If you were to go and see Mori Point, here in Pacifica then you could see the GGNRA in action.

The GGNRA has no magic wand with which they could “restore” Salty Lake to its original status without decimating both endangered species.

What is important is to improve/revive the existing freshwater habitat that is silting up and being choked by cat-tails. If the bickering continues for much longer we’re going to end up with a problem beyond solution.

You would so surprised to see the resuts of the GGNRA in Pacifica.  It really gives one hope.  It is such a well kept organization.
Dept of Interior is exceptional.  I took their horn and I say it enthusiastically, not with any intended dishonesty or meaness.

Ouch!  I am a terrible typest.  I meant to say “toot their for them”!  Ha! Ha! Ha!

I’m trying to say, “Toot their horns for them”
See you at SF City Hall
12-16-09
1 PM Rm 236
Sleep well.

Comment 16
Wed, December 16, 2009 10:56pm
Scott Boyd
All my comments

Regarding bickering, this week’s Pacifica Tribune, front page, “McCain, Coburn criticize Sharp Park stimulus funding”

Why?  The proposed funding is for piping recycled water to the golf course, and they cite a golf course “that might not exist much longer” as a reason to consider the funding “waste” and “mismanagement”.

Julia’s article http://www.insidebayarea.com/sanmateocountytimes/localnews/ci_13964270 mentions the two endangered species as a key reason for getting rid of the golf course.  If that means breaching the berm and letting in the ocean, won’t it revert to salt marsh?  How do you see that helping the two fresh water species?

Comment 17
Fri, December 18, 2009 12:48pm
Kevin Barron
All my comments

Hey, I’m just actually glad to see an actual infrastructure project happen ...given the disasterous fraud which was Obama and Pelosi/Reid’s “shovel-ready” stimulus package,  or lack thereof. Too bad there wasn’t a 9-hole course with a Trader Joe’s adjacent…

Yesterday, Thursday,  the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Commission unanimously adopted the General Manager’s recommendation to proceed with the recovery plan for the San Francisco Garter Snake and California Red Legged-Frog and to preserve an 18-hole golf course at Sharp Park.

At an earlier date, December 1, the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department’s Park, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee had endorsed the General Manager’s recommendation by a 14 to 1 vote.