SAN FRANCISCO – A plan to rehabilitate a long-vacant bayside lot in San Francisco’s India Basin and turn it into a waterfront park took a step forward with the allocation of a $5 million grant toward tidal restoration and site cleanup.
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority on Friday approved the funds for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department to remediate and restore the soft-bottom intertidal and subtidal habitat and remove dilapidated structures at 900 Innes Ave. The Authority disburses grant money earmarked by voters through Measure AA to preserve the San Francisco Bay and its shorelines.
The rehabilitation of 900 Innes is part of a larger plan to revitalize a network of waterfront open space in the city’s southeast by rehabilitating and uniting several poorly conditioned existing open spaces into a single, seamless design. The India Basin waterfront project, passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in September of 2018, will combine the abandoned industrial site at 900 Innes, which the City acquired in 2014, with two existing parks that border it: India Basin Shoreline Park and India Basin Shoreline Open Space, both of which would undergo significant improvements. The resulting 8-acre waterfront park would connect the Bay Trail and provide open spaces, trails, and unrivaled recreational opportunities for local residents.
“Today’s grant award will help fund environmental restoration in a community that has suffered neglect and injustice for many years,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who is a governing board member of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority. “In restoring the intertidal and subtidal habitat and removing the sources of contaminants, we will create habitat for wildlife to thrive and a place for urban residents to reconnect with nature. This is exactly the sort of project voters had in mind when they passed Measure AA – one that benefits people, natural systems, and the overall health of our Bay.”
“This is environmental justice in action,” San Francisco Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg said. “We are thrilled to get the opportunity to transform a neglected brownfield into a beautiful park to serve the people of the City’s Southeast. Equity, health, and environmental stewardship have been at the heart of this community-driven plan.”
The India Basin plan is a collaboration between the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Build Inc, the Trust for Public Land, and the San Francisco Parks Alliance, Parks 94124, the A, Phillip Randloph Institute, Young Community Developers, the India Basin Neighborhood Association and many other neighborhood and park serving organizations.
“This cleanup project will be the first step towards developing a new full-service park for the community, providing residents local access to open space and enhanced natural resources as well as new recreational opportunities,” said Alejandra Chiesa, program director for The Trust for Public Land.
Cleanup of the site will be conducted by Hunters Point Family, a grassroots job training program for low-income residents of the Bayview-Hunters Point community. Executive Director Lena Miller said her organization has already trained 60 students, with plans to train 60 more and place at least 80 percent in environmental jobs.
The San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority was created by the California legislature in 2008. In 2016, it placed a funding measure on the June ballots in all nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. Measure AA, or the San Francisco Bay Clean Water, Pollution Prevention and Habitat Restoration Program, passed the required 2/3 majority in the combined county vote. It provides for $500 million in funding for the Authority to be used to restore wetlands and mitigate sea level rise.