Oakland's Contortionists

OAKLAND’S CONTORTIONISTS A commissioned study helps reclaim acres thought to be wetlands By Lindsay M. Hitch, Assistant Editor October 2001 OAKLAND — Working around wetlands has been a fact of life in developing airports for...

The airport and Port of Oakland considered a few options before deciding on a plan to mitigate for the 7.76 acres, agreeing to replace the wetlands at a ratio of at least 1.14:1.
The Port purchased 16 acres of land in San Lorenzo, to the south of Oakland. The land was already designated conservation easement land, meaning that no developments could be built on the property. It is also near the Bay and adjacent to other wetland habitats.
"We had this firm design it, build it, and is continuing to monitor it," says McKenney. "So that we’re not doing it with our own staff and we’re not managing the project in terms of going out and getting somebody to design it and then going out and getting somebody to build it. You’ve got experts who are in that area and field dealing with it, and we pay them as a package deal."
For $2 million the Port purchased the 16 acres and paid the design/ build firm to complete the project. The project was funded as part of the airport development program, mainly through passenger facility charges (PFCs).
Staba says, "We’re on the hook to monitor and maintain it and make sure it actually serves [its] purpose ... and comes back to a natural area for five years. And at that time we’ll start negotiating to give it back to the other groups."

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