S.O.S. SAVE OUR SEALS!

Please help Save Our Seals at Alameda Point!

Harbor seals have been coming to Alameda Point to find food and a suitable breeding habitat and resting area in recent years, taking up residence at a site adjacent to Enterprise Park and the Bay Trail. Rather than encouraging their homestead, the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) wants to kick them out. It will be a permanent loss for the seals and a lost asset for the community of Alameda and visitors to enjoy.

WETA is applying for a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that would allow temporary harassment of the seals while it tears down the seals' haul-out site and builds a new ferry maintenance and operations facility in its place. The NMFS is tasked to determine whether the project would negatively impact the marine mammals and, if so, to institute mitigation measures to offset the negative impacts. The deadline for public comment is October 17, 2014 but this is not the end of our battle to Save Our Seals.

Other than a temporary loss of foraging habitat during the construction, according to WETA the only harassment the seals will experience will be from the shaking and noise from the expected pile driving and pile removal activities that will take place over a two- to three-week period during the construction project. Thus, they plan to minimize the sound levels and do a “soft start” technique of vibrations to “allow the seals to vacate the area before the pile driver reaches full power” and will pause if the seals appear disturbed.

The fact that WETA will be permanently destroying the seals’ haul-out site has been ignored in their environmental assessment report. They brush off the concern because observations show that only about 20 seals at a time are in the area. Thus, they make no provision for building a new haul-out site to mitigate the loss of breeding area.

The least WETA could do is build another haul-out site for the seals. It should be added as a mitigation measure before construction begins.

If you agree and want our seals to have a place to feed, breed, rear their young and relax at Alameda Point, then please sign our petition.

This petition's results may also be used to lobby the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which will also have to issue a permit since it is a shoreline project.

Petition on behalf of harbor seals at Alameda Point, Alameda, California


To: San Francisco Bay Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA)

Whereas, the Inner Harbor and channel at Alameda Point is buffered by a mile-long breakwater and offers feeding and resting opportunities virtually undisturbed by commercial activity;

Whereas, the Central Bay Operations and Maintenance Facility that WETA is proposing to build at Alameda Point for servicing its Bay Area passenger ferry fleet will destroy a recreational boating dock that is currently used by harbor seals for resting and nursing pups;

We, the signers of this petition, call upon WETA to provide a new harbor seal haul out in the immediate vicinity of the project site so that the harbor seals are able to continue enjoying this desirable marine habitat.
Update #32 years ago
Sorry for another update so soon but this is big! Michael Brune, Executive Director of Sierra Club, Northern Alameda County Group, San Francisco Bay Chapter, published this article in the Alameda Journal and the Alameda Sun on Nov 5. The Sierra Club requests further assessment of the project's impact on the harbor seals at Alameda Point too!

http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_26874910/alameda-shores-harbor-seal-habitat-should-be-maintained
Update #22 years ago
We blew past 2500 and are over 2700 signatures now, on our way to 3000, thanks everyone!

We went out to Alameda Point last weekend and saw 2 seals using the haul out and frolicking in the water. I brought friends & family and they were amazed to see seals in Alameda and the abundance of birds.

From the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier, go east down W. Hornet Ave about 1000 feet. The seal haul out is a long, skinny, old dock extending out from the shoreline. I hope you get to see some seals!
Update #12 years ago
Thank you all for signing, we're almost up to 2500 signatures! Please share with your friends and family. We could really use some more from Californians and Alamedans.
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