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Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007

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Joined: 29 Mar 1994
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:32 pm    Post subject: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote

The status of the Treasure Island launch is unclear for 2007. I have talked with the Navy and the City of San Francisco about modifying the Navy remediation plan so that they will not block windsurfing access at Treasure Island. The Navy has not gotten back to me with a response. They will be presenting their plan to the Treasure Island Development Authority Board tomorrow. I have asked the Navy to look for another site for their staging or at a minimum allow a corridor to the launch area. Their work is scheduled to start shortly and run through August 2007. They released the attached fact sheet in September but it made no reference to the use of our access area which lies outside of the housing area where they are doing the environmental clean up. We donít want to stop the environmental clean up, but it should be done with the least impact possible.

The feedback that I am getting is that we may not to be able to park in our usual place. We might be able to retain an access corridor that would allow for foot access to the traditional launch spot (near the old transformer pad) with parking on the south and east side of the old training building that is next to the parking lot we normally use. This would put the best parking space about 400 from the launch - doable but far from ideal. Iíve explained that if people are forced to launch downwind, they will be at greater risk of being unable to return to the island due to wind and current conditions.

I will be going to the meeting tomorrow to make our case and I believe that Taylor may also join me. If you want to weigh in, I can deliver any e-mails I receive when I step up to speak. Speaking points could include why Treasure Island is a critical resource for windsurfing, reasons why you might not be able to use an alternate launch, reasons why parking remotely will make access difficult, etc. Please shoot me an e-mail ASAP if you want me to pass it along and please pass this message along to anyone who might be interested.

At this point, clear and concise statements are probably going to be more effective than trying to turn out large numbers if everyone is essentially saying the same thing. If anyone does want to come to the meeting, please shoot me a message. The TIDA meeting is January 10 at 1:30 pm at San Francisco City Hall, Room 400.

Peter Thorner, President
San Francisco Boardsailing Association


In a message dated 12/20/2006 2:44:02 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Hey Guys,
The news from the Treasure Island these days isnt good. Seems the Navy has
a plan to scrap half of the topsoil off the North Western side of the island
and dump clean soil in its place. They have also decided to use our
windsurfing launch as a dump truck turn-around and staging area for this
soil remediation project during nearly all of the up coming 2007 sailing
season...the launch there will be closed from the end of January through
late August (possibly longer if they fall behind schedule.) Taylor has been
causing hell about this project, mainly because it is going to destroy our
front yard and all the parking in front of our house during that same time
period, but last night Taylor went to the redevelopment meeting and found
out this info about the launch. We are still trying to decide if we want
to live there during that nonsense...but that is another story.

Pass this on, I know this is not a complete list, anybody who knows the
Berkeley guys that sail here too should forward this to them. I am not
sure what the next action step suggestions are welcome. Otherwise,
have a great xmas season!

More information and links below. If you are interested, I have the
PowerPoint presentation from the Navy that detail this project, but it is a
big file and I didnt want to clog your inboxes.


This is an article from 1996 about TIs problems....

This is a more recent article about the current project...(Youll notice
that the period for public comment is over, Nov. 11, but TI didnt inform us
about this project until early December...

This is another good article from the Chronicle

PS...You should send some love letters to:
Jack Sylvan
Treasure Island Redevelopment Project Manager, Mayors Office of Base Reuse
and Development
(415) 554-5313

Loraine Lee
Community Liaison
The Villages at Treasure Island

And or

Peter Summerville
TIDA Board Secretary, Assistant to the Director of Island Operations,
(415) 274-0665

And her too:

Mirian Saez
Director of Island Operations:
Office of the City Administrator
(415) 274-0660

And lets not forget the Navy
* Email to:
* Phone: 619-532-0966
* Mail to:
James B. Sullivan
1455 Frazee Rd. Ste 900
San Diego, CA 92108
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: RE: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote

Thanks Peter,

This is horrible news, I hope they take our needs seriously, TI was the most consistent high-wind spot in the SF Bay last season.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:12 pm    Post subject: RE: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote


Any results or interesting tidbits from todays meeting at City Hall? Is there anything we can do? Is emailing the contacts listed below still valuable?

Thanks for all the great work and let me know how you think we can help at this point.

Cheers, Tim
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:42 pm    Post subject: RE: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote

There is a lot of developing information on the situation at Treasure Island. I will give a quick update by e-mail but in order to be more efficient and be able to post up links and documents, I will have a page created at that can be updated and I will send out an SFBA eNews when the page is active. Please make sure that you have signed up for the eNews at or check back there frequently. I will also post any info to the regional message board.

The meeting yesterday before the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) went as well as could be hoped. The Navy is still saying they will examine options but they are not offering a solution and are painting a pessimistic picture as to the chances of them changing their plan use the windsurf access area as a truck loading area during the clean up of Treasure Island Site 12 (residential area). The project is designed to remove 4í of toxic soil from four locations within the housing area at a cost of $11.2 million dollars. The project is set to run through August 2007 if it starts in early February. The areas that the Navy plans to use for are illustrated on a map that is on page 11 of the Draft Negative Declaration that is available at the website listed below.

The Board of Directors of TIDA was concerned about preserving the windsurf access. Board Member Jared Blumenfeld, who is also the Chief of the San Francisco Department of the Environment, asked that the Navy and SFBA work on a way to preserve access and report back at the February TIDA meeting. One concern is that the Navy is rushing to start the job prior to the next TIDA meeting. The Navy is pursuing the clean up project in partnership with the California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC). There is an open period for public comment running from 12/27/06 to 01/29/07. James Sullivan of the Navy said that they expected to answer all public comments and start work by the end of the first week of February, so there is some concern that the decision to move ahead with the plan as is a forgone conclusion. The Navy is already spending money bringing in dirt and equipment on the presumption that they will proceed. While the Navy operates under federal law which grants it more latitude, the DTSC operates under state law and must consider environmental impacts and avoid or mitigate them if possible. DTSC has issued a Draft Negative Declaration & an Initial Study that concludes (Page 27 of the Initial Study) that the project will have no significant impact on recreation.

The relevant documents are at:

DTSC will hold a public meeting January 17, 2007 at 7:00 pm on Treasure Island. The meeting will be at Casa de la Vista on Avenue of the Palms. This is an opportunity to let DTSC know that there will be a significant impact from the proposed action. It is a good idea to let them know that we support cleaning up the island but want it done right. I personally will not be able to make this meeting. DTSC and the Navy must respond to public comments whether they are sent in a letter or presented at the public meeting. For know I would suggest that people try and attend the public meeting and send a letter after 01/17 if there has not been a reasonable modification of the remediation plan. If there is a significant impact to recreation, then the plan must be modified if feasible. The impact is highly significant because there is no alternative place where it is practical or safe for windsurfers to launch other than the existing launch area. Comments may be sent to both the DTSC and the Navy. The appropriate addresses are listed at the DTSC website above). For comments to have legal relevance, they should address:

- The project will have a significant impact on the recreational use of windsurfing (eliminating parking and access will eliminate windsurfing)

- Windsurfing is an established use, active at the site for 10+ years

- Mitigating the impact is difficult or not possible (no alternate launch, no option to use sites like Crissy or Berkeley on days when only TI is windy)

- Any thoughts on feasible ways that the Navy can avoid the impact (e.g. use another location on the island for a truck loading area)

During the TIDA meeting, Mr. Sullivan suggested that it might be unsafe to have windsurfers at the normal launch and parking area because toxic soil will be excavated near that site (SWDA 1231/1233 - in the dry grassy behind the houses that has historically been used as a rigging area). The Navy remediation plan (available at the website above) explains that all dirt to remove will be kept wet to avoid aerial dispersion and that dust monitoring devices will be operating so that operations can be immediately shut down if toxic materials are blowing in the wind. If the job is done properly people and the health of the bay should not be at risk. If windsurfers truly going to be at risk by parking and launching from our usual location, then there is an equal risk that the remediation project will be spreading toxic materials into the San Francisco Bay.

Peter Thorner
President, San Francisco Boardsailing Association
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: RE: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote

How did the TIDA meeting go on the 10th?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:34 pm    Post subject: RE: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote

15-20 people showed up at the public meeting re. Treasure Island remediation last night and most spoke about the impacts the remediation plan would have on the windsurfing access. The Department of Toxic Substance Control was talking about starting the work on Feb. 1 even though public input only ends on Jan. 28, but there may be an opportunity to meet with the Navy before it is clear that we are at an impasse >>>

In a message dated 1/18/2007 10:18:22 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:

We had a great turn out at the Treasure Island Development Authority meeting last night, about 20 sailors showed up! Thanks to all. Someone else can give the meeting recap...we have bigger fish to fry. Take a look at this pdf. If we do not act fast we will lose access to TI for the summer. This is a quick sketch of a possible access solution to the TI launch. If the current plans goes forward unchecked, we will have no access at all to the windsurfing waters of TI. FYI, the boat ramp there will be totally off limits no matter what the outcome of this is. The current plan calls for gates to limit access to the entire corner of the island where our launch is. Taylor and I looked at the launch and what we have to work with out there last night and this is what we came up with (see the pdf).

I want to forward this onto the NAVY asap, like by noon tomorrow.

Also, the public comment period for this clean up project is about to expire. It is really important that everyone who uses the Bay comment on this....that said...I am sorry, I donít have the public comment link to forward to you all, if someone has that link, can you pass it along?


Hardy Danger


Hardy and Crew,

Here is the link to the site with the notices and reports:

Keep the letters going to:

Henry Wong, Remedial Project Manager
Department of Toxic Substances Control
700 Heinz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710

James B. Sullivan
Navy BRAC PMO West
1455 Frazee Road, Suite 900
San Diego, CA 92108-4310

Be sure to reference:

draft Action Memorandum / Interim Remediation Action Plan (AM/IRAP)
draft Negative Declaration pursuant to CEQA (Negative Declaration)
Treasure Island Housing Area, Site 12 / Former Navy Station Treasure Island

I have had discussions with Jim Sullivan of the Navy regarding having an access corridor as Hardy has illustrated. I think I would probably shoot for a 20 wide access way (vs. 15)so that people going in different directions with gear could pass each other. Sullivan has repeatedly said that they are looking at it but he has not come back with anything solid to date. He indicated to Jim McGrath, VP of SFBA, that the Navy would come back to us shortly to ask for a meeting to discuss options. Jim let him know that we need to discuss a cooperative solution sooner rather than later because we may need to retain legal counsel soon if there is no cooperative solution. If we end up with a corridor scenario, we would need to have the fence removed between to old training building and our lot to allow for gear to be carried to the usual launch and we would need sand bags to improve the launch to accommodate people who traditionally used the boat ramp to avoid the nasty rocks.

The big complication here is the artificial urgency that is created by the Navy and the DTSC saying that they will start work on February 1 even thought he public comment period ends on January 28. I believe that it is either unheard of or extremely unusual to start a project 4 days after the public comment ends because public comment is supposed to be seriously considered. The fact that they insist that they will start work on February 1 and that they have already started spending money on staging work creates a strong impression that they do not intend to take public comment seriously and will deny that a significant impact to recreation exists when there is a clear case that it does.

If DTSC is in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act requirements, we may want to take legal action to make them stop the project and do a proper assessment of the environmental impacts. I would hate to litigate, but we have had to hire an attorney in order to be taken seriously before (most notably regarding the golf ball problem at Third Avenue and the plan for building on the old drive in property near Coyote Point). One concern is that if we roll over now, we could be displaced with the same lack of regard when there is additional remediation work at or near the launch area and when the seismic strengthening of the island is done and when the north end of the island is improved as part of the redevelopment plan. I would rather not rock the boat as it may have an impact on the residents or the redevelopment plans, but so far the Navy and the DTSC really seem to be bent on pushing ahead regardless.

Peter Thorner, President
San Francisco Boardsailing Association
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:49 pm    Post subject: RE: Treasure Island (SF) Access Issue for 2007 Reply with quote

Ill be looking to launch just upwind of the pipe. Im sure theres a place to park in the residential area and a walk through to access the wall. Hunt
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