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Proposed Security Zone in the Estuary

Many Estuary sailors are up in arms about a proposal to expand the security zone on the south side of Coast Guard Island. As it was explained to Alameda Marina Harbormaster Brock de Lappe in a meeting with the project’s lead engineers on Wednesday, the new security zone would encroach on the main 500-ft channel by 200 feet! Understandably, de Lappe took the information given to him and broadcast a call to arms for the public to voice their opinion on the project, which would not only disrupt Estuary racing and rowing activities, but could also cause safety issues within the channel. 

The originally proposed expansion would have cut into the channel by an unreasonable 200 feet.

© USCG / Google Earth

"The Coast Guard cutters and the tugs that move them have increased silting on the southern side of the channel," de Lappe says. "During a recent minus tide, a Catalina 38 with a 7-ft draft became stuck in the channel!"

The updated proposal will only shave off 75 feet from the channel, a much more workable solution.

© USCG / Google Earth

But a call to de Lappe this morning brought some good news. The engineers contacted him yesterday apologizing for providing him with the wrong information. The proposed security zone will only cut the main channel down by 75 feet, not 200. Of course this doesn’t address the problem of silting, but de Lappe is in contact with the Army Corps about future dredging plans.

Regardless, if you’re concerned about the expansion, you can still email your comments to Linda Peters and Roy Clark, the project’s engineers.

De Lappe had even more good news to share. As a member of the Oakland Estuary Coalition, he says he got word today that the group has been granted $1.3 million to implement the Estuary Enhancement Project. The project will focus on cleaning up derelict docks, abandoned boats and generally sprucing up the Estuary. Now that’s a great way to end what started out as a scary story.

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If you’re planning to attend the first weekend of the Seattle Boat Show, which starts today and runs through February 3 at CenturyLink Field and South Lake Union, be sure you don’t miss the seminars by our very own ‘Banjo Andy’ Turpin tomorrow and Sunday.