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A QUICK HISTORY - PT. MOLATE BEACH PARK
Pt. Molate Beach Park – part of the Navy Fuel Depot property at Pt. Molate - was leased to the City of Richmond by the Navy for $1.00/month and developed by the Navy as a gesture of goodwill to local residents and to provide recreation for the Navy and their families stationed at Pt. Molate. It was a modest project as the naturally occurring features of the area required little in the way of amendment, save for the addition of some landscaping, and picnic benches. Prior to WWII, visitors to Winehaven; which had become a tourist destination after its closing, enjoyed afternoons picnicking and swimming at the beach.
During both WWII and the Korean War, when the Navy Fuel Depot was in full swing, there was no recreating in the waters off Pt. Molate. Floating on the shallow waters was a permanent oil slick deterring bathers and swimmers. The Navy developed a system of sump ponds at Pt. Molate to collect oil and fuel to prevent runoff into the Bay. By the early 1960’s the waters off Pt. Molate had been successfully cleaned up, opening the area to recreation again.
The park was a favorite destination for families with young children – the gentle beach and warm water providing a perfect location to teach children about the water and how to swim. From 1974 to 1987, the Pacific Locomotive Association operated historical trains through the former Navy Fuel Depot providing hours of entertainment for children and families to ride on their vintage cars.
Our elders fondly recall growing up at Pt. Molate as Navy 'brats' and learning to swim in the beach's gentle waters. Picnics and BBQ's were an special favorite, and the park became a multi-generational destination for families within Richmond and West Contra Coast County.
In 2001 the Pt. Molate Beach Park was closed due to fiscal constraints. The gates were padlocked shut and thirty years of recreation came to an end. In 2003 the Navy began the process of turning over the entirety of the Pt. Molate property - including the Beach Park, to the City of Richmond via the Base Closure Act, with the final allotment turned over in 2010. The Beach Park has remained closed for over a decade and in turns, nature has reclaimed her and neglect has taken a toll.
Tidal action from storms and the high speed Vallejo Ferry have carved out a bluff nearly 5 feet high where once the gentle foreshore had softly met the park's turf area. Marine debris has piled up, being shifted from the rapid current areas of the Bay to the beach's shallow waters. Untended landscaping has seen incursion from invasive species, much of which provided shelter to the washed up debris. It seemed that Pt. Molate and her beach park were lost for good.
A NEW LIFE FOR THE BEACH PARK
BE PART OF THE ADOPT-A-BEACH PROGRAM
CITIZENS FOR A SUSTAINABLE POINT MOLATE | P.O. BOX 71212, RICHMOND, CA. 94807 | email@example.com
Copyright 2009 - 2017 - Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate - all rights reserved
With the Earth Day Cleanup in April of 2012, efforts began in earnest to find solutions to maintaining the beach park long term, and funding the park's rehabilitation. CFSPM developed a proposal for a modest rehabilitation of the park which was accepted by the City of Richmond as one of four projects to be funded by the Richmond specific allocation of the Cosco Busan Oil Spill settlement fund.
In March 2013, the City of Richmond approved rehabilitation plans as presented by the City's Parks and Landscaping division, and work began shortly thereafter on the rehabilitation project, which include replacement of tables and benches, parking area re-surfacing, placement of portable toilets, and ADA compliant access. Work was completed in October 2013 and the gates opened to the public for the first time in a decade.
The Beach Park officially reopened on April 19, 2014 with a Grand Opening Celebration. Over 1000 people attended a lively afternoon with music, and food and met all of CFSPM's partners who help to maintain out coastlines, watersheds and natural resources.
In order to ease the financial burden of ongoing maintenance for the beach park, CFSPM is spearheading a conservation program geared to provide light maintenance, periodic medium intensive cleanups, certain levels of landscaping support, light duty repairs, conservation and historical education about and for the beach park.
The Adopt-a-Beach program provides an opportunity for citizens to become engaged with the beach park's care and future, and works with a variety of conservation and environmental protection parterns to provide important data about terrestrial and sub-tidal status and ecosystem health. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being a Pt. Molate Beach Park adopter.