A decade ago, Cargill proposed a vast city-size development on the 1400-acre Redwood City salt ponds – 12,000 residential units (for a population equal in size to the city of San Carlos), 1 million square feet of office, and additional retail and other uses. The proposal was so controversial that eventually the City Council told Cargill to withdraw their application.
But now the project is back, thanks to the Trump administration, which announced last week that they don’t consider these salt ponds to be covered by the Clean Water Act or the Rivers and Harbors Act. Immediately afterwards, Cargill announced that they’re moving forward with a new development proposal for the site.
Why it’s important
The Redwood City salt ponds offer a precious opportunity for restoration of the tidal wetlands that are so critical for the health of the Bay and to protect against sea level rise. Developing on the salt ponds – which are at or below sea level and thus extremely vulnerable to sea level rise – is a terrible idea. With over 90% of the Bay’s historic wetlands destroyed, we need every acre of restorable wetland – we can’t afford to lose any of these salt ponds to development.
With the threat of sea level rise growing, cities should not be approving more development in vulnerable areas. Putting residents in the path of climate change-related destruction would be irresponsible and financially disastrous to our communities. Redwood City’s future growth should be concentrated in infill areas near transit, not in a location that is literally in the Bay.
Just this week, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a new study finding that damage from sea level rise paired with heavy storms could equal the damage from catastrophic earthquakes and hurricanes – and that most of the vulnerable areas are along the Bay.
What You Can Do
Sign our petition to tell Cargill, their developer DMB Associates, and the City Council of Redwood City that the salt ponds should be restored to wetlands, not paved over for development.
Dear Honorable Mayor, City Council, and representatives of Cargill and DMB Associates-
The Redwood City salt ponds are the wrong place for development. The entire site which is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise should be restored to wetlands for the health of the Bay and to protect our community.