On Tuesday, August 23, the Menlo Park City Council will consider a ban on drones in Bedwell Bayfront Park. Drone flights in this park pose a hazard to birds at the adjacent Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, as well as to planes flying overhead to San Carlos and Palo Alto Airports. Please join me in urging the City Council to prohibit drone flights in Bedwell Bayfront Park.
Why This Is Important
Bedwell Bayfront Park is surrounded on three sides by the tidal wetlands of the Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge, where many species of migratory and resident birds and other wetland species congregate. Drones and other unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying overhead are known to have stressful impacts on shorebirds, which react to these objects much as they do to avian predators.
Drones also pose a safety hazard to aircraft. Planes arriving or departing from the San Carlos and Palo Alto Airports often fly directly over Bedwell Bayfront Park. Local pilots are asking the Council to ban drones in the park due to the potential for interference or collision with airplanes.
Finally, drones are inconsistent with Bedwell Bayfront Park’s Master Plan, which states that the park shall be “A hilly, bayview, regional park with natural groundcover, wildlife enhancement and passive use, providing public access to the Bay and opportunity for people to enjoy peace and quiet.” The City has received numerous complaints from park users about the noise and disturbance from drones and other UAS.
City staff is recommending that the Council prohibit drone use in all City parks. Please ask the Council to follow their staff’s recommendation!
We’ll keep you updated as this issue moves forward. In the meantime, please contact Legislative Advocate Lennie Roberts at: [email protected] if you have any further questions.
Thank you for your interest in this issue. We are no longer asking people to send emails since the meeting date has passed. Please contact Advocate Lennie Roberts for more information on how you can get involved.
For an update on this issue please see our blog post:Win for wildlife in Menlo Park