On Tuesday, November 14, the Menlo Park City Council will vote on the Master Plan for Bedwell Bayfront Park. Please email the city councilmembers and tell them to protect wildlife and the park’s natural character by rejecting the proposals for a kayak launch and unmanned gliders.
The Bedwell Bayfront Park Master Plan will shape the direction of the park for years to come. There are two proposed areas that could jeopardize the original natural vision for this site: a kayak launch and the option to fly unmanned gliders within the park. A kayak launch in the proposed location might bring kayaks very close to habitat for endangered Ridgway’s rails (pictured left) in the adjacent Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. Gliders, much like drones, can be mistaken by shorebirds for avian predators. Both of these activities would cause stress and harassment for wildlife.
Why It Matters
Residents voted in 2006 to maintain Bedwell Park’s natural state to benefit the community as a respite from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, as well as for the preservation of wildlife and the environment. This stance is being challenged. A boat ramp and unmanned gliders are not in keeping with the original vision as a natural park that benefits the health and well-being of the community.
Additionally, allowing access to Greco Island in the adjacent Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge would be detrimental to many species of concern. Greco Island has one of the largest numbers of nesting Ridgway’s rails anywhere in the Bay. Ridgway’s rails are a federally listed endangered species, and it is critically important that their nesting grounds are protected from human encroachment and disturbance. These rails spook easily and will abandon their nests if disturbed by noise or activity, particularly by an object that mimics a raptor such as a glider. Please write today – your voice can make a difference!
Photo credits: Cover image, www.menlopark.org; Ridgway’s rail, Creatives Commons