Press Conference Highlights Coalition Opposed to Cargill Salt Pond Development

Committee for Green Foothills Executive Director Megan Fluke

Committee for Green Foothills was proud to join San Mateo County Supervisor Dave Pine, East Palo Alto Mayor Lisa Gauthier, David Lewis of Save the Bay, and Dan Ponti of Redwood City Neighbors United at a press conference last week opposing development on the Cargill salt ponds in Redwood City.  Speaking at the press conference, Megan Fluke, Committee for Green Foothills’ Executive Director, summarized our position clearly: “The Cargill salt ponds are a poster child for where we should not build.”

The main purpose of the press event was the announcement by Supervisor Pine of the release of a joint statement signed by over 60 elected officials and organizations, including Committee for Green Foothills. Supervisor Pine has been leading the efforts in San Mateo County to address sea level rise and flooding issues. The statement he presented highlights the growing number of community leaders who have joined together to declare our opposition to any development on the Redwood City salt ponds.

Seven years ago, Cargill and its development partner DMB Associates withdrew their application to build 12,000 residences and over 1 million square feet of office development on the salt ponds. Now, in the wake of a Trump administration decision declaring that the site is not subject to the Clean Water Act, Cargill has once again announced that it intends to explore “potential future uses” for the salt ponds.

Let’s be clear: the only acceptable or appropriate future use for the Cargill salt ponds is restoration of the entire site to its former state as a thriving wetland. Cargill will argue that we can have it all: both development and restoration. But we’ve already lost 90% of the Bay’s historic wetlands to development – wetlands that used to ring the entire Bay and that provided habitat for hundreds of species of birds and fish, that filtered pollution from stormwater before it entered the Bay, and that absorbed carbon from the atmosphere. We can’t afford to lose even one more acre of former wetlands to development.

Furthermore, the Cargill salt ponds are a terrible place for development. This site is far from transit centers, close to heavy industries, and directly in the path of sea level rise. Our region needs more housing – but we need to build it in infill areas close to jobs and transit, not out in the Bay.

Please join with us in this fight! Sign our petition and tell your friends: we don’t build in the Bay!

News stories:

ABC7 News (KGO): Coalition opposes development on salt ponds in Redwood City (“The Cargill Salt Ponds are a poster child for where we should not build” says Megan Fluke of the Committee for Green Foothills.)

Fox2 (KTVU): Development could doom Redwood City salt ponds, environmentalists say (“Ninety-percent of the Bay’s historic wetlands have already been lost to development” said Alice Kaufman. “We really need to restore as much as possible. Every acre is important.”)

CBS Bay Area (KPIX): Community groups take stand against Redwood City salt pond development (“The Cargill Salt Ponds are a poster child for exactly where we should not build,” said Megan Fluke, executive director of Committee for Green Foothills.)

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