Flooding On 81st Ave, Oakland, Calif

East Oakland Stadium Alliance Seeks To Drown A’s Fans In Water At Coliseum

The East Oakland Stadium Alliance, the advocacy organization that has played an unproductive role in the matter of a baseball stadium ballpark for the Oakland Athletics, continues to push the idea that the Oakland A’s build at the dangerous site that is the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex.

The photo above that marks this blog post is from 81st Avenue, in East Oakland, and near the Oakland Coliseum. That’s just a taste of the wet future forecast for that area of Oakland.

Moreover, the East Oakland Stadium Alliance is fully aware that their demands can be met at Howard Terminal, but have elected to go full-on horse-patudy, and not make a single move toward a resolution that would be in the organization’s favor. But let’s take up the matter of what’s wrong with the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum Complex.

The rising sea level of water has been a growing problem. It’s to the point that Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval said, two years ago, that building at the Coliseum was “not an option” because (my words from here) in 20 years, it would be six-feet under.

The problem is detailed in something called the Oakland Sea Level Rise Plan. This little-talked-about document should be required reading for every Oakland A’s fan, and every Oaklander. It lays out the fact that sea level is rising in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is reaching levels such that in 19 years, the Coliseum property will add 72 inches of water.

That’s what this photo, taken from the report, shows:

Oakland Sea Level Rise Problem
Oakland Sea Level Rise Problem

The dark blue part of the Oakland Sea Level Rise Plan map represents the area of highest sea level rise: East Oakland, and within it, the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, and the Oakland Airport. Moreover, the other problem, not seen in the photo, is that the Coliseum Complex has a lower elevation than Howard Terminal, which also has the sea level problem, but to a much lesser degree than at the Coliseum.

The Howard Terminal case can’t be compared to the Coliseum problem for one main reason: size. At Howard Terminal, the sea level problem can be more easily mitigated; the sea level problem at the Oakland Coliseum exists for the entire section of land that takes up Oakland Airport and much of East Oakland. It would take a more significant investment to alter the topography for that area than for the comparatively smaller Howard Terminal District.

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Dave Kaval said “In terms of rising sea level, the Coliseum is actually tougher to deal with. For one thing, it has a lower elevation, and then there are the creeks. One of the reasons we are incorporating a large park and restored wetlands is so that we can accommodate sea level rise. We want to be a steward of the area.”

Coliseum Underwater
Coliseum Underwater from Adapting to Rising Tides Program at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

The Sierra Club, which claims to be some champion of the Oakland environment, pushed for the Coliseum over Howard Terminal, failing to note the sea level problem. The sea level problem at the Coliseum was not missed by AcClimate-West, which wrote:

Damon Slough, a 25-foot wide canal of sluggish brown water skirting the Oakland Coliseum’s northern parking lot, is easy to overlook. The slough rises and ebbs underneath the feet of A’s fans as they cross the pedestrian bridge from BART’s Coliseum station to the ballpark. Below the bridge, amid the smell of warm churros and murmur of voices selling scalped tickets, the slough’s straightened concrete channel runs north along the railroad tracks, passing rusty sheet metal warehouses and barbed wire-fenced gravel lots before elbowing west around the Coliseum parking lot. A few blocks away Amtrak riders heading up and down state, and the drivers of big-rigs and sedans on Interstate 880, whiz by mere feet above the slough’s oil-slicked chocolate water and bobbing plastic.

With sea levels rising, flooding may force these thousands of commuters to pay attention to Damon Slough soon enough. As tides from the San Francisco Bay push further and further into the slough, water will creep closer and closer to the Coliseum area and the transportation serving it. But water won’t just be coming from the Bay. It will also be coming, as it already does, from the hills, gathering heft as rain falls into creeks and channels and runs through the Oakland flats before dumping into the slough.

Forecast Of At Least One 3-Foot-Flood Taking Place Between Now And 2050 In Oakland

The online publication called The Surging Seas Risk Finder reports the following with respect to Oakland, and in particular, East Oakland, where the Coliseum Complex is located:

– Warming oceans and melting glaciers and ice sheets are raising global sea levels.
– About 410 people in Oakland live on exposed land below 3 ft (the selected level) . More threats↓
– The selected sea level scenario points to a 93% risk of at least one flood over 3 ft taking place between today and 2050 in the Oakland area. More scenarios↓

Last Year, NBC Bay Area Produced An Extensive Multi-Media Report On What Is An SF Bay Area Horror Slow-Rolling

The news story was based on a report by the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. The stage agency called the sea level rise problem “unlike any disaster we have ever seen.” NBC Bay Area wrote this rather alarming set of three paragraphs:

An investigation by NBC Bay Area has found more than two dozen major construction projects worth billions of dollars – either recently completed or still in development – located in areas along San Francisco Bay that scientific computer models show will be flooded or surrounded by water by 2050 or earlier.

The developments include everything from retail and office buildings, to entertainment facilities and housing developments.

The municipalities that gave permission for these developments, in some cases, now acknowledge that their location is problematic and say that taxpayers will likely have to help pay to mitigate, insure or otherwise fix the problem that scientists have known is coming for years.

One of those developments was Chase Center, the new arena The Golden State Warriors left Oakland’s Coliseum to build. This is what NBC Bay area wrote:

When NBC Bay Area asked the Warriors about why they built the Chase Center in a potential flood zone, they responded, “Chase Center is above the projected 2100 flood levels and would not be subject to flooding during daily high tide conditions as late as the next century, even with the anticipated 36 inches of sea-level rise.”

See complete Warriors statement here.

It’s important to note that the Warriors based their building on 36 inches of sea-level rise in 2100, whereas the Adapting to Rising Tides report says developers should build for a potential 10 feet of sea-level rise.

It’s important to remind the reader that the expected maximum sea level rise in East Oakland is 72-inches, much more than 36-inches.

East Oakland Stadium Alliance Must Stop Playing Games And Take The Red Pill

It’s clear that the East Oakland Stadium Alliance sadly plays games with the truth, and in the process, is pushing a plan that will only endanger thousands of Oakland A’s fans for years to come. The East Oakland Stadium Alliance knows that the Howard Terminal Infrastructure District will produce enough tax increment financing revenue to rebuild the trucking area at Howard Terminal, nearby – they just don’t mention that in public.

Maybe planning for a positive future scares the organization? Well, East Oakland Stadium Alliance must stop being scared. The East Oakland Stadium Alliance is unknowingly chasing away millions in unsecured property value from trucks that would be roped into the tax district’s arms, producing TIF revenue that can help its clients and keep the A’s in Oakland at Howard Terminal.

In the classic movie The Matrix, The Red Pill represents an uncertain and unknown future. The Red Pill would free one (in this case Neo, played by Keanu Reeves) from the enslaving control of the machine-generated dream world and allow that person to escape into the real world. The trouble is the real world is not friendly – it’s difficult and calls for cunning and teamwork to deal with it. On the other hand, The Blue Pill takes one to a kind of beautiful prison or fake theme park. The Blue Pill leads to ignorance, and allows one to live in confined comfort without want or fear. They’re protected within the simulated reality of the Matrix. Until it’s too late.

Stay tuned.

Oakland Sea Level Rise Plan… by Zennie Abraham

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