New site for the A's ballpark near Laney College is for the birds: Audubon Society

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A new poll out shows that the majority of people like the new A’s ballpark plan near Laney College.

But the Golden Gate chapter of the Audubon Society think the site on E. 8th Street is for the birds.

Cindy Margulis, executive director of the Audubon’s Golden Gate chapter, told the East Bay Express this week that a new ballpark built near the Lake Merritt Channel would devastate large numbers of bird species that nest each year at Lake Merritt, especially herons and cormorants.

The bright lights from the stadium will interfere with the birds’ evening food trips, and the loud, roaring crowds will frighten the birds which might fly over the freeway, crashing into zooming cars, she feared. Baseball season coincides with spring and summer nesting season, she said.

“Oakland also was the second city in the nation to officially become a bird-friendly city,” Margulis told the Express.

The ballpark could cause a die off of birds and perhaps force them to leave the Lake Merritt area completely. And Margulis says she sees no way for the A’s to prevent what she predicts will be an ecological catastrophe. 

“Lake Merritt is the oldest state-funded wildlife refuge in the nation,” Margulis told the Express. “That’s really special, and that’s why we have so much wildlife there. “

In an email to KTVU , A’s spokeswoman Catherine Aker did not specifically address the plight of the birds.

But she wrote: “We strongly believe that the development plans must integrate into and enhance the surrounding natural landscape, furthering the vision of Measure DD to make the Lake Merritt Channel into a public amenity for the entire region. We look forward to engaging in a community process where all voices are incorporated into our plan, including Golden Gate Audubon.”

This week, the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Pulse of Oakland poll showed that 62 percent of Oakland voters favor the ballpark plan near the Lake Merritt BART station. 
 

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