Richmond Will Reopen Point Molate Beach Park

Richmond's only beach, Point Molate Beach Park, could reopen as soon as this summer.

Chris Chamberlain, the city parks and landscape superintendent, unveiled a two-part plan to reopen Richmond’s only beach to the public.

The area – located just north of the San Rafael Bridge – encompasses more than 11 acres of parkland along one third of a mile of shoreline.

“It really is a shame to have such a neat spot so close to the heart of our city and have it closed,” Chamberlain said.

Closed more than 10 years ago amid city budget woes, the former naval fuel depot had been a popular recreation area since the 1960s. Since then, the park has remained in relatively good condition, thanks to cleanup and maintenence efforts of local nonprofits.

The first phase of the beach's rehab will involve some minor improvements, including Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, new signage and the clearing of some plants to improve sight lines.

The work will cost about $74,000, and the money would be covered by settlement funds from the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill, for which the city received $600,000.

The remianing money will go toward developing a park master plan, which would tackle bigger issues such as shoreline erosion, and consider the possibility of adding a swim area, kayak launch facility, interpretive program and a public fishing pier.

At the meeting, Richmond residents expressed excitement for the opening. “We’re kind of champing at the bit in the public to get out there [and] spend time with that really beautiful setting,” said Marilyn Langlois.

A version of this story also appears on Richmond Confidential.

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