Alameda Marina

THE STORY: Local, regional and state agencies conducted a multi-million-dollar effort last year to clear the Alameda/Oakland Estuary of sunken vessels that were determined to cause a navigation hazard and they chased away “anchor outs” illegally perched in the channel. But a pair of “anchor outs” has returned, posing a fresh challenge to public agencies and marina managers seeking to keep the Estuary clean.

This abandoned tug is one of several items to be pulled from the water during an upcoming Estuary cleanup. Photo courtesy of CalRecycle.

Brock de Lappe points to a distant corner of the Oakland/Alameda Estuary, on the edge of one’s line of vision from his perch at the Alameda Marina. It’s a spot he said is covered with trash and littered with sunken boats.

But a state agency is finalizing a $1.3 million grant that could help clear the Estuary of some of those abandoned hazards.

It is a balmy summer evening as dozens of sailors prepare for the next race in Oakland Yacht Club’s 2012 Sweet Sixteen Series – which is perhaps better known, along with similar races run by Encinal and Island yacht clubs on Friday nights, as Alameda’s beer can races. Martin Jemo and his crew prepare the Joanna, Jemo’s 30-foot Irwin, for a 90-minute run on the Alameda/Oakland Estuary.

Jemo has been sailing since the 1950s, and he and two other members of the crew have sailed together for so long that one crewmember jokingly refers to them as the Ancient Mariners.