Robert W. Crown State Beach

The city is hosting a special meeting to gather input on an East Bay Regional Park District request to extend their work hours on the Robert W. Crown State Beach sand restoration project.

Alamedans combed Robert W. Crown State Beach on Saturday as part of the 29th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. They were among the more than 50,000 volunteers who volunteered for cleanup duty at 850 sites across the state; preliminary data released by the California Coastal Commission on Saturday show that volunteers cleared 251 tons of trash and recyclables off of California's beaches and inland shores. Here in Alameda, participants cleared cigarette butts, food wrappers, straws, balloons and more off of Crown Beach; Donna Eyestone captured the story on this video.

Robert W. Crown State Beach has been called “a great achievement of landscaping and engineering,” a manmade beach on San Francisco Bay that once hosted an amusement center known as the “Coney Island of the West” and was restored three decades ago for erosion control and public use.

Erosion caused by a 2005 storm prompted the East Bay Regional Park District – which manages Crown Beach for the state and the city – to initiate efforts to restore the beach to its 1980s footprint. In September, the park district will begin a three-month, $5.6 million project that will spread 82,600 cubic yards of sand – about 20 percent of the beach’s 1980s footprint – across 8,000 linear feet of 9,000-foot-long beach.

The park district is hosting a community information day about the project from 9 a.m. to noon this coming Saturday, August 24 in the Crab Cove Visitor Center, 1252 McKay Avenue. At the event, parks staff will offer details about the project, answer questions and provide project plans, diagrams and historic photos for the public to view.

Updated at 12:05 p.m. Tuesday, November 13

Managers of the East Bay Regional Park District announced they're suing the city over its decision to zone a piece of federal property adjacent to Crab Cove and Robert W. Crown State Beach to allow housing, a move city leaders fear could nullify new zoning rules approved by the state. District officials had wanted the property to expand Crab Cove's facilities.

We were driving to a Memorial Day picnic when I heard the helicopter, its blades frantically casting aside the blue midday sky in its quest to rescue a man from the chilly waters of the San Francisco Bay.

I was a woman without a country, having shuttered my former news venture a month earlier. But that did not make me want to know what was happening on the beach that helicopter was hovering so close to any less. “Turn around,” I told my husband, directing him to a parking spot far enough from the police cars on the beach that the kids couldn’t see whatever had brought them all there. I hopped out and slogged across the warm, thick sand.