Lake Merritt Bird Island Restoration Deadline Approaching


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Bird lovers, take note.

The City of Oakland needs to start installation of its Lake Merritt Bird Islands Restoration Project next month. The scheduled fall renovations come almost four years after the city applied for and accepted a $1 million grant from the California Coastal Conservancy to revive the islands near the lake’s north shore.

After years of deferred maintenance, the five man-made islands, constructed between 1925 and 1956 as part of the Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge, suffer from dead and dying vegetation, deteriorated infrastructure, and eroded shorelines, according to an Oakland Public Works Agency memo. The project intends to reverse the decay and also provide for a new public viewing area next to the Rotary Nature Center.

But with September only a few weeks away, as of early last week, the city has not yet chosen a company to lead the job. Four companies are under consideration to restore the lake’s bird island foraging and nesting habitat.