Balancing economic progress with environmental protection.
The Point Molate team is committed to its vision of harmonious co-existence with local ecosystems and the communities that surround the Project. Our vision brings together two complementary approaches to environmental design. On the one hand, the Project will integrate the best green technologies, materials, and planning as a way of reducing pollution and consumption of resources. On the other hand, the Project will engage people on site and around the region to restore and continually improve healthy ecosystems, including the neighboring communities in Richmond.
This "super-green" project aims to go beyond any other regional development effort in reducing its ecological footprint while generating enduring ecological benefits. It brings together regenerative philosophy, technologies, and design from the beginning, yielding conservation benefits that extend well beyond the Site and into the future. Thirty-nine percent of US energy demand is used to heat, cool, and light buildings—a situation that California and the Bay Area have set out to provide leadership in changing. The Project will be a significant example of what business can do to lead the fight against global warming and resource depletion. Initial estimates are that it is possible to reduce on-site energy use by 35 to 50 percent. Examples of some of the technologies and programs included in the current proposal:
- On-site renewable energy and co-generation
- Advanced lighting design including daylighting
- Recycled gray water system
- Storm-water capture
- Passive cooling and heating
- Energy-efficient key card smart building system
- Recycling and food waste composting
Green technologies and design will be integrated into every phase of the Project:
Pedestrian- and Transit-Oriented Development
For residents, employees, and visitors, Point Molate is designed to reduce the need to drive. Point Molate is being designed as a major intermodal transit node. Regular ferry service to and from San Francisco and points around the Bay will be established from the on-site pier—and the project team is working with local companies to pursue alternative fuel ferries. Point Molate has also initiated collaborations with BART and AC Transit to provide convenient shuttle service from BART, as well as an improved and extended bus schedule to the Site and within Richmond. We project the use of mass transit to access the Site will exceed that of any comparable project. Although parking will be provided on site for buses and those who choose to drive, cars will be kept outside of the village center to encourage pedestrians. Electric carts will be available for visitors who require them.
Restoring an Endangered Landscape
For millennia, Native American management practices helped create and sustain the rich ecosystems found here when Europeans first arrived. Since that time, these ecosystems have been severely disturbed and damaged by humans. Point Molate still holds tiny fragments of coastal prairie, an ecosystem that is threatened throughout California.
Currently, Point Molate is a “Brownfield”—an industrialized, infill site with degraded natural systems. Through three years of negotiations with the U.S. Navy, the project team has been able to secure agreements to significantly speed up, and enhance the process for environmental cleanup on site. This effort involved convincing the Navy to fund more cleanup than they would normally perform themselves, and a multi-million dollar funding commitment from the Project to provide for the aggressive cleanup the community deserves.
As part of its green mission, the Point Molate team will work with environmental groups, neighbors, and tribal people to develop a plan to restore and extend native habitat on site and in the region. This is a key part of the Project’s work to regenerate indigenous culture and to resurrect native practices that helped keep the land and water healthy.
Sense of Place
People have a disproportionate influence over whether or not an ecosystem is healthy. In the Bay Area’s distant past, people played a beneficial role. But during the last 150 years, human activities have brought many of the region’s plants and animals to the brink of extinction, degrading the health of land and sea in the process.
Excellent work is being done in the region to reverse these trends. Much knowledge and sophisticated technology has been developed. But the real key to changing patterns of behavior is to awaken people’s understanding and sense of caring about the place they live.
Point Molate seeks to be a living and learning community, actively sharing its insights about what works. The Project’s pioneering use of environmental technologies will be showcased through informational, scientific, and educational exhibits. While most visitors will come to Point Molate for fun, entertainment, food and recreation, our ambition is to awaken in each a deeper sense of belonging to, and responsibility for, this rare and beautiful place called the Bay Area.