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Home Marina Center Benefits Coastal Wetlands Preserve

Marina Center Benefits

Environmental Benefits

Marina Center will fund the restoration and preservation of a 10-acre-plus coastal wetlands preserve on the property at Clark Slough.

Covering nearly a third of the total Balloon Track acreage, the environmental preserve will include restoration of a major portion of the historic Clark Slough wetlands. The initiative will add to Eureka’s public access open space and will restore the area to a natural condition it has not known for 100 years or more.

The effort will remove exotic, non-native vegetation (and a significant amount of trash and debris) currently dominating the wetlands and adjacent Clark Slough channel and replace it with a diverse habitat of coastal marsh vegetation. Restoring the area to historic topographic elevations and replacing non-native vegetation, mostly Phragmites australis, or “common reed,” with native marsh vegetation will promote the return of a wide range of water birds to the site.

Public access to Marina Center’s Clark Slough wetlands habitat (currently prohibited by law) will include a perimeter walkway or boardwalk with a kiosk and interpretive signage at vantage points along the path pointing out opportunities to see wildlife or examples of native plants. This pedestrian trail will connect with a pedestrian/bike trail along the existing railroad right of way, which will in turn connect Marina Center with downtown Eureka.

Protective environmental buffers will also be a key component of the Clark Slough preservation initiative. These open spaces, which will surround the Clark Slough wetlands, will also be planted with native trees and plants and provide protective screening to native wildlife on the site.

Marina Center facilitates the cleanup and reuse of an urban brownfield and blighted property.

Community Benefits

As proposed, Marina Center will generate estimated annual property-tax revenues of more than $900,000, most of which will go to the benefit of the City of Eureka’s Redevelopment Agency and contribute to local affordable housing initiatives. In addition, the project, as proposed, will provide up to 40 units of residential.

The State of California will contribute its share of the property taxes generated (more than $450,000 annually) to local school districts.

The City of Eureka’s General Fund will receive more than $1 million in annual sales-tax revenues.

Economic Benefits

Marina Center is estimated to create more than 1,000 jobs on site, including more than 600 retail jobs, 70 industrial jobs, and 400 office jobs. The project will also create much needed service-sector jobs (such as security, landscaping, janitorial and maintenance, etc.) All of these jobs, in turn, will support other local jobs through the spending of workers' wages.

The Home Depot will hire locally for hundreds of full-time and part-time workers, all of whom will be eligible for the company’s industry-leading wage and benefits packages.

Land-use Benefits

Marina Center discourages sprawl by promoting infill development and new growth in an already urbanized area. Infill promotes air quality by siting a new development within an existing community, while greenfield development, which occurs on the fringe of a community, promotes sprawl.

Development of the Balloon Track will revive it as a contributing and useful part of the community, resulting in a boost for the local economy and revitalization of the area south of Old Town.

Marina Center will mix land uses by clustering development and including a combination of retail, office, industrial, and affordable residential – bringing a new vibrancy to this part of Eureka.

Currently, the Wharfinger Building and Small Boat Basin areas are isolated from the Old Town and Boardwalk areas. Development of the Balloon Track would create a link between these two community assets.

Pedestrians will be able to access Marina Center by a pedestrian trail that connects with a pedestrian / bike trail parallel to the existing railroad right-of-way, which connects the site to the marina area.

Site development of the Balloon Track would deter current unauthorized use of the property as a temporary encampment area by the homeless. This is a drain on police and fire departments (and public funding) due to related emergency and nuisance calls.