The Government Builds an Island  

Coast Guard IslandOriginally the Estuary was a very shallow body of water--about 2 feet deep at low tide. Dredging projects to deepen ship channels began as early as 1859 and have continued ever since. The problem of what to do with the dredge spoils--the sand, rock and mud removed from the channel--has plagued all dredging projects. The disappearance of the marshes and changes in the shoreline that you see on this map are largely the result of the need to dispose of dredge spoils.

In 1916, the Army Corps of Engineers, which had done much of the dredging, created a 100-acre island of dredge spoils in Brooklyn Basin. A dispute arose regarding ownership with both Oakland and Alameda laying claim. The courts decided in Alameda's favor. Alameda then sold part of it to the federal government which, in 1934, built a Coast Guard and Customs station on the island.

Deborah Cooper
Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Museum of California Logo  "Walk Along the Water"
  Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.

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History of Coast Guard Island - US Coast Guard

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