On December 9th, ECOS/Habitat 2020 partnered with Sacramento Heron and Egret Rescue to submit comments to the city regarding the Arco Arena Reuse Plan. Below is an excerpt from the letter:
The ideas presented in the PUD completely ignore that there is a fully functioning aquatic resource (the Sleep Train Arena pond) in the Plan area that is currently providing habitat and nesting opportunities for hundreds of waterfowl. The PUD presents a completely people oriented urban landscape without any consideration for the local species that we share the region with. This paradigm ignores the appeal that such an aquatic resource would have for the new residents of the project area. It also demonstrates a lack of creativity because it is not even considered for use as part of the drainage basins that the Plan area will need to include. The grassy-sloped drainage basin depicted in the PUD, with anticipated residents recreating there, presents a vastly inferior option to a biologically dynamic pond supporting a large healthy nesting population of herons, egrets, cormorants, and other local avian species.
If this pond is eliminated, the over 1,000 herons and egrets that nest from April to August each year would very likely move to the surrounding neighborhoods to roost and nest, creating issues for residents and businesses. This would also result in hundreds of injured baby birds each year that would greatly strain local wildlife rescues, which are doing the work that our local shelters would otherwise be dealing with. The pond would provide the area with a nature viewing experience that would serve as a recreational and educational opportunity. It would allow residents access to nearby nature, which has been shown by research to have mental health benefits.
Here is the PDF link to the full comments.