Divers Clean Lake Merritt Flood Gates

A man in a wetsuit and a yellow hard helmet comes out of murky waters
A diver comes out of the Lake Merritt Channel by the pump station. Photo by Momo Chang.

Divers have been out to clean the tidal flood gates at the Lake Merritt Pump Station by 7th Street.

close up of an underwater helmet and a hand with a hose washing yellow helmet
A diver cleans equipment after getting out of the Lake Merritt Channel. Photo by Momo Chang.

These gates are used as a barrier between the Oakland Harbor and Lake Merritt to control water levels while still allowing wildlife to come in and out of Lake Merritt.

Without flood control, during high tides and King Tides, the lake could rise too high and flood places like Lake Chalet and the Boat House area, and beyond.

Gates have gaps in between so that fish and other wildlife and swim to and fro. As seen in the recent massive fish die-off likely caused by a harmful algal bloom, tons of fish, bat rays, and other marine life spend time in the lake.

angled gates with some trash trapped on it and murky waters beneath
Gates at the Lake Merritt Pump Station. Photo by Momo Chang.

The divers are contracted by Alameda County to maintain the pump station, flood gates, and to clean off debris that impacts the use of the floodgates and pump station.

Growth includes “barnacles, mussels, tube worms, oysters, and soft growth organisms such as hydroids, tunicates, sponges, sea lettuce, and widgeon grass,” according to the county.

Author Profile

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Co-Director. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

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