'Cold and fabulous': Advocates plunge into the Bay to help save SF's crumbling Aquatic Park Pier

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Advocates plunge into the Bay to help save SF's Aquatic Park Pier
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Advocates plunge into the Bay to help save San Francisco's crumbling Aquatic Park Pier.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Dozens of brave advocates plunged into the frigid Bay waters Saturday to save a crumbling San Francisco landmark. Aquatic Park Pier, or Municipal Pier was recently closed to the public, because it's structurally unsafe. Friends of the pier are urging Federal officials to fund the skyrocketing repair bill.

"It was cold and fabulous," said Fran Hegeler.

Hegeler was among a group of brave folks who jumped into the super-cold bay water.

The chilly move was designed get some attention for an aging landmark in distress-Municipal Pier at Aquatic Park.

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"We here in San Francisco need to send a message to our friends in Washington, D.C. it's time to fix this," Hegeler.

The historic 1,400-foot pier, once enjoyed by fisherman and tourists, is in dire need of repair. It's owned by the National Park Service, built in 1933.

But years of crashing waves and storms have left it crumbling. The park service decided to close it permanently last month.

Last August, a fire destroyed an abandoned building near the entrance of Aquatic Park Pier.

"Can you sign a postcard to help save Aquatic Park Pier?" said one volunteer.

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Advocates are rallying the public to urge Federal officials to come up with funds to fix the pier, that repair bill now topping $100 Million.

"My message to the Feds: we need money yesterday. Please come and save this resource. It's a national asset," said San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

Advocates say if the pier is allowed to collapse into the bay, Aquatic Cove could disappear.

"It's not just recreation, it protects the beach from erosion," said San Francisco Supervisor, Catherine Stefani.

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In a written statement park officials tell ABC7 News, "The National Park Service remains committed to prioritizing and planning for the replacement of Municipal Pier and will continue to work with the Community and government stakeholders towards achieving a viable solution, should funding become available."

Advocates call it 'pier pressure.' They say they'll keep jumping in the water and making noise until a commitment is made to save this piece of history.

"Save the pier, fund the the pier," the crowd chanted.

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