Oil washed up on Alameda beach last November at Crown Memorial Beach and other areas after an oil spill due to tanker refueling problems. The spill led to beach pollution and closed beaches, and it also killed some wildlife and left dozens of birds covered in oil.
Now, the nation is grappling with the widespread effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the April 20 explosion at a deep-water rig owned by British Petroleum. The resulting pollution and other impacts have prompted some groups in Florida and other areas to organize protests against oil drilling.
Hands Across the Sand will take place at noon Saturday, June 26, on Crown Beach in Alameda as part of a global protest and in support renewable energy development.
The event in Alameda is part of a widespread effort put together by the Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation and many other non-profit organizations.
Volunteers are asked to meet at 11 a.m. this Saturday. At 12 p.m., participants will hold hands for 15 minutes in support of clean beaches and clean energy.
If possible, event organizers say, participants should walk or bike to the area.
Everyday for many months, walkers, bikers, stroller-pushers, puppies and more members of the Alameda community were treated with the calm presence of the Alameda Beach Buddha at the intersection of Broadway and Otis.
Many residents shared fruit, feathers and other gift of thanks with the Buddha, who looked out over the bird sanctuary and San Francisco Bay.
At special holiday times, some Alamedans would put a colorful plastic wreath or even a wreath made of flowers on the Buddha. Interesting objects found in the area were also given to the Buddha, rather than just being casually thrown away.
And for a time, there was a Buddhist teaching taped to the statue: “Today is only today,” it read.
That special message seemed to resinate with with many Alamedans who stroll by the Bay as often as possible to relax, take a deep breath or two, watch a heron resting nearby and appreciate our daily life on the Island.
The Alameda Journal would greatly appreciate any news on the Alameda Beach Buddha. The empty spot where the Buddha used to sit lies empty. But the wonderful reflection and open spirit it embodies lives on.
Even without the Beach Buddha, there are ways for Alamedans to find out more about Buddhist teaching. The Orgyen Dorje Den, 2234 Santa Clara Avenue, practices Tibetan Buddhism. Also, the Buddhist Temple of Alameda, at 2325 Pacific Avenue, holds Buddhist services and events.