About Baykeeper

Defending San Francisco Bay for Over 25 Years

For more than 25 years, Baykeeper has worked to stop pollution in San Francisco Bay. Our vision for the next 25 years is a San Francisco Bay where the water is clean, the ecosystem is healthy, recreation is safe, and wildlife can thrive.

We’re working toward a Bay that is:

  • Free from pollution—so communities and wildlife aren’t threatened by toxics, trash, or oil spills.
  • Safe for recreation—where swimmers, surfers, boaters, and beach-goers can enjoy the water without fear of contamination.
  • With healthy beaches—protected from erosion caused by sand mining and dredging.
  • Ready for the future—with shorelines and wetlands that can withstand sea level rise, and where our communities make the most of scarce water resources.

Baykeeper Protects the Bay   

San Francisco Bay is a treasure of the Bay Area, and the heart of our landscape, communities, and economy.

Yet San Francisco Bay’s health is threatened by polluted runoff, sewage spills, oil spills, sand removal, and the increasing pressure of drought and sea level rise. Far too often, clean water laws aren’t enforced, so that pollution continues unchecked. 

That's why Baykeeper exists. For more than 25 years, we have been the Bay’s most effective advocate and its strongest defender. Using water quality monitoring, science, and on-the-water patrols, Baykeeper identifies the greatest threats to the health of the Bay’s ecosystem. Then we strategically use advocacy, public education, and legal action to secure smart solutions that stop pollution and restore water quality.

We have a staff of nine with scientific and legal expertise, a board of directors with a breadth of experience with the Bay, an expert advisory board, eight volunteer boat skippers, and the only pollution patrol boat monitoring and investigating pollution in the Bay. 

Our small organization has a big impact on the Bay’s health. Since 1989, Baykeeper has:

  • compelled cleanup of hundreds of refineries, chemical companies, landfills, and city streets;
  • kept hundreds of millions of gallons of untreated sewage out of the Bay and local neighborhoods;
  • won federal court victories to regulate pesticides, invasive species, and vessel pollution;
  • been recognized as a national leader in oil spill prevention and response;
  • conducted regular patrols of San Francisco Bay to monitor and stop pollution; and
  • responded to hundreds of citizen pollution reports through our pollution hotline. 

San Francisco Baykeeper is one of 200 Waterkeeper organizations working for clean water around the world. We are a founding member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance and were the first Waterkeeper on the West Coast. Baykeeper also works with 12 Waterkeepers across California and is a member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance.

With your help, we will continue to press forward to ensure that San Francisco Bay is protected—now and for future generations.

Top photo by Bart Quigley, other photos by Lyrinda Snyderman