Baykeeper Update

Advocating for Stronger Sediment Cleanup Measures

Baykeeper is advocating for improvements to the State Water Board's revisions to their Sediment Quality Objectives, guidelines which are intended to result in the identification and cleanup of toxic hot spots throughout California's bays and estuaries – the largest of which is San Francisco Bay. Bay sediments are contaminated with toxics such as PCBs, mercury and dioxin, which bioaccumulate throughout the Bay's food chain.

The State Water Board has delayed finalizing these objectives since 1989, and Baykeeper even filed a lawsuit in 1999 to compel the Board to take action. Unfortunately, progress remains slow, and the newly released policy is still wholly inadequate. The Board has already put years of staff time and many taxpayer dollars into developing a sound strategy for cleaning up the state's most polluted bays and estuaries, and now Baykeeper is trying to ensure that this effort does not go to waste. We're urging the State Board to move forward with a science-based cleanup strategy intended to reduce fish contamination, which would go a long way toward making San Francisco Bay fishable once again.