Baykeeper Update

Baykeeper Begins Removing Toxic Debris from Point Molate

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Baykeeper has begun a cleanup effort to remove up to 100 tons of debris that has been polluting San Francisco Bay waters and the shoreline at Point Molate in Richmond.

Currently, the beach is blighted by hundreds of pilings contaminated with creosote, a now-banned wood preservative that poses a threat to both wildlife and people. One of our first steps in the cleanup is cutting these large logs into smaller chunks so they can be removed, as shown in the photo above.

Along with contaminated logs, the beach is littered with metal shards, tires, and other large objects, posing a threat to public safety and wildlife habitat. Baykeeper hopes that removing this debris will improve the health of sub-tidal eelgrass beds along the beach and reduce the leaching of creosote into the water and shoreline soil.

Point Molate Beach Park, located at the cleanup site, has been closed for a decade due to lack of funding for maintenance. Once we have removed the debris, the City of Richmond hopes to reopen the park.

Point Molate is one of the last remaining undeveloped sites along San Francisco Bay and is a true treasure for Richmond and Bay Area residents. The cleanup is designed to help restore this beach to be more pleasant and healthy for recreation and also safer for wildlife. This effort is being funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under their Marine Debris Removal program.

Volunteers will be needed in the weeks ahead to help with the cleanup. For information, please contact ian@baykeeper.org.

Photo: Baykeeper volunteer, Sky Pace, cutting creosote pilings for removal from Point Molate Beach Park.