Baykeeper Update

Removing Toxic Debris from Point Molate

With help from volunteers, Baykeeper will soon begin a new project to remove up to 125 tons of toxic debris polluting the San Francisco Bay shoreline and waters around Point Molate in Richmond.

The debris includes hundreds of pilings contaminated with creosote, a cancer-causing wood preservative that poses a threat to both wildlife and people. Also slated to be removed are trash and parts of a derelict pier that have floated ashore.

In late September through mid-October, Baykeeper and volunteers will remove all debris that can be taken out by hand. Heavy machinery will be used to haul away the rest.

Removal of the pilings will result in the safe disposal of toxic creosote. In addition, the project will restore shoreline habitat for the benefit of wildlife and people, and improve sub-tidal habitat for eelgrass and other sensitive species that have been disturbed by the ongoing pollution.

We hope the debris removal will make the beach safer and cleaner, and also help facilitate the re-opening of a former city park at Point Molate. In 2001 the city of Richmond was forced to close the park due to lack of funds for basic maintenance and cleanup. Baykeeper is working with Richmond officials and Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate to ensure the project is consistent with the community’s vision for the area.

Baykeeper is able to take on the debris removal with a grant we were recently awarded from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To accomplish this cleanup, Baykeeper is partnering with the Coalition for a Sustainable Point Molate and other Richmond volunteers. We can use help from volunteers who can lift at least 40 pounds. If you’re interested, please contact Ian Wren, (ian@baykeeper.org).