One early morning in 2016, San Francisco Baykeeper’s pollution hotline began ringing frantically. Concerned swimmers and beachgoers reported trash littering the shoreline and wanted to know what could be done. Our field investigator monitored the area during one of our regular boat patrols, and our staff scientist quickly realized the fireworks extravaganza during the Super Bowl festivities had sprayed a plume of plastic and cardboard debris into the Bay and onto local beaches. When regional agencies expressed a reluctance to do anything about the pollution, Baykeeper’s policy advocates contacted the fireworks company directly and advised them on best practices for preventing pollution from fireworks. The company agreed to use these best practices going forward. For the past two years, we’ve monitored the company’s fireworks shows, and our volunteers have held cleanups of shoreline areas where fireworks debris would be likely to wash up. Fortunately, there haven’t been any more signs of significant fireworks pollution around Bay Area beaches.
San Francisco Baykeeper: Keeping San Francisco Bay Safe from Harm