From Baykeeper's Column in Bay Crossings Magazine

Baykeeper publishes a column in Bay Crossings, a monthly newspaper featuring articles of interest on San Francisco Bay cultural, environmental and maritime issues.
(August 2014) Slender, blue-gray birds up to five feet tall, great blue herons (Ardea herodias) live all around San Francisco Bay. With half its height in its long legs, this majestic bird wades in the Bay’s shallow tidal waters, often standing silent and unmoving. Then, with a sudden thrust of its sharp beak, the great blue heron stabs a fish and swallows it whole. Sometimes the fish is larger...
(July 2014) What happens when the engines of a large ship in San Francisco Bay suddenly lose power?  The pilot loses the ability to steer the ship or stop it from drifting. A dramatic rise in such incidents began in 2009, when a California law to help reduce global climate change went into effect. Ships are now required to use less-polluting diesel fuel when in state waters, including the Bay,...
(June 2014) In the late 1980s, San Francisco Bay’s health was in serious decline. Environmental laws were in place to protect the Bay from pollution, but they were not being enforced. Media reports warned that the Bay might even be dying.  In the face of these threats, Dr. Michael Herz, a researcher and scientist, was inspired to create San Francisco Baykeeper. Since 1989, Baykeeper has patrolled...
(May 2014) With sunnier days and warmer weather, it’s a perfect time to visit a San Francisco Bay shoreline park. Park activities include wildlife viewing, swimming, windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, hiking, bicycling, picnicking, camping, fishing and hanging out amid the beauty of the Bay. Here’s a sampling: China Camp State Park, San Rafael. Nestled along the shore of the San Pablo Bay,...
(April 2014) In honor of Earth Day on April 22, Opening Day on the Bay on April 27, and the spring and summer recreation season, Baykeeper presents tips to protect both your health and the health of San Francisco Bay. When You’re Along or On the Bay Use mineral sunscreens, but avoid nanoparticles. Most chemical sunscreens contain dangerous compounds like oxybenzone and retinol that can cause...
(March 2014) Drought’s impact on San Francisco Bay is varied, but fish get hit the hardest. Salmon and steelhead swim into the Bay from the ocean, then swim up rivers or creeks to spawn, depositing the eggs that become the next fish generation. Historically, despite periodic droughts, during spawning season the Bay and rivers that fed the Bay teemed with salmon. But for years, a human-created...
(February 2014) If you’re on the San Francisco Bay shoreline and spot a small, round owl on the ground, it’s probably a burrowing owl. These long-legged birds weigh just 4 to 9 ounces, and are the only owl active on the ground during the day. They have brown spotted feathers and bright yellow eyes. The most likely place to find a burrowing owl is beside a ground squirrel’s abandoned burrow....
(January 2014) The oil industry has big plans for expansion along San Francisco Bay’s shore. If the region’s refineries get their way, millions more barrels of crude oil will be brought to the Bay Area for processing and export to other states and nations. The number of tankers on the Bay will go way up, drastically raising the risk of oil spills—and the risk of massive harm to the Bay’s wildlife...
(December 2013) Dungeness crabs are a Bay Area holiday tradition. But long before these tasty crustaceans grace our dinner plates, they’ve made an amazing journey. They start in the Pacific Ocean, migrate at least 20 miles to San Pablo Bay, and later walk back along the bottom of the San Francisco Bay all the way out the Golden Gate. From now through January, Dungeness crabs will be hatching from...
(November 2013) Will millions of gallons of raw and undertreated sewage get spilled into San Francisco Bay this rainy season? Baykeeper will monitor reports of spills and get that information out to the public in our interactive online map. Rainy-season sewage spills and overflows have contaminated the Bay for years, because many Bay Area sewage collection systems need repair and are prone to...

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