Baykeeper's Monthly Column

Baykeeper publishes a monthly column on San Francisco Bay cultural, environmental, and maritime issues.
(September 2018) On Saturday September 15, International Coastal Cleanup Day, thousands of Bay Area residents will head to local beaches to pick up trash. But many people don’t realize that San Francisco Bay’s shoreline is part of the coast. In fact, there’s often more trash accumulated along Bay shoreline than on Pacific Ocean beaches, but fewer volunteers at Bay cleanup sites. So consider...
(August 2018) A lack of fresh water is tearing apart San Francisco Bay’s web of life. Salmon hatch in rivers and migrate to the ocean at a young age. They mature there and return to the river where they hatched to spawn—leaving the eggs of a new generation. The Bay once teemed with salmon from the two main river systems, the San Joaquin and the Sacramento, that flow into the Delta and then to the...
(July 2018) We were on the Baykeeper boat for a pollution patrol recently when I noticed something surprising. The stockpiles of toxic black coal that usually tower along the Richmond shoreline were the smallest I’d seen in my 15 years on patrol. I’d expected coal stockpiles to be even higher than in the past. That’s because when coal industry corporation Bowie Resource Partners hit a roadblock...
(June 2018) If you love San Francisco Bay, you’re invited to spend an unforgettable day on the water—for a great cause. Kayak, stand-up paddle board, swim, or boat in the 5th Annual Bay Parade, on Sunday, July 15. It’s a wonderful way to show you care about keeping the Bay’s water clean for recreation. Choose your favorite way to celebrate a healthy San Francisco Bay:  Kayak or stand-up paddle...
(May 2018) If you’re a Bay Area voter, congratulations! Your vote has begun making a difference for San Francisco Bay. Two years ago, an overwhelming majority of Bay Area voters showed how much they love the Bay by passing Measure AA. The measure created new funding for the restoration of the Bay’s wetlands and shorelines. Now, eight projects are being funded with this new support. The projects...
(April 2018) Update: As of April 5, the derelict boat has left Aquatic Park. For months, a rundown sailboat has been illegally anchored in San Francisco Bay’s most sheltered swimming cove, Aquatic Park, off San Francisco’s northern shoreline. Swimmers have called and emailed Baykeeper’s Pollution Hotline repeatedly to report pollution from the rogue sailboat. They reported having to detour around...
(March 2018) If you discover a sewage spill in Oakland—or have reported a spill in the past to Oakland city officials—please report it to Baykeeper. Sewage spilled into city streets generally ends up in San Francisco Bay. Spilled sewage is sometimes inappropriately washed down a nearby storm drain, or the sewage may be carried to the storm drain by rain. Most storm drains empty into the Bay, or...
(February 2018) Compared to some of our wild neighbors around the Bay Area, we’re all newbies to California.  Sturgeon have swum in our local waters for more than 2 million years. These giant fish can grow even larger than San Francisco Bay’s biggest mammal, the sea lion. But because sturgeon stay far underwater along the Bay’s dark floor, few people ever see one. Two sturgeon species live in...
(January 2018) Like a creature from a horror movie that keeps coming back from the dead, the threat of coal pollution is menacing San Francisco Bay again. And it could be coming to a neighborhood near you. This month, a trial is set to determine if a developer can overturn the City of Oakland’s recent ban on coal transport and storage in Oakland. Baykeeper is standing up in court beside Oakland...
(December 2017) As the shoreline whizzed by and the wind sprayed mist on our faces, I spotted an old building out of the corner of my eye that didn’t look quite right. We were patrolling San Francisco Bay for pollution in the Baykeeper boat, along San Francisco’s eastern shoreline, near Potrero Hill. Our volunteer skipper for that day, Geoff Potter, slowed and pulled closer. The deteriorating...

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