Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for December 2015

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for December 2015
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San Francisco Bay

Victory! Proposed Pittsburg Oil Storage Facility Is Prevented

An oil storage and transfer facility proposed for Pittsburg that could have polluted San Francisco Bay won't be opened. In a victory for San Francisco Bay and local communities, the facility developer, WesPac Energy, recently called off the project.

Baykeeper advocated against the crude oil facility because it would have raised the risk of oil spills in the Bay and its watershed. We joined with other environmental and community advocates to oppose this project, which was a key component of oil industry plans to expand Bay Area oil refining. These expansion plans are based on shipping in more crude oil in unsafe tank cars on tracks that run along the Bay's shore, creating a threat of oil spills and explosions.

Stopping the WesPac project is a critical win for our efforts to defeat plans to expand Bay Area oil refineries.

Learn more about the oil storage facility that was planned for Pittsburg and how Baykeeper helped stop it.

Photo by Joan Robins

Victory! Court Rules Against Excessive Sand Mining in the Bay

Baykeeper recently achieved a big victory for the Bay. The California Court of Appeal ruled that state agencies and private companies no longer have a green light to extract massive amounts of sand from the floor of San Francisco Bay.

The Court ruled that instead, the public's access, use, and enjoyment of this important Bay resource must come first. This ruling can help keep sand in the Bay to prevent erosion of Ocean Beach, and safeguard species like Dungeness crab that are impacted by sand mining.

We've been advocating to protect the Bay from excessive sand mining for many years, and we began this legal challenge in 2012. It's a critical win for the Bay, wildlife, and local shorelines.

Learn more about Baykeeper's successful legal case to stop excessive sand mining in the Bay.

Photo by Dan Hershman

From the Air, King Tides Show What's Coming with Sea Level Rise

During November King Tides, the year's highest tides, Baykeeper went up in the air with LightHawk Conservation Flying. We captured some dramatic photos showing San Francisco Bay shoreline areas close to high water, or even under water, including this area of the Chevron oil refinery in Richmond.

King Tides are not caused by sea level rise; they occur when the gravitational pulls of the sun and moon reinforce one another. Nevertheless, they provide a preview of what's coming as sea levels rise due to global climate change. Shoreline areas close to high water during King Tides are at risk of flooding as sea levels rise, and increased risk for contamination due to water levels reaching more pollution sources.

King Tides will occur again December 22-24, 2015, and January 21-22, 2016.

See more photos of the San Francisco Bay shoreline during King Tides.

Photo by Robb Most

Paris Climate Agreement a Step Forward—Now Local Action Is Needed

The United Nations Climate Conference, or COP21, recently concluded with the adoption of an ambitious global agreement on climate change.

Baykeeper was represented at the climate talks by Advisory Board Members Marc and Sheila Andrus; Sara Aminzadeh, Director of our statewide coalition California Coastkeeper Alliance; and fellow Waterkeepers from The Bahamas to China. Through our representatives, we joined the chorus of voices in Paris demanding climate action that led to this critical agreement.

The Paris Agreement lays out a framework for collective action to move away from fossil fuels, but it is up to local advocates to ensure the transformation takes place. Baykeeper is working to reduce fossil fuel shipment in the Bay Area, oppose coal export from Bay Area ports, and prevent the expansion of Bay Area oil refineries.

Here in the Bay Area, sea level rise and other climate change impacts are already occurring. Baykeeper works to make the Bay Area more resilient to sea level rise by protecting the wetlands, sand, and sediment that naturally protect shorelines from rising waters.

Learn more about Baykeeper's local action on climate change.

Photo by Robb Most

Holiday Tips to Protect the Bay

For San Francisco Bay, winter can bring a surge of pollution from sewage contamination. Often the cause is the cooking and cleanup of rich foods, particularly holiday meals. Cooking rich foods like turkey, roasts, gravy, and desserts creates fats, oil, and grease that get washed down the drain during cleanup of pots, pans, and fryers.

The result can be a sewer line clogged with hardened fat. Sewage can then back up into the street, and be washed into the Bay or its tributaries.

Here's a tip for holiday fat cleanup: Avoid washing these foods down the drain: cooking oil, meat fat, lard, shortening, butter, dairy products, margarine, fatty food scraps, sauces, gravy, and salad dressing.

See more tips for protecting San Francisco Bay from your kitchen this winter.

Photo by Ingrid Taylar

Give Rosé for the Bay, a Wine in Support of Baykeeper

Here's a holiday gift idea for the wine lover who cares about San Francisco Bay: Poseidon Vineyard's acclaimed Rosé for the Bay.

100% of the winery proceeds will be donated to support Baykeeper's work for a healthy Bay. Give a delicious wine that supports San Francisco Baykeeper!

Peter Molnar, vintner of Rosé for the Bay, is a member of Baykeeper's Board of Directors and a lifetime sailor and Bay swimmer. Poseidon Vineyard has been farmed by the Molnar family for more than 40 years beside San Francisco Bay wetlands at the very southern edge of Napa Carneros. The foggy location gives quality and character to this fine rosé of Pinot Noir.

Rosé for the Bay sells for $20 per bottle and $240 per case.

Learn more about Rosé for the Bay and order online.

Shopping at Amazon? Donate to Baykeeper at No Cost to You

Buying holiday gifts on Amazon? Use the AmazonSmile program to purchase your gifts and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to San Francisco Baykeeper, at no cost to you.

With your existing Amazon account, sign in to smile.amazon.com. Then, select San Francisco Baykeeper as your charitable organization. With all your future AmazonSmile purchases, 0.5% of the purchase price will be automatically donated to support Baykeeper's work for a healthy San Francisco Bay.

Learn more about AmazonSmile.

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta