Victory! West Bay Sanitary District Curbs Sewage Spills to the Bay
Fewer sewage spills will be draining into San Francisco Bay from Menlo Park-based West Bay Sanitary District. Baykeeper has successfully settled our long-running lawsuit against West Bay, after the agency significantly reduced its sewage spills as a result of Baykeeper's suit.
Baykeeper is thrilled to have achieved our goal of reducing West Bay's sewage pollution to San Francisco Bay. The agency used to be one of the worst-polluting sewage agencies in the Bay Area, but they have made major upgrades to reduce spills by two-thirds since we brought suit.
Thanks to a recent Baykeeper legal victory, the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center in Sausalito—a local nonprofit boat-building organization—will receive a grant to create a new education program on non-polluting boat maintenance and repair.
The grant is part of the settlement Baykeeper achieved in our lawsuit against BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair Inc. The company will provide funding to Spaulding Center to redesign its own facility with cutting-edge pollution control measures. Spaulding Center will then use this model to educate local boatyard owners and boaters on how to reduce pollution to the Bay from boat repair and maintenance.
Strict Pollution Controls Placed on America's Cup Construction
Due to Baykeeper's recent advocacy, the Port of San Francisco will be required to implement low impact development measures and minimize storm water pollution from construction when it upgrades San Francisco piers in preparation for the America's Cup—and during any future development of Port property. These requirements will significantly reduce a major source of potential pollution to the Bay and help ensure a positive environmental legacy for the America's Cup.
Baykeeper is also working with open-water swimming groups the Dolphin Club and South End Rowing Club to respond to America's Cup plans for a huge, diesel-powered video screen in the middle of the protected swimming area at Aquatic Park.
Meanwhile, five environmental and neighborhood groups have filed an appeal over other environmental concerns about the upcoming boat races. Baykeeper will testify during the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' review of these appeals later this month.
The World War II-era tug boat that sank in Richmond's Inner Harbor in December is no longer actively spilling oil into the Bay. Efforts are underway to pump out as much as 78,000 gallons of fuel oil still in the boat.
However, the months-long salvage process will be risky, and the threat of a larger spill will remain until all the oil has been removed. A further oil spill would threaten the Brooks Island bird sanctuary, which has so far been protected as effectively as possible with booms.
Your Photos Can Help the Bay Area Prepare for Climate Change
Please join us for the 2nd Annual California King Tides Photo Initiative. To participate, grab your camera and take photos around the Bay and local coast during flooding from extreme high tides January 20-22 and February 6-8.
King tides occur when the gravitational pulls of the sun and moon reinforce one another. They provide a preview of the effects global climate change. King tides allow us to visualize now how more frequent flooding from rising sea levels will impact San Francisco Bay's shore and shoreline communities. Cost-effective steps can be taken to reduce damage from rising sea levels. The first step is to identify the most vulnerable areas.
A big thank you to everyone who made gifts to Baykeeper at the end of 2011!
Thanks to your generosity, we're off to a strong start toward cleaner San Francisco Bay waters in 2012. With your help, we'll soon launch our Bay-Safe Industry campaign to control toxic industrial runoff that pollutes the Bay, along with many other initiatives to tackle the greatest threats to the Bay.