For San Francisco Bay, the rainy season can bring a surge of pollution from sewage. 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.
Baykeeper is working to prevent a dangerous new threat to San Francisco Bay—a tar sands oil spill.
If spilled in the Bay, heavy tar sands oil would likely sink to the Bay’s bottom, making it virtually impossible to remove and causing irreparable harm to the ecosystem. Despite this threat, companies that handle and transport tar sands oil are not required to prepare a contingency plan for cleaning up this kind of spill. And, as new pipelines are fast-tracked under the current federal administration, heavy oil transport will likely become more widespread over the next decade.
The devastating wildfires that swept through Napa and Sonoma last month have caused unprecedented damage to families, homes, and businesses. Unfortunately, the disaster also poses a new threat to San Francisco Bay in the form of toxic ash washing into local rivers and creeks that drain to the Bay.
In the 40th victory for Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, Darling Ingredients has agreed to prevent rainwater contaminated with pollutants that harm fish and other wildlife from running off its site and into San Francisco Bay.
Darling Ingredients operates a food processing by-product recycling plant at Pier 92 along San Francisco’s eastern shoreline. The company converts used cooking oil, fat, bone, and protein into ingredients used in the production of feed, fuel, and fertilizer.
Ten years ago, on November 7, 2007, the Cosco Busan container ship ran into the Bay Bridge and spilled more than 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay. Initially, the amount spilled was vastly underestimated, so response equipment was slow to arrive at the scene, and the oil spread. Boaters and beachgoers started noticing oil in other parts of the Bay. Residents across the Bay Area were stunned when dramatic images of struggling wildlife and blackened beaches began to emerge.
You can stop pollution in the Bay from microbeads—very small plastic particles found in some cosmetics and personal care products. They spread through aquatic ecosystems and hurt fish.
North of San Francisco Bay, wildfires have raged across the region for more than a week. Everyone at Baykeeper sends our heartfelt sympathy to those impacted by this tragic disaster. We hope for a full and safe recovery as work continues to contain the fires and as local responders begin to assess the damage and plan for rebuilding.
Once North Bay communities are safe, Baykeeper's focus will turn to monitoring pollution impacts to the Napa River, Sonoma Creek, Carneros Creek, and parts of the Petaluma River, which all flow into northern San Francisco Bay.
This coming rainy season, there will be less pollution in San Francisco Bay. Thanks to Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, 26 industrial facilities that used to contaminate San Francisco Bay in wet weather have now cleaned up their toxic runoff.
Recent severe storms in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico have left tragic trails of destruction along coastal areas. This devastation serves as a vital reminder of the need to prepare for flooding—and how big the threats are to San Francisco Bay.
We’re very proud to announce that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has awarded San Francisco Baykeeper a new grant through the foundation’s Marine Life and Oceans program. Baykeeper will receive $190,000 to help protect San Francisco Bay from contamination and build resilience to climate change in the Bay Area.