Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for February 2014

 
San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for February 2014
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San Francisco Bay

Baykeeper Defends the Bay From Excessive Sand Mining

miningBaykeeper's lawsuit to stop excessive sand mining in San Francisco Bay is moving forward. In late January, Baykeeper presented oral arguments at a state Superior Court hearing, and we expect a decision in the next several months.

Too much sand is already being mined from the Bay floor, harming important species like Dungeness crab and contributing to erosion of San Francisco's Ocean Beach. But instead of limiting the amount of sand that can be removed, in 2012 the State Lands Commission approved a large increase. Baykeeper is standing up for sensible limits on sand mining to protect Ocean Beach and the Bay.

Providing new support for Baykeeper's advocacy, recent scientific research has confirmed the link between removing too much sand from the Bay's floor and excessive erosion at Ocean Beach.

Read more about recent scientific research confirming that excessive sand mining erodes Ocean Beach.

Attorney General Raises Concerns About Oil Facility Expansion Along Bay

The California Attorney General's office recently raised concerns about damage to San Francisco Bay and shoreline communities that could result from a proposed expansion of a Pittsburg oil transfer and storage facility. The objections echo those raised by Baykeeper and local community groups.

Expanded oil storage at the facility, the WesPac Pittsburg Energy Infrastructure Project, is a link in oil industry plans to expand local refineries and make the Bay Area an oil export hub. If the oil industry gets its way, the risk of oil spills into the Bay and its watershed will go way up. (Photo of Chevron refinery in Richmond, photo credit: Flickred!)

Baykeeper is advocating in front of regulators and working in coalition with community groups to oppose the expansion of Bay Area oil refining and storage.

Read more about the Attorney General's and Baykeeper's opposition to oil industry expansion on the Bay's shore.

Here's Alexis's Story of the Bay–Will You Add Yours?

To help celebrate Baykeeper's 25th anniversary year, we're inviting our members to share stories of you and San Francisco Bay. Here's an excerpt from Alexis Strauss's story:

"I've been rowing on the Bay in the early mornings, and appreciate it yet more: the wintertime Bay, lit by the moon. We row on the Oakland Estuary, passing the extraordinary effort underway to raise and remove over 40 wrecks, taking out the oil, asbestos, sediments, and other debris that has fouled this valued waterway. Let's keep working together to protect our Bay in all ways, small and large." (Photo credit: Dawn Nakashima.)

Have you had an important, memorable, or moving experience with San Francisco Bay in the past 25 years? Share your story here. Brief anecdotes are fine, and longer stories are, too. Or, send your San Francisco Bay story by email at news@baykeeper.org or by mail to 785 Market St., Suite 850, San Francisco 94103.

Tiny Owls Need More Habitat on the Bay's Shore

If you're on the Bay shoreline and spot a small, round owl on the ground, it's probably a burrowing owl. The most likely place to find a burrowing owl is beside a ground squirrel's abandoned burrow.

A small number of these long-legged birds are spending the winter now at East Bay shoreline parks, and around 50 live year-round along the South Bay shore. (Photo credit Ken-ichi, Flickr/CC)

Before the Bay Area was developed, coastal prairie ringed the Bay, providing one of California's four primary burrowing owl nesting areas. But as the coastal prairie has been paved over and built on, the Bay Area's once-large population of burrowing owls has dwindled, and the species is under threat nationwide. Baykeeper recently supported new advocacy to win more space for these little owls.

Read more about burrowing owls along the Bay shore.

Baykeeper Seeks Volunteer Photographers

Are you a skilled photographer who would like to donate a photo shoot to Baykeeper?

We have ongoing opportunities for volunteer photographers to take scenic shots of the Bay, Bay wildlife, and Bay recreation, as well as photos of polluters and pollution sources. Volunteer photographers can join us on the Baykeeper boat for a boat patrol, and we also need photos taken from shore. In addition, we are seeking photographers for Baykeeper events. (Photo credit: Volunteer photographer Bart Quigley)

If you're interested, please contact judy@baykeeper.org and, if possible, send a link to your photo work.