Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for April 2015

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

25 Victories to Stop Industrial Pollution in the Bay

San Francisco Baykeeper is proud to mark a milestone in our Bay-Safe Industry Campaign to reduce toxic contamination from industrial facilities around the Bay Area. Since launching the campaign in 2012, we have secured legally-binding agreements requiring 25 industrial facilities to implement controls to keep toxic pollution from contaminating San Francisco Bay.

And we're achieving rapid progress: Seven of the 25 facilities have already brought their pollution below EPA levels of concern, and are no longer contaminating the Bay with excessive toxic runoff. Several others are approaching this standard, and have reduced pollution by 50-90%.

The momentum continues. Baykeeper is monitoring progress at all facilities that have agreed to clean up, and negotiating with more companies to compel them to protect the Bay from contamination. This year, we will also investigate 50 to 70 additional industrial sites to determine if they are polluting the Bay, and if they are, we'll take legal action to protect the Bay from toxic runoff.

Read more about Baykeeper's Bay-Safe Industry Campaign and our 25 victories.

The Bay Area Is Conserving Water, But Needs to Do More

Residential water use in the Bay Area averaged 58 gallons per person per day this February, making it the most water efficient urban region in the state. Yet our region still needs to conserve more to meet new mandatory water use reductions, and to ensure a more sustainable ecosystem for the Bay and Bay Area.

As Baykeeper advocates for improvements to regulations and infrastructure to help protect the Bay's water quality, we're also advocating for these systems to prioritize drought-resistance measures that will both increase the efficiency of freshwater use and recycle more runoff and wastewater.

An important first step is for all Bay Area residents and businesses to reduce water consumption. Baykeeper has created an interactive chart showing residential water use, and progress at conserving water, by Bay Area communities and water districts.

Within the Bay Area region, cities with the highest residential water use include Atherton and Woodside, which average 95 gallons per person per day, well above the state average. At the other end of the spectrum are Daly City (39 gallons per person per day) and San Francisco (43).

Learn more and view Baykeeper's interactive chart showing residential water use and water conservation progress in Bay Area communities.

BCDC to Approve Weak Limits on Excessive Sand Mining in the Bay

Tomorrow, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) will vote on the amount of sand that private companies can mine from the floor of San Francisco Bay. Excessive sand mining in the Bay is already contributing to erosion at Ocean Beach and harming Bay habitat for important species that include Dungeness crab and Chinook Salmon.

BCDC has a chance to set limits on sand mining that will better protect the Bay from harm—but they have indicated they will vote to let this damage continue.

According to the California Coastal Commission, an 85% reduction in sand mining is needed to protect coastal beaches. Instead, BCDC staff are recommending only a 25% reduction in the amount of sand that private mining companies will be allowed to take from the Bay.

Baykeeper will be at tomorrow's hearing, urging the BCDC to set limits on sand mining that better protect the Bay and Ocean Beach. Plus, regardless of the action BCDC takes tomorrow, we won't give up. Baykeeper is also pursuing a court case to require California to reduce the amount of sand allowed to be mined from the Bay.

Learn more about excessive sand mining in the Bay and Baykeeper's court case for sensible sand mining limits.

Photo by Dan Hershman

Two Oil Spills in One Week at Aquatic Park

On April 3 and again on April 9, swimmers were coated with oil in the water at San Francisco's Aquatic Park.

Swimmers from the Dolphin Club notified the Coast Guard and Baykeeper, but by the time the Coast Guard arrived, the oil had dissipated and no source of the spills could be found.

In response, Baykeeper is helping coordinate better communications to ensure Coast Guard officials are notified quickly, and respond quickly, when Bay swimmers are threatened by a toxic spill. Our goals are to get information to the Coast Guard as fast as possible if future spills occur, and for the Coast Guard to do more to monitor boats and other possible sources of spills in the Aquatic Park area.

Photo by Hudson Henry

Baykeeper's Sejal Choksi-Chugh Receives Environmental Leadership Award

Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Baykeeper's Program Director and Interim Executive Director, was honored on April 9 with the UC Berkeley Law Ecology Law Quarterly's annual Environmental Leadership Award.

The Ecology Law Quarterly is produced by students at Berkeley Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and is one of the nation's most respected and widely read environmental law journals. Sejal was honored for career-long dedication to protecting San Francisco Bay from pollution. She started at Baykeeper in 2002 as a legal fellow, and has since led the charge to reduce agricultural pollution, industrial runoff, sewage overflows, mercury contamination, and oil spills in the Bay.

Past recipients of the award include David Brower, the Sierra Club's first executive director; East Bay Congressional Representative George Miller; and renowned Yosemite National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson.

Congratulations, Sejal!

Join the Bay Parade on May 31

GiftCan you swim a mile or paddle or float two miles? If so, you can join Baykeeper's second annual Bay Parade!

Swimmers, kayakers, rowers, SUPers, surfers, sailors, and all Bay enthusiasts are invited to join our on-the-water parade on May 31 to celebrate a healthy San Francisco Bay. The parade finale will be featured on the AT&T Park Jumbotron at the start of the Giants game!

We've got a new short course this year, from the Ferry Building to the ballpark. Aquatic costumes, decorated boats, noisemakers, and team rivalries are encouraged. Have a fun time on the Bay, for the Bay!

Your participation supports Baykeeper's work for a healthy San Francisco Bay. Registration is $100, plus participants are asked to fundraise a minimum of $200. Fantastic prizes will be awarded to our fundraisers. Registration includes entry to the Bay Parade party, where we'll continue the celebration on shore.

Learn more and register or volunteer for the Bay Parade.

Register for the Bay Parade before April 24 and you'll receive a free scoop of Smitten's delicious ice cream!

Photo by Robb Most

2014 Rosé for the Bay, a Wine in Support of Baykeeper, On Sale April 22

On Earth Day, April 22, Poseidon Vineyard will officially release the 2014 vintage of the acclaimed Rosé for the Bay. 100% of the winery proceeds will be donated to support Baykeeper's work for a healthy San Francisco Bay.

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.

The 2013 Rosé for the Bay vintage sold out fast. This limited 300-case production of 2014 Rosé for the Bay sells for $20 per bottle and $240 per case. Get your case on Earth Day 2015, and enjoy delicious wine while supporting San Francisco Baykeeper!

Learn more about Rosé for the Bay.

JINS Eyewear Donates to Baykeeper With Eyeglass Case Purchase

JINS Eyewear has created a custom-made eyeglass case featuring San Francisco Baykeeper. Best of all, 100% of proceeds from your purchase of the case supports Baykeeper's work for a healthy Bay.

The first JINS store in the US opened last week at 151 Powell St., San Francisco. Customers can browse, purchase, and receive prescription eyewear with custom fitting all in the same visit. Then select a custom-made San Francisco Baykeeper eyeglass cases for $5, and show off your Baykeeper pride with your fashionable new eyewear.

Learn more about JINS Eyewear's Cases for Causes donations to Baykeeper.

Smitten Ice Cream Honors Baykeeper Volunteers

Smitten Ice Cream is celebrating the spirit of volunteerism by treating Baykeeper volunteers to Smitten's delicious churned-to-order ice cream. We're proud to be one of five nonprofit organizations selected as Smitten Community Rockstars.

Baykeeper volunteers are receiving sticker badges that can be redeemed for a scoop of Smitten ice cream throughout the month of April, National Volunteer Month. Smitten has stores in San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Altos.

Thanks, Smitten Ice Cream, for honoring San Francisco Baykeeper and our hard-working volunteers!

(Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta)