Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for January 2016

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for January 2016
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San Francisco Bay

Victory! Shoreline waste facility will protect the Bay from toxic runoff

In the 30th victory for Baykeeper's Bay-Safe Industry Campaign, the operators of a waste disposal and recycling facility on the San Francisco Bay shoreline recently agreed to keep polluted storm water out of the Bay.

In response to Baykeeper's Clean Water Act lawsuit, Blue Line Transfer, Inc. and South San Francisco Scavenger Company, Inc. will make changes at their South San Francisco site to protect the Bay from contaminants that include lead and other heavy metals.

The facility owners were very cooperative in working with Baykeeper to improve the site. Blue Line Transfer will implement pollution controls, including a storm water treatment system and a bioretention swale—a narrow drainage trough that uses vegetation to remove pollutants from storm water.

Learn more about Baykeeper's pollution cleanup agreement for the Blue Line Transfer facility.

Photo by D Coetzee (Flickr/CC)

Baykeeper challenges new rules on trash in the Bay

Baykeeper has filed a legal challenge to new rules that make it harder to stop trash and other pollution from contaminating San Francisco Bay.

The rules, officially known as the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit, require Bay Area city governments to reduce pollution that washes off city streets and into the Bay during rain storms. But the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board recently approved a new version that weakens these requirements.

Our appeal to the State Water Board seeks to overturn an illegal provision that lets city governments sidestep responsibility for keeping trash and other pollution out of the Bay.

We also want cities to be required to conduct baseline monitoring of how much pollution is flowing off into the Bay or its tributaries. That's the only way to tell if pollution controls are working.

It's critical that Bay Area cities control runoff pollution, a major source of contamination to San Francisco Bay. Baykeeper is standing up for strong rules to protect the Bay's ecosystem from trash and toxic contaminants.

Learn more about Baykeeper's challenge to weakened rules on trash and other pollution in the Bay.

Baykeeper in the news on export terminal's threat to the Bay

Baykeeper came out in opposition to a controversial export terminal and cement plant proposed for Vallejo in the San Francisco Chronicle this month. Baykeeper Managing Attorney George Torgun called the project one of the biggest potential threats to the health of the Bay in years.

The threat comes from coal and other toxic materials that could be stored on the shoreline, at the site shown in the photo to the right. Wind and rain could carry toxic pollution from these materials into the Bay.

Last year, Baykeeper urged Vallejo leaders to stop the export terminal and the pollution it could cause. We'll continue partnering with Sierra Club and Vallejo residents to oppose the Vallejo Marine Terminal/Orcem Cement project.

Read the San Francisco Chronicle front-page report on the proposed Vallejo export terminal and cement plant.

Learn more about Baykeeper's advocacy against the Vallejo Marine Terminal/Orcem Cement project.

Photo by Patrick Nouhailler (Flickr/CC)

Save the Date! Baykeeper Dinner at the Dolphin Club on February 28

Join Baykeeper for our annual dinner celebrating a healthy San Francisco Bay, hosted by the Dolphin Swimming and Rowing Club, on Sunday, February 28.

Enjoy a crab and wine feast, plus a silent auction—featuring a foldable, portable kayak donated by Oru Kayak! We'll also honor this year's Blue Rivet Awards winners, and give an update on Baykeeper's recent wins for the Bay.

Early bird tickets are only $25 and go on sale soon. Mark your calendars!

Celebrating 2015's victories, identifying 2016's biggest threats

Baykeeper's 2015 Annual Report is out now! It highlights a year of new victories for a safer, healthier, and more resilient San Francisco Bay.

Read our 2015 Annual Report online. Along with it you'll find a complete list of Baykeeper's generous supporters who funded our work for 2014-15.

And now, we're looking at what's ahead for San Francisco Bay in 2016. Baykeeper is working to avert the biggest threats to the Bay's health in the year to come: an increased risk of oil spills, contamination from coal, trash washing into the Bay, and toxic industrial pollution.

Learn more about how Baykeeper is working to avert the biggest threats to the Bay in 2016.

Remembering a Bay Hero: Sylvia McLaughlin

Sylvia McLaughlin, an environmental hero who launched the 1960s movement that halted the rapid filling of San Francisco Bay by developers, has died at age 99. Sylvia's lifetime of activism on behalf of the Bay created a healthier, more sustainable Bay Area for us all.

Sylvia helped found Save the Bay to oppose Bay infill, and her advocacy resulted in the creation of a state government agency that still regulates the filling and development of the Bay, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. When she began her efforts to expand public access to the Bay, only six miles of shoreline were accessible to the public. Today, there are hundreds of miles of shoreline parks and trails.

Sylvia also supported the founding of San Francisco Baykeeper over 25 years ago. She remained an enthusiastic supporter, and served for years as a member of Baykeeper's Advisory Council. In this photo from Baykeeper's 2006 gala, she's with Waterkeeper Alliance Founder Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Baykeeper Executive Director Sejal Choksi-Chugh.

"San Francisco Bay would not be what it is today without Sylvia. Her life is an inspiration to all of us who will keep working to protect the Bay," said Sejal. Baykeeper is proud to carry on Sylvia's legacy of working for a healthy San Francisco Bay.

Meet Baykeeper Staff Scientist Ian Wren

He leaned out of the Baykeeper boat and grabbed a sample of contaminated water—and it led to a dirty shipyard being required to clean up its pollution of San Francisco Bay.

Ian Wren is Baykeeper's Staff Scientist. Ian provides the scientific foundation for Baykeeper legal cases and advocacy. When Baykeeper requires a polluter to clean up, Ian recommends the most appropriate controls and solutions to stop the pollution.

Ian's work takes him all around the Bay. He has taken to the skies above the Bay to evaluate flooding caused by the year's highest tides. He led Baykeeper's removal of 96 tons of debris from Richmond's Point Molate beach, personally chopping up and hauling away many toxin-laden logs. The cleanup helped create safe public access to a one of the Bay's rare, wild beaches.

He also stood on the deck of the Baykeeper pollution patrol boat for many hours, controlling a remote-controlled camera boat that took photos of the San Francisco Bay shoreline in our partnership with Google. He'll use the resulting images to create Shore View, a new tool to help local communities protect the Bay from sea level rise.

When Ian's not hard at work for Baykeeper, you might find him chasing his two-year-old daughter on streets and hills around the Bay Area.

Photo by Robb Most

Thank YOU for your generous year-end giving!

A big thanks to everyone who made a year-end contribution to support Baykeeper's work protecting San Francisco Bay from pollution!

Your gifts will help Baykeeper stop the greatest threats to the Bay's health in 2016. We'll stand against oil spills and coal pollution, work to keep trash out of the Bay, and push forward with our successful Bay-Safe Industry campaign to rein in toxic industrial runoff contamination of the Bay. Plus, we'll continue to stay on alert to stop new threats to the Bay as they arise.

If you haven't yet had a chance to make your gift, it's not too late. Stand up for a healthy, thriving San Francisco Bay this year by making your gift to Baykeeper today.

Your gift helps make the Bay safer for recreation, and healthier for wildlife, and more sustainable for all.

Photo by Roger Cunningham

Baykeeper seeks Event Intern. Apply today!

We are excited to announce the opening of a part-time Event Internship position with San Francisco Baykeeper. The Event Intern will be extensively involved in putting on Baykeeper's 3rd annual Bay Parade, the Bay Area's premier on-the-water, multi-sport event celebrating a clean and healthy San Francisco Bay.

The ideal candidate for this position is passionate about environmental protection and looking to gain experience and develop skills in event production. Click here to view the full position description.

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta