Our Thirsty Bay Needs More Fresh Water

Sejal Choksi-Chugh
From the August 2018 edition of Bay Crossings

A lack of fresh water is tearing apart San Francisco Bay’s web of life.

Salmon hatch in rivers and migrate to the ocean at a young age. They mature there and return to the river where they hatched to spawn—leaving the eggs of a new generation. The Bay once teemed with salmon from the two main river systems, the San Joaquin and the Sacramento, that flow into the Delta and then to the Bay. A local fishing industry thrived.

Advocating to Protect Suisun Marsh from Duck Club Waste

San Francisco Bay’s Suisun Marsh is one of the largest marshes on the West Coast, providing rich habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife—including river otters like the one pictured here.

Suisun Marsh also hosts over 100 wetlands that are privately owned by duck hunting clubs. San Francisco Baykeeper recently advocated for stronger controls on polluted discharges from duck club wetlands to protect the Bay and local wildlife.

Dredging Doesn’t Have to Kill Endangered Wildlife

If you’ve spent time on San Francisco Bay you’ve probably seen dredging in action in the form of large barges scooping up mud from the Bay floor. Dredgers perform an essential function: they clear channels for large ships to keep them from getting stuck in the Bay’s shallow waters.

But there’s a problem. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which performs about 70% of dredging in the Bay, uses suction dredging technology.  This highly destructive method vacuums up sediment – and everything else it encounters – from the Bay floor.

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