Baykeeper Field Investigator Sienna Courter headed to the Hamilton Wetlands in Novato with representatives from the California Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR). We're working closely with OSPR to analyze how oil spills affect sensitive sites around the Bay, and the best ways to protect those areas when a spill does occur.
Today, a coalition of environmental organizations, Northern California Indian tribal members, and commercial and sportfishing organizations held a press conference at the State Capitol to advocate for strong salinity standards and unimpaired San Joaquin River flows as part of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Water Quality Control Plan updates for the Bay-Delta (Phase I).
From her bicycle atop Mt. Tamalpais or along Oakland’s Skyline Boulevard, Jovita Pajarillo experiences San Francisco Bay in her favorite way: taking in the expansive views from afar. The Baykeeper Board member also likes to get up close and observe wildlife, especially small shorebirds.
Baykeeper has been advocating for state regulators to increase the amount of fresh water flowing into San Francisco Bay, to ensure a healthy ecosystem for the Bay and wildlife. Now there is new opposition from the federal government.
Do you know what Bay animal resembles both an eagle and a trash compactor?
Bat rays are best known for their wide, bat-like “wings” (actually pectoral fins) that make them elegant swimmers. They’re a kind of eagle ray, and they’ll sometimes even pop up to the water’s surface to coast in the air.
And instead of teeth, bat rays have two fused grinding plates for crushing rigid prey, sort of like a trash compactor. They hunt worms, clams, crabs, fish, and whatever else they find in the sand and mud of San Francisco Bay’s floor.
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.
After receiving reports about possible pollution discharges from a shoreline site in the East Bay, Baykeeper's Field Investigator Sienna Courter, along with Managing Attorney Erica Maharg and Staff Attorney Nicole Sasaki (pictured below), conducted an on-the-water investigation by kayak.
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.
Last month, Baykeeper’s pollution hotline received a tip that two Lime scooters had been dumped in San Francisco Bay and left to decay. After several days of waiting in vain for the company to remove the scooters, the tipster pulled one from out of the Bay near San Francisco’s Embarcadero Street with a grappling hook.
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.