Protections for the Bay and Clean Water Are Under Attack

The federal administration’s attack on environmental protections continued this month with potential cuts to water quality programs in San Francisco Bay, plus a nationwide rollback of clean water safeguards.

The administration’s proposed budget calls for a 31% cut in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which would slash staff and programming across the country.


Senator Wiener Introduces Bill to Protect California Waterways from Dangerous Spills of Tar Sands Oil

SB 709 requires that any transport of non-floating oils (like crude from tar sands) in California waterways be prohibited unless a clean-up contingency plan is developed, including identifying an organization capable of responding to a spill

Sacramento -- Today Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced a bill to protect California’s waterways from dangerous spills of tar sands oil. California has laws to prevent and prepare for “conventional” oil spills that can be cleaned up from the surface of the water. These laws do not take into account oils like those derived from tar sands that will sink to the bottom of waterways and contaminate entire aquatic ecosystems. These oils are hard, if not impossible, to clean up after a spill.


Baykeeper Files Second Challenge to Stop Excessive Sand Mining in SF Bay

Science demonstrates that sand mining in the Bay contributes to erosion at Ocean Beach
Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director, Baykeeper, 510-735-9700 x 107 (office), 925-330-7757 (mobile) and Erica Maharg, Managing Attorney, Baykeeper, 510-735-9700 x 106, 503-380-4242 (mobile)

San Francisco, Calif. - The California State Lands Commission, an agency responsible for protecting San Francisco Bay, has once again approved permits to let private companies remove harmful levels of sand from the Bay’s floor. On January 30, San Francisco Baykeeper filed a second legal action challenging the increased sand mining.

Excessive sand mining is linked to irreversible erosion at Ocean Beach. This erosion threatens roads and other infrastructure, diminishes habitat for the endangered Snowy Plover, and shrinks beach area for public recreation.


Stopping Copper Pollution in San Francisco Bay

Baykeeper is advocating for stronger regulations on boat coatings to protect fish and other wildlife from the toxic effects of copper contamination.

Copper is a powerful biocide commonly found in specialized boat coatings that prevents algae, barnacles, and other sea life from growing on boat hulls. These “anti-fouling” paints are widely used by both commercial and non-commercial boaters to prevent sea life from attaching to boat hulls, where they can damage the hulls and decrease a vessel’s speed.

New Victory to Help Prevent Drug Pollution in the Bay

Baykeeper is celebrating a new victory that will help prevent pharmaceutical contamination of San Francisco Bay. Contra Costa County recently passed an ordinance requiring drug makers to cover the cost of safe disposal of prescription medications.

This law will help prevent leftover pharmaceuticals from being flushed down the toilet or sink, where they travel through the sewage system and into the Bay. It will also help keep drugs out of the trash, where they can enter the Bay through landfill runoff.

Volunteers clean-up Alameda Estuary following storms


Dozens of volunteers gathered at the Alameda estuary Saturday to take care of one of the negative results of last week’s storms. “The timing of this cleanup is perfect this year mainly because the big storms pushed a lot of trash into the bay and on to the shore line,” said San Francisco bay keeper Sejal Choksi-Chugh.


Coal Developer Challenges Oakland’s Coal Ban

In June 2016, the Oakland City Council took an historic step and unanimously approved an ordinance banning coal from being handled and stored in the City of Oakland. Despite broad local support for the City’s bold decision to strongly protect public health, the developer of a proposed new shipping terminal is now challenging the ban, calling the city’s ordinance an abuse of power and violation of federal laws that regulate commerce and shipping.


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