The Audubon Society’s Annual Christmas Bird Count is citizen science in action, an effort to collect information about bird populations across the Western Hemisphere to help guide conservation action by groups like San Francisco Baykeeper. Every year, during the last days of December, hundreds of birders stake out Bay shorelines, wetlands, and hillsides to identify and count birds so that scientists can monitor population trends of native and migratory bird species in the Bay Area.
Today, San Francisco Baykeeper filed a complaint in federal district court to join the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) enforcement action against six East Bay cities and one sewage district for illegal sewage spills. This enforcement action is the culmination of years of Baykeeper efforts to hold East Bay cities accountable for leaky sewage collection systems that inundate the East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD) treatment plant with massive amounts of rainwater and sewage and cause major sewage spills to the Bay.
When I received news of the Dubai Star oil spill in late October, I immediately turned to the Bay’s oil spill contingency plan, the document that governs how federal and state government agencies respond to an oil spill. The plan contains important information about the Bay’s sensitive sites, such as the seasonal locations of rare and endangered species, and specific strategies to prevent oil from impacting more than 200 particularly sensitive Bay and coastal shorelines.
San Francisco Baykeeper filed three new lawsuits today to prevent sewage spills to San Francisco Bay from the City of Millbrae, the City of San Carlos and the West Bay Sanitation District. Baykeeper’s lawsuits against the South Bay entities are the latest in a string of Clean Water Act enforcement cases designed to improve wastewater management throughout the Bay Area.
At the beginning of the 2009 California Legislative Session, there were few reasons to be optimistic about the prospect of passing new laws to protect San Francisco Bay. California’s budget shortfall had reached billions of dollars, and Governor Schwarzenegger had signaled his intent to veto most of the bills that reached his desk if Legislators didn’t reach a budget compromise. But despite formidable obstacles, San Francisco Baykeeper helped pass two important pieces of legislation this year—one to clean up abandoned boats in California’s waterways and the other to help k
In October 2009 the San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the final Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit, pursuant to the Clean Water Act. Also known as an MS4 permit, this document describes the requirements cities are required to follow in regards to stormwater and the associated pollution which enters the Bay through storm drains.
Conservation groups have appealed a decision to keep long-term water delivery contracts in California’s Central Valley that would result in years of damage to devastated salmon and other native fisheries, and fail to protect and restore
California’s largest estuary, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay.
Most people don’t realize that the preparation of rich holiday meals, and cleanup afterwards, can lead to sewage spills during the rainy season. Cooking foods like turkey and gravy creates fat, oil and grease that get washed down the drain during the cleanup of dishes, pots, pans and fryers. Over time, cooking oil and grease solidify into thick layers and build up on the inside of sewer lines and drainpipes, causing clogs.
On a sunny Saturday morning in September, thousands of Bay Area residents marked the 25th Anniversary of Coastal Cleanup Day by picking up trash from Bay shorelines, beaches and parks. While these dedicated volunteers spent the morning protecting our local waters with trash bags and gloves, a small group of world-class athletes took action to defend our watershed in a very different way.
San Francisco Bay is part of the largest estuary on the West Coast, a merging of freshwater flows from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the salty waters of the Pacific Ocean. The Bay’s mix of fresh and salt water creates a unique habitat for a broad array of fish, clams, oysters, and marine mammals. The wildlife have become an important part of our local identity—from the familiar sight of Pier 39’s sea lions to California’s iconic Chinook Salmon fishery that provided for native people and anglers for decades.