If you're a resident of San Francisco, check out this special SFPUC program to help you reduce water consumption and storm water pollution to the Bay by installing a rainwater harvesting system. SFPUC is offering discounted rain barrels and cisterns for residents, businesses and schools, and for the month of January, they're throwing in free curbside delivery (no small matter for a 60-gallon rain barrel).
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 120 Bay Area commercial fishermen will receive $3.6 million in a settlement with the companies that owned and operated the Cosco Busan container ship that spilled 53,000 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay. The 2007 spill harmed many local fish populations, and the Bay's herring fishery has yet to recover.
As cold and flu season approaches, we’re apt to have a bigger impact on the Bay than usual. We know that our municipal governments provide sewage treatment that is supposed to protect the Bay, and—except in cases of overflows—our treatment technology does a pretty good job on bacteria and pathogens. But treatment plants around the Bay (and the United States for that matter) were not built to address pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
Although the number of salmon spawning in local creeks has dropped precipitiously over the past several years, this season there is some good news for these migrating fish. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that biologists have counted greater numbers of endangered wild coho salmon returning to western Marin County and laying eggs in greater numbers than have been seen during the past three years – 55 coho and 30 egg nests were identified in the San Geronimo Valley in the past week, with hopes that more fish will arrive this winter.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on EPA's announcement of a decrease in the amount of toxic chemicals released by heavy industry in the state of California. Read the article here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/16/BAKO1GROU1.DTL#ixzz18PAa87Rf.
Thank you to everyone who took action last month to end fish kills at California power plants – our advocacy was successful! The State Water Board has rejected an industry appeal trying to overturn the new policy that will phase out the use of once-through cooling at California power plants.
With the arrival of the rainy season, the Baykeeper staff has been busy collecting samples of storm water to test for pollution. And we need volunteers who can help! During the rainy season, pollutants from streets, homes, parking lots, commercial centers and industrial sites all get washed into storm drains and creeks that empty into the Bay – so it's a key time to collect samples from potential pollution sites.
For years, scientists have called the San Francisco Bay-Delta one of the most "invaded" waterways in the world. More than 240 animal and plant species have hitchhiked here in the ballast tanks of cargo and tanker ships, thriving in waters from Sacramento to the Farallon Islands.
Baykeeper has advocated for new regulations under California's Green Chemistry Initiative, which would require manufacturers to phase out toxic chemicals in consumer products. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported new changes by the California Department of Toxics that threaten to seriously weaken these regulations.