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.
On Sunday, October 24th, San Francisco Baykeeper sponsored the Bay for the Gulf Gala, a food and wine event to raise funds for the efforts of the Gulf Coast Waterkeepers as they continue to respond to the impacts of the BP oil disaster. More than 200 attendees sampled offerings from premier local restaurants and wineries including Ridge, Coterie Cellars, Dolce, Madera, Marche, Aziza, Ubuntu and Baia Nicchia Farms.
A watchdog group’s legal campaign to reduce overflows from public sewer systems is forcing San Mateo County agencies to make millions of dollars in upgrades that are pushing sewer rates higher. San Francisco Baykeeper filed eight lawsuits against county agencies during the past two years for allowing discharges of untreated sewage.
The holiday season is quickly approaching, and along with it, winter rains. Many people don’t realize that this combination can lead directly to sewage spills in San Francisco Bay.
Cooking rich holiday meals 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. These clogs can cause sewage to back up into backyards, driveways and neighborhood streets.
Of the 1024 bills that reached the Governor’s desk this year, 726 were signed into law. Only a handful of these new laws are related to the environment, and except for one of these, all are procedural – that is, they set up new bureaucratic procedures, place caps on fines, require new vision statements, or slightly revise existing guidelines. Only one bill, SB 346 (Kehoe, D-San Diego), directly addresses a water quality pollutant and authorizes new steps to reduce the source of contamination. SB 346 restricts automakers from using copper in brake pads. Brake pad copper h
As Halloween draws closer and our thoughts turn to costumes and candy, this festive fall holiday also inspires us to dust the cobwebs off our spookiest stories. Being a water-oriented organization – and writing for a commuter-ferry audience – it was hard to resist a topic centered around the scariest aquatic thriller of all time: the 1975 the box-office thriller Jaws, which catapulted sharks, the Great White specifically, to horror movie stardom.
The San Francisco Bay is remarkably complex. As we take in the scenery along the Bay Trail, ride the ferry to work, and even when we wade into the water for a swim, it’s hard to comprehend the numerous processes at work to sustain the Bay ecosystem. The Bay’s biological communities depend on freshwater inflow from the Delta, continual tidal flushing, a seasonal coastal upwelling, regular cycles of sediment and nutrients, and stable water chemistry.