Though the Gulf of Mexico is almost two thousand of miles away from San Francisco Bay, the implications of the ongoing BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster reverberate across the country. Sadly, it strikes a special chord here in the Bay Area, where we witnessed the effects of a major oil spill in the Bay less than three years ago. The message is clear: despite numerous oil spills and many new federal requirements for oil spill response, our government (and private oil companies) remain unprepared and unequipped to deal with oil spills in our nation’s waters.
Wetlands are among the most important ecosystems on Earth and provide a number of valuable functions that may be compromised due to climate change and the associated sea level rise. Not only are they highly productive, providing habitat for many specialized plants and animals, but wetlands also control the flow of water in adjacent water bodies and filter out pollutants that would otherwise harm aquatic ecosystems.
Small changes in our daily lives can make a big impact on the health of San Francisco Bay. You can help prevent sewage spills, reduce stormwater pollution and reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that enter the Bay by following these basic pollution prevention tips around your home.
The U.S. Maritime Administration, the federal agency responsible for San Francisco Bay’s ghost fleet, has agreed to clean up and remove the abandoned and decaying ships from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.
A settlement agreement announced today resolves a long-running legal battle over the decaying fleet between MARAD and the Natural Resources Defense Council, Arc Ecology, San Francisco Baykeeper, and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Slow drains are the first sign of trouble. A baby opossum in the potty is a real warning sign, though. Yes, my 1928 home had the original sectional terra cotta sewer pipes, and earthquakes and tree roots had left large openings in the pipes. A den of adolescent possums apparently had used the pipe (during dry weather) for exploring. The baby opossum that showed up in the house went to the Lindsay Wildlife museum hospital, and we called a sewer repair company.
Frequent sewage spills in San Carlos will soon be reduced through a new agreement with San Francisco Baykeeper to make substantial improvements to sewage operations. The pollution watchdog group sued the City in December after investigations revealed that San Carlos spills thousands of gallons of raw sewage from its sewer lines every year in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.
From the Fresno Bee: “Federal officials are pumping an extra billion gallons of river water daily into San Luis Reservoir for west Valley farmers, thanks to a federal judge’s order and a string of winter storms. But if the storms disappear, the full-blast pumping could stop far sooner than the two weeks ordered by the judge. West San [...]
From the Silicon Valley Mercury News: “Environmentalists say a federal judge’s order to temporarily allow unrestricted pumping in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta threatens to push endangered salmon into extinction. Last week’s decision by U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger freed up irrigation supplies for farms hammered by years of drought. Farmers had complained that pumping restrictions in [...]
From the On the Public Record blog: “With the House Congressional hearings and Judge Wanger’s decision to allow pumping for a couple weeks right now (on the grounds that the pumps are allowed to kill about 23,000 juvenile salmon and so far have only killed about 1,200, so, you know, might as well pump a little), [...]
The Bay-Delta blog notes that while Judge Wanger may have issued a temporary restraining order for implementing the salmon bi-op, he did not do so for the Delta smelt bi-op: ” … a parallel process has been playing out with the delta smelt. The 2008 BiOp for the pelagic delta smelt was prepared by the [...]