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.
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.