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.
WHAT: Beach Cleanup at India Basin Shoreline Park
WHEN: Saturday, September 19, 2009 (10 am to noon)
WHERE: India Basin Shoreline Park in the Bayview/Hunters Point neighborhood (on Hunters Point Boulevard between Evans and Innes)
San Francisco Baykeeper was founded on the principle that the San Francisco Bay and its connected rivers, creeks, and wetlands belong to the communities that depend on them—and must be protected accordingly. Fortunately, we have the Clean Water Act to help us do just that. When Congress passed the Clean Water Act in 1972, our nation’s lakes, rivers, and estuaries were severely polluted. Industrial facilities discharged chemicals into rivers and lakes with little regulation, and grossly inadequate wastewater treatment practices led to frequent sewage spills.
A broad coalition of fishing, environmental groups and tribes filed papers in federal court today defending California’s native salmon. The groups oppose legal efforts by commercial water users and large agricultural interests to overturn federal protections for salmon and other species.
In the last 200 years, San Francisco Bay has undergone profound changes, and the health of the Bay has varied dramatically. Before the wave of gold rush settlers, for example, the Bay was a vibrant ecosystem teeming with marine life, to the extent that oysters, shrimp and several species of fish were commercially harvested. By the 1970s, however, the Bay had become a severely polluted waterbody that suffered from frequent waves of fish dying off and a notorious foul stench.
A few months ago, I wrote about a technology in use at three Bay Area power plants called once-through cooling, a process that kills fish and marine life as it pulls in Bay water to cool heated machinery inside the plant. In response, we received this inquiry: