One Year After the Oil Spill: Is the Bay Any Better Protected?

Sejal Choksi
From the November 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

On November 7, 2007, the Cosco Busan container ship collided with the Bay Bridge, spilling more than 50,000 gallons from the ship’s enormous fuel tanks and causing San Francisco Bay’s largest vessel-related oil spill in over a decade. The failure by response agencies to accurately evaluate and quickly communicate the scale of the spill allowed bunker fuel to spread throughout the Bay and onto beaches, marshes, wetlands, eelgrass beds and other sensitive wildlife habitats.

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The Increasing Threats to Bay Birds

Sejal Choksi, with contributions from the Golden Gate Audubon Society
From the October 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

Experiencing the San Francisco Bay’s amazing array of wildlife is one of the many pleasures of living in the Bay Area. Countless creatures call the Bay home, and millions of birds stop over during their annual migration. The San Francisco Bay is an important staging area along the Pacific Flyway, a migratory route used by more than 250 species of birds. These birds use the Bay to feed and regain strength during their migrations, which can span from Alaska to Argentina.

San Francisco Bay Estuary: Sensitive Habitat or Marine Junkyard?

Sejal Choksi
From the September 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

Cruise through Richardson Bay, the Oakland Estuary or the sloughs near Redwood City, and you will see dozens of abandoned boats of all makes and sizes. The number of derelict boats is so extreme in the eastern reaches of the Bay that a recent Contra Costa County report indicated that the removal of 300 vessels in the past 20 years has hardly put a dent in the "aquatic junkyards." As more and more vessels litter our waterways, I've become increasingly concerned about the gaps in policies for dealing with abandoned boats.

Stopping Sewage Spills in the San Mateo Peninsula

Baykeeper Secures Agreement from Burlingame to Improve Sewage System, Files Two New Sewage Lawsuits Against Hillsborough and the Burlingame Hills Area
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925-330-7757 (cell)

Frequent sewage spills in Burlingame 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 for Clean Water Act violations in February after investigations revealed that Burlingame spills thousands of gallons of raw sewage from its sewer lines every year and uses an unpermitted pipe to discharge treated wastewater to the Bay near Coyote Point, a
popular windsurfing spot.

This Year’s Drought Requires More Than Just Turning Off Your Tap While You Brush

Sejal Choksi
From the August 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

California is currently in the midst of a severe drought. Our streams and rivers are carrying only about 40 percent of their average water flow, and smoky skies have clouded the Bay Area for weeks as wildfires born of dry conditions rage in nearby communities. As the summer stretches on with no relief in sight, we’re reminded of how important healthy waterways are for our state.

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9th Circuit Upholds Case Requiring U.S. EPA to Regulate Invasive Species Pollution

EPA must now regulate ship ballast discharges under the Clean Water Act
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925/330-7757 (cell)

Dealing a setback to the shipping industry, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of environmental organizations seeking to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate ship discharges under the Clean Water Act. The decision follows a 2005 lower court ruling that EPA had illegally exempted ship discharges from Clean Water Act requirements. That decision gave the agency until September 2008 to end the regulatory exemption and issue permits to ships, an order that EPA appealed to the Ninth Circuit.

How Healthy is Summertime on the Bay?

Sejal Choksi
From the July 2008 edition of Bay Crossings

Welcome to summer in the Bay Area: the fog is rolling, the Bay is crowded with windsurfers, swimmers and sailors, visitors fill tour boats and residents are flocking to shoreline parks and beaches for picnics and playtime. Summertime gives us all a chance enjoy recreation on or near the Bay. At this time of year, I am often asked, “Is it safe to play in the Bay?”  And my response is always, “Yes – sometimes.”

Baykeeper to Address More Illegal Sewage Spills in the San Mateo Peninsula

The pollution watchdog group also co-sponsors bill to reduce sewage spills
Contact 
Sejal Choksi, 925-330-7757 (cell)

San Francisco Baykeeper just announced its intent to enforce the Clean Water Act against the Town of Hillsborough and the Burlingame Hills area of San Mateo County for sewage spills. A recently completed investigation of the Hillsborough and Burlingame Hills sewer systems revealed that these poorly maintained and operated systems suffer from high rates of spills to nearby creeks and the Bay, and are contributing to the City of Burlingame’s illegal sewage discharges into San Francisco Bay near the Coyote Point recreation area.

California Coastkeeper Alliance and Baykeeper Call for Improvements In Oil Spill Preparedness and Response

Organizations Respond to Release of Phase II U.S. Coast Guard Review of Cosco Busan Oil Spill
Contact 
Deb Self, San Francisco Baykeeper, 415-856-0444 x108, cell: 510-882-1882

The California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA), a coalition of 12 Waterkeeper groups spanning the coast from the Oregon border to San Diego, and San Francisco Baykeeper today called on the U.S. Coast Guard and the State of California’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response to work with the public and lawmakers to improve oil spill preparedness and response in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the state. CCKA and Baykeeper spoke in response to the U.S. Coast Guard’s release today of its Phase II Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) Report on the M/V Cosco Busan oil spill.

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