Hiding in Plain Sight

Mar 13, 2023

A few years ago, Baykeeper skipper Jeff Wasserman and his wife Julie were kayaking along the Alameda shoreline on a lazy Saturday afternoon when they noticed something glittering in the embankment. Intrigued, Jeff and Julie navigated closer and were surprised to find that the shore was studded with thousands of ribbons of metal (pictured, below). They immediately reached out to our pollution hotline.

Jeff and Julie’s discovery led to an extensive investigation by Baykeeper’s field and legal teams, who found that the metal shards were left over from an aviation manufacturer, Allied Engineering and Production Corp., that had operated on the site from the 1950s to 2013. For decades, Allied used the Alameda site as an open dumping ground, leaving thousands of pieces of aeronautical metal junk embedded in the shore.

Metal coilsBut the problem wasn’t just that the metal ribbons looked bad. Our science team took sediment samples by kayak and found high levels of toxic heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, and chromium, which were undoubtedly leaching into the Bay. Despite this, nothing had been done since Allied’s closure to clean up the site.

So we took action and filed a case against Allied, and the current property owners TC I 2421 Blanding, LLC and Stone Boatyard, LLC under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. In November, TC I completed its portion of the agreed upon shoreline clean up. And this month, we secured a legally binding agreement requiring Stone Boatyard to clean up its portion of the shoreline. In addition to covering the pollution cleanup costs, the companies have agreed to make a payment to the Rose Foundation for Communities & the Environment to make up for their past pollution.

But our work isn’t done yet. Baykeeper staff will make regular kayak patrols to the area to make sure that Stone Boatyard is cleaning up the metals effectively and on time. And we will continue to monitor our hotline for new pollution reports from members like you!

Have you noticed any signs of pollution in San Francisco Bay or along the shoreline? Let us know by submitting a tip to our pollution hotline

Related Content

Schnitzer's Toxic Mess Around the Bay
For decades, Schnitzer Steel’s auto-shredding operation on the Oakland shoreline has released chemicals and heavy metals into the Bay and nearby neighborhoods. And large fires, likely ignited by...
The Dirty Business of Recycling
It’s a cruel irony that the process of recycling plastic, cardboard, metals, and other materials can be harmful to the environment. Recycling facilities are often covered in contaminants—everything...
Fifty Legal Wins to Hold Industrial Polluters Accountable
Across the region, industrial facilities illegally pollute the Bay with stormwater runoff containing high concentrations of toxic contaminants like lead, chromium, copper, and oil. With the help of...
Join us to hold polluters accountable and defend the Bay DONATE NOW >