Baykeeper's Monthly Column

Baykeeper publishes a monthly column on San Francisco Bay cultural, environmental, and maritime issues.
(December 2018) A multinational corporation is mining sand from the bottom of San Francisco Bay and selling it for a profit. But the Bay’s sand belongs to you and me. And taking sand out of the Bay harms Dungeness crab, San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, and other Bay Area beaches and wetlands. One main area where companies mine sand lies between the San Francisco waterfront and Angel Island. Young...
(November 2018) If you’ve travelled by plane over the Bay Area, you may have seen the bright red, orange, and yellow ponds in south San Francisco Bay. They look pretty and calm, but they’re actually the site of a battle between those who want to restore the area to wetlands and large corporate interests envisioning a complex of offices and condominiums. The South Bay salt ponds were once...
(October 2018) San Francisco Bay’s water level is expected to rise over the coming decades. Even using the moderate estimates of three feet over the next eighty years, the resulting damage could resemble the recent hurricane-caused havoc on the East Coast. Scientists estimate the cost in the Bay Area of a major rainstorm plus a three foot rise in the Bay’s water at $70 billion, with losses to...
(September 2018) On Saturday September 15, International Coastal Cleanup Day, thousands of Bay Area residents will head to local beaches to pick up trash. But many people don’t realize that San Francisco Bay’s shoreline is part of the coast. In fact, there’s often more trash accumulated along Bay shoreline than on Pacific Ocean beaches, but fewer volunteers at Bay cleanup sites. So consider...
(August 2018) A lack of fresh water is tearing apart San Francisco Bay’s web of life. Salmon hatch in rivers and migrate to the ocean at a young age. They mature there and return to the river where they hatched to spawn—leaving the eggs of a new generation. The Bay once teemed with salmon from the two main river systems, the San Joaquin and the Sacramento, that flow into the Delta and then to the...
(July 2018) We were on the Baykeeper boat for a pollution patrol recently when I noticed something surprising. The stockpiles of toxic black coal that usually tower along the Richmond shoreline were the smallest I’d seen in my 15 years on patrol. I’d expected coal stockpiles to be even higher than in the past. That’s because when coal industry corporation Bowie Resource Partners hit a roadblock...
(June 2018) If you love San Francisco Bay, you’re invited to spend an unforgettable day on the water—for a great cause. Kayak, stand-up paddle board, swim, or boat in the 5th Annual Bay Parade, on Sunday, July 15. It’s a wonderful way to show you care about keeping the Bay’s water clean for recreation. Choose your favorite way to celebrate a healthy San Francisco Bay:  Kayak or stand-up paddle...
(May 2018) If you’re a Bay Area voter, congratulations! Your vote has begun making a difference for San Francisco Bay. Two years ago, an overwhelming majority of Bay Area voters showed how much they love the Bay by passing Measure AA. The measure created new funding for the restoration of the Bay’s wetlands and shorelines. Now, eight projects are being funded with this new support. The projects...
(April 2018) Update: As of April 5, the derelict boat has left Aquatic Park. For months, a rundown sailboat has been illegally anchored in San Francisco Bay’s most sheltered swimming cove, Aquatic Park, off San Francisco’s northern shoreline. Swimmers have called and emailed Baykeeper’s Pollution Hotline repeatedly to report pollution from the rogue sailboat. They reported having to detour around...
(March 2018) If you discover a sewage spill in Oakland—or have reported a spill in the past to Oakland city officials—please report it to Baykeeper. Sewage spilled into city streets generally ends up in San Francisco Bay. Spilled sewage is sometimes inappropriately washed down a nearby storm drain, or the sewage may be carried to the storm drain by rain. Most storm drains empty into the Bay, or...

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