With news of pending plans to reopen businesses around the state, I’ve started daydreaming about the little things I’m looking forward to once the pandemic is over. While dining out and happy hours with friends top my wish list, I’m also looking forward to getting out on the Bay again. There’s nothing like the feeling of cool, salty spray on my face, and the wind whipping around us as we zoom across the water.
Aside from craving that feeling of freedom after being cooped up at home for so long, I’m curious to get back on the boat to see firsthand what’s been happening around the Bay. Baykeeper’s volunteer skippers have been patrolling the shoreline solo (safely and socially distanced), and they’re reporting the usual business.
A shipping terminal on the Richmond shoreline has towering piles of toxic black coal stored at the edge of the water. Full oil tankers are lining up at the five refineries around the Bay to process dirty fuel. And dredgers are still sucking up mud from the Bay floor—but now under the guise of social distancing rules, no biologists are allowed onboard to monitor how many fish they’re killing.
It’s no surprise that these operations haven’t paused. The federal government has allowed companies to stop reporting how much they’re polluting our air and water. And this week's newest round of executive orders is slashing environmental protections even more. The very government that’s supposed to protect us is using the current public health crisis to excuse environmental wrongdoing and put us and the Bay at risk.
Sadly, the government’s willful lack of oversight gives a free pass for some local operators to act out of short-sighted greed, rather than concern for the long-term well-being of our communities and our planet.
But there’s a bright spot. Inspiring business owners around the Bay Area are working hard to stay afloat. And unlike some, these companies are helping their communities and the Bay. I'm thankful for these shining stars in neighborhoods all around the Bay Area. And I’m doing my best to seek out and support them.
If you want to join me in thanking the businesses that are doing good, here are some companies that have unique offerings during pandemic times and are continuing to help us defend the Bay.
And don’t worry about those other bad actors out there. You and I both know that Baykeeper is keeping a close eye on them. Our team is working to hold polluters accountable and to stop the government rollback of environmental protections. We’ll stay on it, so you have one less thing to worry about.
Hope to see you soon—maybe at one of these local Bay-friendly spots!
Anchor Brewing's special collaboration brew, the Baykeeper IPA, supports a healthy SF Bay. Right now, they're offering online ordering and curbside pickup from their San Francisco tap room, and their unique collaboration with local artist Jeremy Fish is raising money from art sales for bartenders unemployed by the pandemic around the Bay Area.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
One of the premier producers of certified sustainable shellfish, with a “Bay to Bar” philosophy, Hog Island supports SF Bay with in-kind event donations and by selling the Rosé for the Bay. The company is currently offering takeout on weekends from locations in Larkspur, Napa, and San Francisco and fresh oyster deliveries to your door.
Monterey Fish Market
Specializing in fresh and sustainably sourced seafood, Monterey Fish Market has been the premier caterer of Baykeeper's annual crab feast. They are currently offering curbside pickup in Berkeley and community-supported fisheries box pickup in San Francisco.
Obsidian Ridge Wine Co.
A family winery that follows sustainable and natural winemaking practices, Obsidian Wine Co. donates 100% of proceeds from their Rosé for the Bay to support a healthy SF Bay. Obsidian Wine Co. is currently offering home delivery of all of its wines, including Rosé for the Bay!
The family-owned Pier 23 restaurant specializes in creative, fresh dishes made from local ingredients, and with their location right on SF Bay, have been big cheerleaders of Baykeeper. The restaurant is currently offering pick-up and delivery of menu items and special occasion meal kits.
JINS eyewear has been supporting a healthy SF Bay for years through its cases-for-causes program—with a donation made for each Baykeeper-themed collaboration eyeglass case sold! The company is currently offering online shopping, and is honoring expired prescriptions for emergency needs. Select the “SFBK” case at checkout.
Local sporting goods store Sports Basement supports a healthy SF Bay through its “Basementeers” program. You can sign up as a Basementeer here and select "San Francisco Baykeeper" as your nonprofit beneficiary. Right now, they're offering curbside pickup for online orders. Plus, Sports Basements stores’ bike rental, nutrition, and bike departments are open to help you to stay healthy during the pandemic.
Emphasizing sustainability and positive community impact, Sunski Sunglasses regularly supports a healthy SF Bay by donating to Baykeeper's events. Currently the company is making and shipping protective medical goggles to health care workers in need.
Photo by Gail Odom