Wind in Our Sails

Nov 7, 2020
Sejal Choksi-Chugh
by Sejal Choksi-Chugh

We’re feeling grateful and relieved that millions across the country came together to choose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, leaders who trust science and believe in protecting our health and environment. The week’s seemingly endless counting of votes made it clear that democracy works and our voices matter. And in the historic election of this country’s first female, South Asian, and Black vice president, we elected a leader who also happens to know and love San Francisco Bay!

For Baykeeper, this sea change means we finally get to catch our breath and move forward with wind in our sails.

Over the past four years, the Trump administration actively dismantled bedrock environmental protections and undid what little action our country had taken to combat climate change.

Their attack on the environment included the Bay. The Department of the Interior made moves to divert more water flow from the Bay to industrial agriculture. And as a favor to corporate giant Cargill, the EPA tried to remove Clean Water Act protections from the South Bay salt ponds so the company could sell the historic wetlands to luxury condo developers.

Baykeeper's scientists and lawyers fought back. We won a stay on the federal water grab, and in Baykeeper v. US EPA, the court ruled in our favor that ponds are part of the Bay, and the Clean Water Act protects them.

Though it’s been tough at times, Baykeeper has emerged from these four years stronger. We've had to be nimble and work smart in order to hold in check the federal government’s many devious and misguided threats aimed at the Bay.

That’s why we’re happy for a shift. Yet our thirty years on the Bay have also taught us that we can’t get complacent. The recent election results didn’t boot out industrial polluters, ill-conceived development plans, or the coal industry’s frenetic efforts to use the Bay as a launch pad for shipping its deadly product around the globe. We may still have to contend with a senate majority that removes the teeth from environmental laws, and a state that also seems eager to divert the Bay's water.  

So Baykeeper will be proactive and also remain vigilant. We’ll stay fully engaged on the frontlines to defend the Bay and fight for the health of our communities.

Thank you for your support through these dark four years and for the progress we've made together for the Bay. We really can't do this critical work without you and look forward to partnering with you in the years to come.      

For now, let's celebrate this new day on the Bay and hope for smoother sailing ahead!

Sejal Choksi-Chugh
Executive Director

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