Baykeeper's Monthly Column

Baykeeper publishes a monthly column on San Francisco Bay cultural, environmental, and maritime issues.
(November 2011) Pesticides are one of the main contaminants to Bay Area creeks and the aquatic life that forms the base of the Bay’s food web. Future columns will discuss our efforts to reduce local governments’ use of pesticide. Read on to learn what you can do to stay pesticide free—for the health of your family and the Bay. Avoid anti-bacterial soap with triclosan. Washing your hands with...
(October 2011) Three good bills to protect San Francisco Bay and California children made it out of the California Legislature this session and now await Governor Brown’s signature. AB1112, which Baykeeper sponsored to protect the Bay from future oil spills, needs a final push from you. Two others, AB 376 (to ban shark finning) and AB 1319 (to ban bisphenol A from baby bottles) also need...
(September 2011) As the U.S. House and Senate return from their August recesses, debates over legislation to gut essential Clean Water Act protections will test the environmental leadership of key California legislators, and the President, as never before. Two major bills, H.R. 872 and H.R. 2018, have already passed the House and await a vote in the Senate, while dozens more stealthy...
(August 2011) Every time I write this monthly column, I find that I have to dive deep into a whole new world of chemistry, species, habitat, geology and climate. I enjoy sharing a little bit of what I learn along the way. Some of you know I’m a novice birder, having become captivated with diving ducks while helping Golden Gate Audubon Society with its Christmas bird count out on the Bay. I...
(July 2011) America’s 33-year wait for the FDA to publish rules on sunscreen labeling ended in June—just in time for the apparent end of the rainy season. The new rules go into effect next year and will provide clear guidance for the most part on sunscreen manufacturers’ claims about effectiveness. Until then, you’ve got a few tools to help you choose a sunscreen that does more good than...
(June 2011) Much of Baykeeper’s work focuses on strengthening or maintaining clean water laws and regulations related to toxic pollutants and other contaminants capable of compromising the health of San Francisco Bay. We do this work by engaging in policy and regulatory processes, as well as conducting outreach, research and education. When necessary, we litigate on behalf of clean water...
(May 2011) First, a sewage spill update: since I wrote last month about our annual Bay Area winter sewage spills, the number of gallons of sewage spilled has doubled! After a very rainy March, we can now say that nearly a quarter billion gallons of raw or undertreated sewage have entered San Francisco Bay and its tributaries this winter. With 40 treatment plants and 17,000 miles of publicly-owned...
(April 2011) At the time of this writing, this year’s rainy season had already brought nine million gallons of raw sewage to Bay Area waterways, and a stunning 125 million gallons of undertreated sewage from the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) plants at Point Isabel and in Oakland. Many people don’t realize that the Bay Area has such an old-fashioned public health threat. Sewage...
(March 2011) Shivery winter weather has been the daily forecast this season, with snowstorms in the East and even the occasional blustery winds and rains around the Bay Area. For many people, cold weather brings to mind warm comforts of hot cocoa, slow-cooked soups, fleece blankets and wishful thoughts of island getaways. But Bay Area residents may not have to book a flight to the tropics to...
(February 2011) Last year at this time, I wrote about Baykeeper’s first-time participation in the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count and my experience as a novice birder on the Bay. This December, the Baykeeper boat was out on the Bay once again to assist with the 111th Christmas Bird Count, joining more than 60,000 people nationwide in documenting trends in bird population. We worked with...

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