Baykeeper's E-newsletter April 2017

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for April 2017
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Join the discussion: defending the Bay from federal attacks on clean water

Water Forum

How can we best defend San Francisco Bay from the current rollbacks of federal environmental protections? Join the discussion at Baykeeper's Water Forum on Water Policy and Bay Protection in the New Federal Era, on Monday, April 24, 5:30-8:30 pm.

The forum features Jared Huffman, U.S. Representative, CA 2nd district, Linda Sheehan, Executive Director of Planet Pledge, and moderator Rose Aguilar, KALW radio host. We'll also discuss how residents can take action to defend the Bay, and take audience questions.

The event is in downtown San Francisco. Reception fare will be served. Supporter tickets are $100, and Community tickets are $50. Discounted tickets are available for students and people with limited income thanks to a generous sponsorship by Environment Now. Reply to this email for more information.

Learn more and purchase tickets for the Baykeeper Water Forum on April 24.

Update on the sunken barge fuel leak in SF Bay

Sunken barge site

On April 7, a barge capsized south of the Bay Bridge with 4,000 gallons of diesel and 300 gallons of hydraulic oil on board, and then leaked fuel into the Bay. Since the incident, we have conducted a number of boat patrols in the area to monitor the site where the barge sank.

We're relieved to confirm news reports that the barge does not yet appear to have caused significant harm to the Bay.

The Baykeeper team has been in regular contact with the US Coast Guard to ensure that measures are being taken to protect the Bay. So far, the response has gone smoothly.

However, as the barge remains underwater, we'll continue to monitor the situation to ensure no environmental damage occurs during its salvage and removal.

Baykeeper is working hard to make sure protections are in place to prevent spills in the Bay, and to prepare a rapid and effective response when events like this threaten to pollute the Bay with oil. Thank you for your support for our efforts to ensure the health and safety of San Francisco Bay.

Learn more about the sunken barge in the Bay.

Baykeeper stands up in court for Oakland coal ban

Coal cars

A developer who wants to build a massive coal terminal on the Oakland shoreline is attempting to overturn the city of Oakland's recent ban prohibiting the handling and storage of coal within the city. Baykeeper is standing up for Oakland's action to protect public health and safety from dirty coal at the US District Court in San Francisco this week.

Baykeeper's advocacy helped pass the coal ban, along with hundreds of residents and our partners at the Sierra Club, Communities for a Better Environment, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

Once coal dust has entered the Bay, it can smother plants and animals that live on the Bay floor. It can also keep fish from finding food and have a toxic impact on wildlife by slowing their development and interfering with their reproduction.

"A coal terminal on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay will hurt water quality and aquatic life," says Erica Maharg, Baykeeper Managing Attorney. "We're advocating to help preserve the city of Oakland's right to protect the health of its citizens and the environment of San Francisco Bay."

Learn more about Baykeeper's support for Oakland's coal ban.

Photo by Robb Most

Fighting efforts to weaken the Clean Water Act

Stopping pollutin in the Bay

Baykeeper is opposing a new federal bill, H.R. 1179, that would weaken the federal Clean Water Act and make it harder to keep pollution out of waterways nationwide.

Currently, the Clean Water Act allows members of the public, and public interest groups like Baykeeper, to file a lawsuit to stop pollution when it is harming the public.

But H.R. 1179 would change the law so that if a group like Baykeeper lost a citizen suit against a polluter for any reason, the group would have to reimburse the polluter's legal fees. H.R. 1179 is intended to scare small public interest groups like Baykeeper into backing off from suing powerful polluters, out of fear of financial ruin.

The bill's supporters claim it will discourage "frivolous" lawsuits. But judges already can and do order anyone who files a frivolous lawsuit to pay the defendant's court costs.

Baykeeper is working with Waterkeeper organizations across the U.S., and our national Waterkeeper Alliance, to defeat H.R. 1179.

Learn more about citizen suits and preventing pollution in the Bay.

Photo by Thomas Hawk, Flickr/CC

Defending the Bay from climate change—despite federal rollbacks

Hamilton Novato Wetlands

President Trump has issued another executive order to weaken environmental protections—this time, to undo policies that would help slow down climate change. If implemented, this executive order would roll back limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and allow polluting activities that would exacerbate global warming.

In light of federal rollbacks, Baykeeper is intensifying our efforts to defend San Francisco Bay from climate change by:

  • Restoring and defending natural buffers by advocating to keep sand and sediment in the Bay for use at shoreline wetlands and beaches—like the Hamilton Wetlands, shown here;

  • Making the Bay Area climate ready by working with cities and advocating at the state level to ensure adequate flows to the Bay and smarter water use;

  • Curbing fossil fuel expansions by stopping proposals to increase dirty oil and coal in the Bay Area;

  • Identifying the threats to the shoreline by imaging current sea levels using a Google Trekker camera and a remote-controlled boat.

There are many ways the Bay Area can become more resilient to sea level rise, plan for climate variability, and reduce our cities' carbon footprint. Baykeeper is helping prepare the Bay for this new climate reality.

Read more about Baykeeper's work on preparing for climate change in the Bay.

Photo by Robb Most

March for Science & Doc's Clock Benefit on Earth Day, April 22

Celebrate Earth Day with Baykeeper at the March for Science in San Francisco this Saturday, April 22. Want to join us to march for a protected environment and healthy San Francisco Bay? Meet the Baykeeper group at Pier 14 at 10:30 am, near Mission and the Embarcadero on the Bay side.March for Science SF

The Baykeeper team will be marching to celebrate the importance of transparent scientific research and data, which is at the heart of our litigation and advocacy to protect the Bay for future generations. The San Francisco event starts at 11:00 am at Justin Herman Plaza. Other March for Science events are taking place all around the Bay Area.

Then, from 4-8pm at the iconic Mission District bar Doc's Clock, join an Earth Day benefit to support Baykeeper. Thanks to the incredible generosity of the team at Doc's Clock, a portion of all proceeds from the evening will be donated to Baykeeper's work defending the Bay. We hope to see you there! For details and to RSVP, visit Doc's Clock Facebook event page.

Swimmers, boaters, kayakers, and SUPers: The Bay Parade is July 9!

Bay Parade

Plan to join the Bay Area's premier on-the-water sporting event this summer at the 4th Annual Bay Parade on July 9! Registration opens May.


  • 6.5 miles from Golden Gate Bridge to McCovey Cove on a flood tide
  • Timed solo swim, timed four-person relay, and open relay divisions
  • $100 registration plus $200 fundraising minimum


  • Volunteers needed!
  • Escort swimmers from the Golden Gate to McCovey Cove
  • No fee for sailboats or motorboats

Kayak or SUP

  • Easy paddle from Pier 40 to McCovey Cove and back
  • Paddleboard/kayak rental included
  • $75 registration plus $75 fundraising minimum


  • Connect with active Bay Area residents, feature your commitment to a healthy Bay, and give your employees an unforgettable day on the water
  • Contact Eliet Henderson at for more information

Registration opens soon. More details at

Photo by Roger Cunningham

Art auction to benefit Baykeeper

Saudade California

Local artist Julie Brookman presents her Saudadé series at the Branner Spangenberg Gallery from April 29-June 5.

Julie is graciously offering a silent auction of one of the series' most evocative paintings, California (pictured here), to benefit San Francisco Baykeeper.

Visit the gallery to take in Brookman's water-themed art, and enter a bid on California to support a healthy San Francisco Bay.

The opening reception will be held Saturday, April 29, from 1-4pm, and Open Studios takes place May 6-7. The silent auction will run from April 29 to May 7.

Find more information about this exhibit.

Be an SF Bay hero: join Baykeeper as our Development Associate

Baykeeper seeks an organized, dedicated, and passionate environmental advocate to join our fundraising team as the Development Associate.

The Development Associate supports all fundraising and relationship development with individual and corporate contacts, helps plan and execute Baykeeper's fundraising and outreach events, and ensures both seamless operations internally as well as excellent interactions with Baykeeper supporters and event participants.

This is a terrific opportunity to develop skills in nonprofit fundraising, operations, and event management, while advancing Baykeeper's critical mission to protect and defend San Francisco Bay.

Read the full position description and learn how to apply by clicking here.

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta
















Defending the Bay from fuel spills, federal rollbacks, coal, and climate change