Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for August 2016

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for August 2016
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San Francisco Bay

Baykeeper stands up for the Bay's wetlands

A victory for the Bay's wetlands at Point Buckler Island!

Point Buckler Island is in Suisun Bay, an inlet of San Francisco Bay and an important wildlife area. The island's owner used heavy equipment, shown above, to illegally drain and fill 30 acres of existing wetlands in order to build a private kiting club. It was one of the most egregious acts of filling tidal marshland in the Bay's recent history.

When the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board ordered the island's owner to restore the wetlands, he challenged the legality of the restoration order.

At a recent hearing, Baykeeper attorneys urged the Water Board to again order that the wetlands be restored—and the Water Board did just that.

Wetlands provide critical economic and environmental benefits. They provide habitat for birds and other species, filter pollutants, and buffer our communities from sea level rise and storm surges. With San Francisco Bay under pressure from climate change, every acre of wetlands is important.

Baykeeper will keep advocating until the bare dirt at Point Buckler Island has been fully restored to what it formerly was: a thriving tidal marsh.

Learn more about the destruction of wetlands at Point Buckler Island and Baykeeper's advocacy for full restoration of the wetlands.

Photo by Roger Cunningham

One Olympic hurdle that doesn't belong: polluted water

Swimmers in Baykeeper's Bay Parade (above) swam in safer water than Olympic athletes now competing in open-water events in Brazil. Olympic rowers, sailors, paddlers, triathletes, and marathon swimmers face hazards that include trash, raw sewage, and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

San Francisco Bay is much safer for recreation than Rio's Guanabara Bay. One big reason: Baykeeper victories are stopping pollution in San Francisco Bay. As a result of our Sick of Sewage Campaign, 10 Bay Area cities have reduced sewage spills into the Bay by 75% or more, and 10 East Bay cities are making upgrades that will stop the release of partly-treated sewage into the Bay.

And in another big Baykeeper win for a cleaner Bay, the city of San Jose recently agreed to make significant upgrades to protect the Bay from trash and sewage pollution.

Here at Baykeeper, we believe you have a right to swim, row, paddle, kite, sail, and pursue other recreation on the Bay—without being at risk of severe illness from polluted water. And we're going to keep working on your behalf for a safe and healthy San Francisco Bay.

Read a recent CBS News article about water pollution problems at the Olympics in Brazil.

Photo by Clay Schmitz

Volunteer with Baykeeper on Coastal Cleanup Day, September 17

Join the largest volunteer event in the state! On Saturday, September 17, people of all ages will come together for Coastal Cleanup Day to remove debris from California beaches and shorelines.

Volunteer with Baykeeper on Saturday, September 17, 9AM-Noon, at San Francisco's India Basin Shoreline Park.

India Basin is located at Hawes St. and Hunters Point Blvd., along San Francisco Bay's eastern shore, which gets more pollution trash and debris than other shoreline areas.

Learn more about the cleanup and register to volunteer.

Photo by Robert McKinney

Progress to prevent coal pollution in the Bay

In a final vote, Oakland's City Council recently affirmed its ban on coal being handled and stored within Oakland. This ban is critical progress for protecting San Francisco Bay and local communities from coal pollution.

The ban targets a new planned bulk shipping terminal whose developer proposes to export millions of tons of coal transported into Oakland by train. If the coal export project is allowed to go forward, coal would arrive in Oakland via long trains of open cars, on tracks close to the Bay's shore.

These trains would pass through many East Bay cities, shedding highly toxic dust into our neighborhoods and waterways.

Baykeeper was one of the lead coalition members to legally challenge the proposed coal export project. We testified at multiple City Council meetings to support the city's coal export ban on behalf of the Bay.

In other action to protect the Bay from coal pollution, Baykeeper recently testified before the California legislature in favor of SB1279. The bill would help prevent coal pollution statewide.

And if the developer of the shipping terminal in Oakland challenges the city's ban on coal export, Baykeeper will again take a stand to keep coal pollution out of the Bay.

Learn more about Oakland's coal export ban and Baykeeper's work to prevent coal pollution in the Bay.

Photo by Robb Most

Meet Baykeeper volunteer head skipper Geoff Potter

The Baykeeper pollution patrol boat stays on the water and shipshape thanks to our volunteer head skipper, Geoff Potter.

For over two decades, Geoff has frequently been at the helm of the Baykeeper boat when we patrol San Francisco Bay. He selects and trains our team of volunteer skippers. He also performs much of the boat's hull and engine maintenance himself. And when the boat needs to be hauled out and repaired or repainted, Geoff oversees the whole process.

After retiring from a rewarding career in the Coast Guard, Geoff, along with his wife Phoebe, spent 12 years exploring the U.S. and Europe in their 43-foot sailboat. When they returned to San Francisco, Geoff began volunteering with Baykeeper.

Geoff was piloting the Baykeeper boat the day we discovered toxic red paint, contaminated with heavy metals, blowing into the Bay from the BAE shipyard on San Francisco's shore. That discovery led to a Baykeeper lawsuit, and BAE implementing pollution controls to keep contamination out of the Bay. Geoff also steers the boat during our spring Bay Parade, an annual celebration of the Bay and Baykeeper's work to protect it.

When he's not aboard or under the Baykeeper boat, you might find him bicycling around the San Francisco Bay Area, enjoying nature and wearing his trademark suspenders. Thanks, Geoff, for all your volunteer work on behalf of San Francisco Bay!

Photo by Susanne Friedrich

Become a Sports Basementeer for a discount plus donation to Baykeeper

Get 10% off every time you shop at Sports Basement—and support Baykeeper at the same time!

Sign up for Sports Basement's Basementeers program and you'll always receive a 10% discount on each item. Plus, 10% of profits go to charity, so you can support Baykeeper with every purchase.

Sign up as a Basementeer in person at any Sports Basement store. Tell the cashier that you were sent by San Francisco Baykeeper, and they'll waive the $25 sign-up fee. Or sign up online today for free. Look for us in Sports Basement's alphabetical list of charities as "San Francisco Baykeeper."

Sports Basement is a Bay Area-based outdoor store with seven nearby locations. Their warehouse-style stores have gear and clothing for running, biking, hiking, camping, winter sports, and more. Sports Basement also has an extensive rental department that includes bikes, tents, and wetsuits. Plus, the stores accept used batteries and some used sports gear for recycling.

Support a local business and Baykeeper at the same time—all while saving money!

See you at the Battle of the Bay Watersport Festival

Enjoy two days of stand up paddleboarding, kiteboarding, and windsurfing excitement at the Battle of the Bay Watersport Festival on September 17 & 18, on East Beach at Crissy Field, San Francisco.

Races include open and pro stand up paddleboard, the national Kite Foil Championship, and Northern California Windsurfing Championship. Stop by the Baykeeper table while you're there!

Find out more and register at battleofthebay.com.

Join Baykeeper as our volunteer Development Intern

Baykeeper is looking for an enthusiastic volunteer intern to support our fundraising efforts for fall 2016.

The ideal candidate is passionate about environmental protection and wants to develop skills in fundraising and nonprofit operations. Our Development Intern will gain experience in online research, outreach, member database management, and event coordination. Arrangements can be made to meet requirements for class credit.

Time Commitment: 5-10 hours a week for approximately September to December 2016, with start and end dates flexible. Location: Baykeeper's Oakland office.

Read the Development Intern job description and learn how to apply for this position.

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta