Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for January 2017

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for January 2017
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Our boat's back on the Bay, thanks to you

Baykeeper patrol boat

The Baykeeper boat is back on San Francisco Bay with brand-new engines. We had to take the boat out of the water for 16 days last month when the old engines failed.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to keeping Baykeeper on the water, stopping pollution.

Baykeeper has monitored the Bay by boat for more than 25 years. We find pollution, take samples, and make sure polluting activity gets cleaned up. Now, we're once again working from aboard the Baykeeper boat for a healthy San Francisco Bay.

Photos by Robert Philkill and SF Baykeeper

New progress to keep pharmaceuticals out of the Bay

Bird on waterContra Costa County recently passed an ordinance requiring drug makers to cover the cost of safe disposal of prescription medications. This law will help prevent leftover pharmaceuticals being flushed down the toilet or sink, where they travel through the sewer system and into the Bay.

Pharmaceutical water pollution is a growing problem. Drugs for treating hypertension, migraine, and allergies have been detected in the tissues of Bay mussels. These chemicals can interfere with fish and other wildlife's ability to reproduce, forage, and avoid predators.

As a result of advocacy by Baykeeper, Clean Water Action, other environmental organizations, and local officials, there are now eight such ordinances in the Bay Area.

Learn more about Contra Costa's new safe drug disposal ordinance.

Photo by Robb Most

King Tides show what's coming with sea level rise

King Tides

Cars stopping when San Francisco Bay water washes onto roads. Waves breaking on pedestrian sidewalks. Water flooding onto polluted oil refinery shorelines. It all happens during the year's highest tides—and could happen daily as global climate change causes sea levels to rise.

In the years to come, Bay shorelines will be at greater risk of the kind of flooding now only seen during the yearly high tides known as King Tides. The Bay will also be at increased risk of contamination, due to water levels reaching more pollution sources.

King Tides took place in mid-December and last week. These high tides aren't caused by sea level rise, but they help us visualize where the Bay's shoreline is vulnerable to rising water.

Baykeeper is helping Bay Area communities prepare to protect shorelines from sea levels rise. This photo, taken in December from the air, shows water rising along the Mill Valley and Tiburon shorelines.

Photo by Robert Siegel, MD, PhD, Stanford University,

Stopping copper pollution from boats in the Bay

Bayland Birds

Baykeeper is advocating for stronger regulations on boat coatings to protect birds, fish, and other wildlife from the toxic effects of copper contamination.

Copper is a powerful biocide contained in boat paint that prevents algae and other sea life from growing on boat hulls. But the Bay already has high levels of copper, and chronic exposure to this heavy metal can interfere with wildlife reproduction and growth, and even lead to death.

Baykeeper is urging the California Department of Pesticide Regulation to set stronger limits on copper in boat coating products and to consider the use of less harmful alternatives. In fact, a few years ago, Baykeeper switched to using a less harmful non-copper based paint for our patrol boat.

San Francisco Baykeeper, along with our partners at San Diego Coastkeeper and Los Angeles Waterkeeper, will continue to push for standards keeping excessive copper out of our waters—for the health of fish and wildlife in the Bay and along the California coast.

Learn more about stopping copper pollution from boats in the Bay.

Photo by Robb Most

Thank you, Alameda Point cleanup volunteers!

Bayland Birds

On January 14, Baykeeper joined with Alameda Point Partners, the Alameda Public Works Department and dozens of volunteers to remove trash and litter from the Alameda Point shoreline.

As Baykeeper Executive Director Sejal Choksi-Chugh pointed out in her opening remarks, the timing made this cleanup especially important. Recent storms have churned large amounts of trash into the Bay and onto the shoreline.

Kudos to everyone who honored Martin Luther King, Jr., with a day of service keeping San Francisco Bay clean and healthy.

See KRON 4 News' video coverage of the Alameda cleanup.

Photo by Roger Cunningham

Save the date: Baykeeper dinner on March 5

Dungeness CrabThe annual Baykeeper dinner will take place on Sunday, March 5, 2017, from 4-7pm at the Dolphin Swimming & Boating Club in San Francisco.

Plan to join us! We'll celebrate Baykeeper's recent wins while enjoying delicious crab, fine wine, and beautiful Bay views. We'll also hold a silent auction and honor our 2017 Blue Rivet Award winners.

Registration opens on Wednesday, February 1. Details at

Photo by Gail Odom

Upcoming volunteer opportunities with Baykeeper

Baykeeper is seeking a spring 2017 Event Intern! Beginning in February, the Event Intern will be extensively involved in producing Baykeeper's annual dinner on March 5th. The Event Intern will also help put on other spring events and prepare for the 2017 Bay Parade. Click here to view the full position description

Looking for a low-pressure way to contribute to keeping San Francisco Bay healthy? We are seeking a regular volunteer to assist with the upkeep of our member database. Prior database experience is helpful but not necessary. Click here to find out more.

And a big thank you to all of the volunteers who came to the office in November and December to stamp, stuff, fold, and seal our year-end mailings. Your help supports a clean and healthy San Francisco Bay for all.

2016 Annual Report highlights big victories for San Francisco Bay

2016 Annual ReportBaykeeper's 2016 Annual Report is out now—highlighting a year of breakthroughs for San Francisco Bay.

Over the past year, Baykeeper won major victories to prevent trash and toxic pollution in the Bay, and to put a stop to damage to the Bay from excessive sand mining. We also won more victories to make the Bay healthier for recreation and wildlife.

The victories of 2016 happened thanks to the generosity and commitment of Baykeeper supporters who funded our work. Along with our Annual Report, you'll find a complete list of our wonderful supporters for 2015-16.

Read Baykeeper's 2016 Annual Report and see our list of supporters for 2015-16.

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta

Our boat’s back on the water, thanks to you