Earlier this month, Baykeeper Staff Attorney Nicole Sasaki, along with pro bono lawyers, made legal arguments to uphold Clean Water Act protections for the Redwood City salt ponds before the District Court.
The legal action stems from a bizarre case of make believe by the Trump Administration. Trump’s EPA has decided that the Redwood City salt ponds are not water but land.
The ponds used to be Bay waters, and if the surrounding human-made levees were removed, the area would return to its natural marshy state. EPA’s decision is a thinly veiled attempt to allow the ponds’ behemoth corporate owner, Cargill, to bypass Clean Water Act safeguards and pave over the area. The multinational corporation has long been eyeing a lucrative deal to develop this part of the shoreline. If this decision goes forward, it will set a harmful legal precedent for other parts of the Bay, including salt ponds in Newark.
Baykeeper and our partners Save The Bay, Citizens’ Committee to Complete the Refuge, and Committee for Green Foothills, along with the California Attorney General’s office, argued in court that the salt ponds—and the wetlands they are destined to become—have a right to Clean Water Act protections. The judge is expected to make a ruling in the coming months.
Separately, we worked with coalition partners to release a statement calling for comprehensive planning for climate change in Redwood City, which included calls to protect the salt ponds in order to buffer the shoreline from sea level rise.
Read more about the Redwood City salt ponds case.
Photo of salt ponds by Robb Most, thanks to LightHawk Conservation Flying