If you’re a Bay Area voter, congratulations! Your vote has begun making a difference for San Francisco Bay. Two years ago, an overwhelming majority of Bay Area voters showed how much they love the Bay by passing Measure AA. The measure created new funding for the restoration of the Bay’s wetlands and shorelines.
In a surprise policy shift this January, the federal administration announced that it was going to open almost all US coastal waters to offshore oil drilling. Based on Baykeeper’s decades of experience dealing with oil spills in San Francisco Bay, we know if this action moves forward, it will pose a real ecological threat to our spectacular shoreline resources and sensitive wildlife.
That’s why Baykeeper is supporting new state legislation that would help protect San Francisco Bay and the Bay Area’s coastal shoreline from the impacts of offshore oil drilling.
A recent article from the San Francisco Chronicle highlights the city of San Francisco’s ongoing efforts to move 75,000 tons of sand to replenish Ocean Beach’s shrinking shoreline. Ocean Beach suffers from the highest rate of beach erosion in the state.
A lot of trash accumulates along Bay Area highways and freeways. Rain and wind can drive that trash into the Bay or into storm drains that empty into the Bay. Trash pollution blights views of the Bay, inhibits Bay recreation, and harms the Bay’s wildlife.
The California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, is responsible for preventing trash pollution on streets from getting into the Bay (and waterways all around the state). But Caltrans is not doing enough to clean up roadside litter.
Update: As of April 5, the derelict boat has left Aquatic Park.
For months, a rundown sailboat has been illegally anchored in San Francisco Bay’s most sheltered swimming cove, Aquatic Park, off San Francisco’s northern shoreline.
Swimmers have called and emailed Baykeeper’s Pollution Hotline repeatedly to report pollution from the rogue sailboat. They reported having to detour around the boat because it was anchored in the swimming lanes. Most disturbingly, they told us they’ve been swimming through human waste the boat’s occupant had dumped overboard.
Baykeeper’s Bay-Safe Industry Campaign is making rapid progress. We launched the campaign in 2012, and have so far secured legally-binding agreements requiring 41 industrial facilities to implement controls to keep toxic pollution from contaminating San Francisco Bay.
These 41 victories include cleanup of toxic pollution by:
Baykeeper recently secured a new legal victory to stop the Newby Island landfill facility in Milpitas from releasing polluted runoff into tributaries of San Francisco Bay.
The Newby Island Resource Recovery Park is a landfill, compost, and material recovery facility located near the Bay shoreline. Through our investigations, Baykeeper found that the facility had been releasing excessive levels of pollutants—including selenium, iron, aluminum, nitrogen, and sediment—into Coyote Creek and Lower Penitencia Creek for years. Both of these creeks are tributaries of San Francisco Bay.
In our ongoing advocacy to protect the Bay’s endangered wildlife, Baykeeper recently told regulators that a newly proposed location for shoreline habitat isn’t protective enough to support the species being displaced by development. Regulators and the project developer are proposing a site in the Newark Slough to offset shoreline habitat loss in other areas—but the proposed site experiences regular flooding that pushes out wildlife, sometimes right onto a nearby, heavily-trafficked road.
Baykeeper is working to prevent a dangerous new threat to San Francisco Bay—a tar sands oil spill.
If spilled in the Bay, heavy tar sands oil would likely sink to the Bay’s bottom, making it virtually impossible to remove and causing irreparable harm to the ecosystem. Despite this threat, companies that handle and transport tar sands oil are not required to prepare a contingency plan for cleaning up this kind of spill. And, as new pipelines are fast-tracked under the current federal administration, heavy oil transport will likely become more widespread over the next decade.