The Bay Area’s Most Toxic Sites are Vulnerable to Sea Level Rise

Numerous industrial facilities—including oil refineries, shipyards, and manufacturing plants—surround San Francisco Bay, as well as over 1,000 inactive sites contaminated with hazardous waste.

Many of these sites already release pollution into the Bay. Sea level rise will amplify the contamination risk from these toxic sites. As Bay waters rise in the coming decades, flooding will inundate toxic sites along the shore and allow pollutants to leach into the Bay and along shorelines.

No Water, No Fish: The Fight for Fresh Water Flows

Healthy levels of fresh water are vital for San Francisco Bay and the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta. Without sufficient flows through these waterways, toxic algae spread, fish die, and pollutants accumulate. Lack of healthy flows are already resulting in record low numbers of native fish like salmon. Species that depend on fish for food, like orcas, are also struggling.    

Celebrate this Thanksgiving without Polluting the Bay

When you think of the holidays, Bay contamination probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But every year, celebratory meals worsen sewage pollution in San Francisco Bay.

Holiday cooking tends to generate a lot of fatty waste, like meat drippings, grease, and buttery gravies. When dumped down the sink or garbage disposal, fats harden in the wastewater pipes running between Bay Area homes and sewage facilities.  


Baykeeper on Patrol: October 2018 Update

In early October, from our patrol boat, the Baykeeper team observed a company in Alameda dumping construction waste directly into the Bay. We reached out to the company to bring it to their attention and make sure that they change their behavior. "It's illegal for companies to treat the Bay like a trash can," Baykeeper's Managing Attorney Erica Maharg points out. "Sometimes they need a strongly worded reminder."


A Victory for Protecting People Who Eat Fish from the Bay

People who eat fish caught in San Francisco Bay are exposed to toxic substances because polluters regularly contaminate the Bay with dangerous substances like mercury, dioxins, and PCBs. 

The Bay Area is home to native tribes whose members follow traditional fishing practices and people who regularly fish in the Bay to feed themselves and their families. Despite the risks to these communities, regulatory agencies have never set standards for toxic substances in the Bay with the goal of protecting people who eat the most Bay fish.

The Bay’s Sand Should be Protected – Not Sold for a Profit

Ocean Beach

A multinational corporation is mining the Bay’s sand to sell it for profit, and it’s harming Ocean Beach and other Bay Area beaches and wetlands.

California is currently allowing Lehigh Hanson, Inc., to harvest 1.5 million cubic yards of Bay sand per year, far outpacing the amount that naturally replenishes the Bay floor. Sand mining reduces the supply of this important resource for areas like Ocean Beach, which is rapidly eroding. 


San Francisco: Vote Yes on Prop A Seawall Repair

San Francisco’s Embarcadero seawall—the manmade barrier between the city and San Francisco Bay—is crumbling. Baykeeper supports a bond measure on the ballot in San Francisco this November to repair it.

Built in the 1850s, San Francisco’s 3-mile seawall can’t withstand another century of wind, rain, and tide surges, particularly as climate change causes sea levels to rise and storms to intensify. And in the likely event of a major earthquake in the coming decades, the seawall could collapse entirely, submerging parts of downtown San Francisco.


Baykeeper Releases ShoreView Planning Tool for Sea Level Rise

Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director, 925-330-7757 or Ian Wren, Staff Scientist, 415-810-6956

(San Francisco Bay, CA) – Sea levels are expected to rise in San Francisco Bay by at least three feet over the next 80 years.  Many people around the Bay Area, including those working for local governments responsible for shoreline adaptation, don’t know what that will mean. 

ShoreView, a new way of viewing the Bay using Google StreetView technology, provides a glimpse into how sea level rise will affect the Bay’s shoreline and Bay Area communities.   


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