Last week, two mysterious oily sheens appeared in San Pablo Bay, the northern area of San Francisco Bay. One was around 40 feet wide and a mile long, large enough to cause ferry operators to temporarily halt service. The other surrounded an oil tanker docked at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo.
In the upcoming elections on November 8, Baykeeper recommends a yes vote on California Proposition 67, the statewide plastic bag ban. If Prop 67 passes, groceries, pharmacies, and other retail stores in California won’t be allowed to provide single-use plastic bags.
When plastic bags wash into San Francisco Bay and the oceans, they kill wildlife. Animals get entangled in the bags and drown, or eat them and starve.
Baykeeper recently took new action in a long-running fight to prevent development on 1,365 acres of former south San Francisco Bay wetlands. The area, used for decades to manufacture salt, is known as the Cargill salt ponds.
Eco Box Recycling, a debris removal and recycling facility in San Jose, recently agreed to keep contaminated rainwater from running off its site and into Coyote Creek, a tributary of San Francisco Bay.
The Oakland City Council has taken its final vote to approve an ordinance that bans coal from being handled and stored in the City of Oakland, including through a new bulk shipping terminal proposing to export millions of tons of coal. Baykeeper has been strongly advocating for Oakland city leaders to reject the proposed coal export project because it will contaminate the Bay and local communities with dangerous coal pollution.
Oakland and San José, Calif. - Today, San Francisco Baykeeper and the City of San José announced a legal agreement to make the Bay Area’s largest city a greener one. As part of the agreement, San José has committed to make significant future environmental investments by implementing more stormwater capture projects, also known as “green infrastructure.” The anticipated long-term benefits include a reduction in pollutants entering creeks, recharging of groundwater supplies, and beautification of the city landscape -- ultimately enhancing the quality of life for San José residents.
After the owner of 39-acre Point Buckler Island, located in Suisun Bay, filled the island’s wetlands and tidal marshes without proper permits, authorities levied a fine of $4.6 million and ordered him to restore the island’s important wetland ecosystem. In recent media coverage, the landowner attempted to downplay the harm his actions have caused, painting the penalties as an example of government regulators run amok.
The City of Berkeley Transfer Station and Recycling Center recently agreed to keep contaminated rainwater from running off its site and into storm drains that empty into San Francisco Bay.
Facilities like the City of Berkeley Transfer Station and Recycling Center are critical to reducing waste in landfills. The facility’s agreement with Baykeeper will ensure that it can fulfill its valuable role without contaminating the Bay.
In a victory for San Francisco Bay, Measure AA received 69% of the vote in the nine-county Bay Area, putting it over the 2/3 majority it needed to pass.
“Baykeeper is proud to be part of this win for our region’s most precious natural resource,” said Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Baykeeper Executive Director. “This is a time to celebrate, because the Bay Area has come together to support a healthier and more resilient San Francisco Bay for future generations.”
Measure AA will provide funds to:
On June 3, a Union Pacific train with 96 tank cars full of crude oil derailed in Oregon along the Columbia River Gorge. Sixteen tank cars left the rails and four ruptured, spilling oil. A crude oil fire burned for 13 hours, and the accident damaged a sewage treatment plant, which had to be closed. An unknown amount of oil reached the river, possibly through a sewage pipe broken in the accident. An oil sheen on the water was visible from the air two days after the accident.