Baykeeper's Monthly Column

Baykeeper publishes a monthly column on San Francisco Bay cultural, environmental, and maritime issues.
(June 2008) Many people were surprised by recent headlines about the collapse of the Chinook salmon fishery in California.  The Bay has been an essential throughway for one of California’s last remaining salmon populations, which is the anchor for the state’s still-substantial commercial fishing industry.  In fact, the Bay Area’s local fishing economy is part of the $200 million...
(May 2008) I have a fairly standard morning routine: I shower, wash my hair and apply moisturizer, then have breakfast. It’s an average morning that I am sure is similar to many people’s – but I’m guessing that few of us consider our morning routines to have a direct impact on local water quality. When I leave the house to catch BART, I leave behind traces of my routine. My body did...
(April 2008) Bay Area storm drains tie into our creeks and empty into the Bay without any treatment or filtering. So when it rains, the cigarette butts, automotive fluids, pet waste, household gardening chemicals, and trash accumulated in gutters is washed into local creeks and the Bay. In fact, polluted rainwater accounts for the largest source of pollution to the Bay. Any material or...
(March 2008) On January 31, heavy rains and operator error caused an overflow of sewage at a treatment plant in Marin County. More than 2.7 million gallons of partially treated sewage spilled out of the plant and into Corte Madera Creek, which flows into Richardson Bay. This was the second spill to occur in one week; only six days earlier, the same sewage treatment plant discharged...
(February 2008) Environmental groups are challenging the US Maritime Administration for its failure to protect the waters of the San Francisco Bay and Delta Estuary from pollution created by a ghost fleet of toxic ships near Benicia. More than fifty decommissioned and deteriorating vessels are anchored in Suisun Bay, leaching toxic paint and heavy metals into the water and sediment of...
(January 2008) The San Francisco Bay is part of the largest estuary on the entire Pacific Coast of the Americas. One of the most biologically productive water bodies in the world, the Bay supports commercial and recreational fisheries, including Chinook salmon, Pacific herring, Bay mussel, and Dungeness crab. The Bay’s open water habitats, as well as its rocky shorelines and salt marshes...
(December 2007) In the early morning heavy fog of November 7, an 902-foot long cargo ship collided with the wooden fender of the delta tower base of the Bay Bridge, spilling 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel into the San Francisco Bay. Initial reports from the US Coast Guard indicated that the Cosco Busan’s torn hull leaked only 140 gallons of fuel, but within the first hour, the oil was 1/3...

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