Baykeeper's E-newsletter March 2017

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for March 2017
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San Francisco Bay

Protections for the Bay & clean water are under attack

Coyote Hills

The federal administration's attack on environmental protections continued this month.

A newly released budget proposal cuts funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by 31%, and potentially eliminates a $4.8 million fund for restoring San Francisco Bay's marshes and wetlands.

President Trump also issued an Executive Order to "eliminate unnecessary federal agencies," which may include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other agencies critical to preparing for sea level rise. Another Executive Order "rescinds or revises" the Clean Water Rule, which was adopted to keep pollution out of water bodies nationwide. And Congress has proposed a new bill to eliminate the ability of citizens, and groups like Baykeeper, to enforce clean water protections.

Baykeeper is fighting against these harmful proposals, along with Waterkeeper groups across the US. Our national Waterkeeper Alliance is watchdogging DC politics, mobilizing resistance, and filing litigation on Baykeeper's behalf.

What's more, we are defending the Bay under California's current environmental protections and working hard to strengthen those protections in collaboration with other waterkeepers in California. You can count on Baykeeper to keep fighting to protect our home, San Francisco Bay.

Read more about the administration's actions and Baykeeper's response.

Photo by Robb Most

Turning Bay mud into climate change resilience

Dredging

Baykeeper helped craft newly proposed state legislation that would turn dredged mud into a resource for restoring San Francisco Bay's wetlands.

Every year, millions of cubic yards of mud and other sediment are dredged from the floor of the Bay to maintain shipping channels. The dredged material is then dumped far out in the ocean. That's a missed opportunity to re-use this valuable sediment.

Working with our alliance of California Waterkeepers, Baykeeper crafted a new bill, AB 388, that will allow clean dredged sediment to be used to build up Bay wetlands, instead of going to waste in the ocean. Wetlands provide protection from flooding, storm surges, sea level rise, and pollution. They also help capture carbon dioxide—a carbon sink effect similar to that of rainforests.

This legislation will help make sediment a resource for increasing the Bay Area's resilience to climate change.

Learn more about AB 388 and wetland restoration.

Photo by Richard Bangert

Join Baykeeper & Holy Hikes for an Oakland shoreline cleanup on March 25

Help clean up the San Francisco Bay shoreline while celebrating the Holy Eucharist on Saturday morning, March 25 at Oakland's East Creek Slough. Join Baykeeper and Holy Hikes, a liturgical hiking group, for a Bay Cleanup Mass led by the Right Reverend Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of Grace Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of California, and Baykeeper Advisory Board member.Bishop Marc of Holy Hikes

Baykeeper is excited to partner with Holy Hikes, a group that celebrates spirituality, recognizing the interdependency of humans, land, and water. All are welcome to join this unique event to support a healthy Bay.

Volunteers will pick up trash around East Creek Slough, one of Oakland's "trash hotspots," where huge amounts of litter accumulate before being washed into San Francisco Bay. Volunteers with stand up paddleboards are invited to join to help reach trash deep in the slough.

"Baykeeper is excited about this new partnership with Holy Hikes to help grow the diverse ecosystem of volunteers and supporters that protect our beautiful San Francisco Bay," says Baykeeper Executive Director Sejal Choksi-Chugh. "Together, we will continue to tackle the greatest threats to the Bay's health."

Click here for directions, to RSVP, and to learn more about this event.

Meet Baykeeper Staff Attorney Ben Eichenberg

Ben Eichenberg

Baykeeper has a new addition to the team: seasoned environmental lawyer, former Fulbright Scholar, and disc golf enthusiast Ben Eichenberg.

After just four months on the job, Ben is tackling some of Baykeeper's most critical legal and advocacy actions, from working to increase freshwater flows in the Bay and Delta, to defending Oakland's precedent-setting coal ban.

Ben is a Bay Area native who lives in Berkeley with his wife and two young children. He appreciates working on initiatives that protect his home shoreline and the local environment.

"What's great about Baykeeper is that we use a holistic approach to defending the Bay," says Ben. "We work collaboratively with local communities, small businesses, and government agencies, and we use litigation and advocacy when they're the right tools to protect the Bay."

Since the recent presidential election, Baykeeper's mission and approach feel even more urgent to Ben. "There's a lot of depressing news for the environment these days," Ben notes. "Working at Baykeeper reminds me that we can still make great strides at the local and state level. There's a renewed, hopeful energy that I think we can channel into really positive changes for clean water locally."

Photo by Clay Schmitz

Save the Date: 2017 Bay Parade is July 9

Bay Parade

On Sunday, July 9th, show your SF Bay pride and swim, kayak, SUP, or boat in support of a clean and healthy San Francisco Bay.

You'll make it to the big screen when the Bay Parade finale is broadcast on the Jumbotron at the start of the Giants home game! The celebration will continue on land at the after party hosted at The Yard by Anchor Brewing.

SWIM: 6.5 miles from Golden Gate Bridge to McCovey Cove on a flood tide. Timed solo swim, timed four-person relay, and open relay divisions. $100 registration fee, plus $200 fundraising minimum.

BOAT: Motorized boats are needed to support swimmers from the Golden Gate to McCovey Cove. This is a critical volunteer role for the event, so there's no registration fee or fundraising minimum.

SUP or KAYAK: Easy paddle from Pier 40 to McCovey Cove to join the Bay Parade finale. Paddleboard or kayak rental included. $75 registration fee, plus $75 fundraising minimum.

SPONSOR: Looking for a unique sponsorship opportunity for your company? Connect with active Bay Area residents, feature your commitment to a healthy Bay, and give your employees an unforgettable day on the water. Contact eliet@baykeeper.org for more information.

Online registration opens soon at baykeeper.org/bayparade. Stay tuned for more details!

Photo by Clay Schmitz

Thank you to our Baykeeper Dinner guests & volunteers!

Baykeeper Dinner

This year's Baykeeper Dinner was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate Baykeeper's victories and look ahead to the challenges of the future.

Kudos once again to the local Bay Area environmental heroes honored with our 2017 Blue Rivet Awards: Loni Hancock, for her long and successful record of pro-environment legislation; Anchor Brewing, for the company's environmentally conscious ethos and great beer partnership in Baykeeper's Bay Parade; and Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, for their invaluable efforts protecting and expanding the Bay's wetlands.

As one award recipient accepted, she summed up the spirit of Baykeeper's Blue Rivet Awards perfectly: "Sometimes we win together, sometimes we lose together... our partnership with Baykeeper always helps enhance our voice for the environment."

A big thanks again to our event volunteers, to our generous hosts at the Dolphin Club, and to everyone who donated to the dinner and silent auction. And to all of the supporters who provided excellent food and drink, including Monterey Fish Market, Poseidon Vineyard, Schubert's Bakery, and Anchor Brewing. The Baykeeper Dinner was a sold-out success because of you!

Click here to view an album of photos from the Baykeeper Dinner.

Photos by Clay Schmitz

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta