Baykeeper Update

Baykeeper Victory Will Boost Clean Boatyard Education

A local nonprofit boat-building organization will receive a grant to create a new education program on non-polluting boat maintenance and repair, thanks to a recent Baykeeper legal victory.

As part of the settlement we achieved in our lawsuit against BAE Systems San Francisco Ship Repair Inc, the company will provide funding to Spaulding Wooden Boat Center in Sausalito to redesign its own facility with cutting-edge pollution control measures designed to protect San Francisco Bay from contaminants. Spaulding Center will use this model to educate local boatyard owners and boaters on how to reduce pollution to the Bay from boat repair and maintenance. In addition, Spaulding will create a manual of best practices that can be used regionally and nationwide.

Spaulding is an educational and boat building/repair organization dedicated to preserving and sharing San Francisco Bay’s rich history of traditional wooden boat building. The facility is uniquely positioned to provide a storm water pollution education program. It’s conveniently located along the Bay and runs existing educational programs for youth and boaters.

BAE Ship Repair, which services large vessels that include cruise liners, agreed to curb its pollution of San Francisco Bay after Baykeeper documented polluted runoff containing toxic heavy metals at thousands of times the legal limit. (Read more about Baykeeper’s lawsuit against BAE.) BAE also agreed to fund this innovative pollution prevention program at Spaulding Center to help repair the damage done by its past pollution to the Bay.

Boat construction and maintenance are significant sources of pollution in San Francisco Bay. A major concern is heavy metal contamination, including copper and zinc, from applying and removing bottom paint. Many boatyards around the Bay Area do not have adequate protections in place to keep toxic contaminants out of the Bay.

Baykeeper legal victories against polluters often include funding for environmental projects that benefit San Francisco Bay, as mitigation for past pollution. We’re excited to be a part of this opportunity to help make boating on the Bay cleaner for all.