Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for April 2011

Welcome to San Francisco Baykeeper's April E-News

Rainy Season Brings 240 Million Gallons in Sewage Spills

Map of 2010-11 sewage spills to the BayThe 2010-11 winter rainy season is drawing to a close after more than 240 million gallons of sewage have spilled to San Francisco Bay and surrounding waterways.

More than 230 million gallons of partially treated sewage were released from East Bay cities with crumbling sewer pipes. (Read more about Baykeeper's recent settlement to repair these systems.) Throughout the Bay Area, spills of raw sewage and contaminated rainwater totaled 11.5 million gallons.

Crumbling sewer pipes are a problem throughout the Bay Area, leading to sewage spills every rainy season. Baykeeper is pleased to report improvements from the six cities with whom we have active settlement agreements. Read more about the results of our lawsuits to stop sewage spills to the Bay.

Federal Bill to Weaken Pesticide Protections Now in the Senate

Aquatic pesticide spraying by CA Dept of Boating and WaterwaysAt the end of March, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass HR 872, a bill that would overturn key protections against harmful pesticide spraying in waterways. We appreciate all the Baykeeper members who responded to our call to action and contacted your Representatives to urge them to oppose the bill. All Bay Area Representatives voted no on the bill, except for Jerry McNerney (D-District 11).

The U.S. Senate is now considering a similar bill that strips EPA of the responsibility to regulate pesticides. Baykeeper is committed to protecting waterways from harmful pesticides, and we'll continue monitoring the bill and keep you informed.

Read the background on the bill and Baykeeper's work to defeat it.

Point Molate Protected from Casino Development

Point Molate by Michael Mees (Flickr/CC)On April 5, the Richmond City Council voted against further consideration of a casino development slated for the wild shoreline of Point Molate, wisely choosing to protect this important open space on the Bay's shoreline. Baykeeper testified at the hearing to urge the Council to vote no.

Point Molate is a beautiful peninsula that provides varied habitat supporting such endangered species as the California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse.

Read more about the importance of protecting Point Molate from development.

Dinghy Racing for Baykeeper on Saturday, May 7

Dinghy racersDinghy Race for Baykeeper
Richardson Bay off Sausalito
Saturday, May 7

Join the first annual dinghy race for Baykeeper! Participants must raise $150 to support Baykeeper's work to protect the Bay. All classes of dinghies welcome. Celebration to follow at Galilee Harbor. Find out more about the dinghy race for Baykeeper.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Baykeeper is seeking volunteers in our downtown San Francisco office to help with several upcoming mailing projects during business hours.

We also participate in recreational and informational events throughout the Bay Area and are looking for volunteers to assist with tabling and outreach. If you have a few hours to spare (generally on weekends), are passionate about the Bay and would like to educate the public about water pollution and Baykeeper's work, we could use your help!

If you are interested in either of these volunteer opportunities, please contact Tracy Corbin, Membership Coordinator, at or 415-856-0444 x112.

Undaria removalYou can also help remove invasive kelp in local waterways by volunteering with Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) at these upcoming events:

Tuesday, May 3, 9 am
South Beach Marina in San Francisco

Saturday, May 14, 9 am
Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay

And if you're a boater, please keep an eye out for this invader at local marinas and report suspected sightings to SERC. Contact them at or call (650) 380-5000. Read more information from SERC about the spread of Undaria in San Francisco Bay.

Support Baykeeper's Work to Protect the Bay

Donate Today! Donate to San Francisco Baykeeper to support a healthy, thriving San Francisco Bay. Since 1989, we have been the Bay's pollution watchdog, strengthening clean water laws and holding polluters accountable. Support our efforts to protect the Bay with a contribution to our work.

Find us on FacebookLike San Francisco Baykeeper on Facebook

Follow us on TwitterGet Twitter updates from SFBaykeeper

Rainy Season Brings 240 Million Gallons in Sewage Spills to the Bay