Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for February 2017

Feb 22, 2017

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for February 2017
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Protecting SF Bay from the federal anti-environment agenda

Pelican on the Bay

After only a month in office, the new administration, along with congressional representatives, have made a number of decisions that threaten the environment and put San Francisco Bay in harm's way.

Scott Pruitt has been confirmed to head the Environmental Protection Agency, whose mission to protect the environment and public health he fundamentally opposes. New proposals are shaping up to cut the EPA's budget and scope, as well as federal protections for clean air, clean water, and endangered species. Congress is eliminating regulations on the fossil fuel industry, paving the way for more oil and coal extraction. Federal funding for climate change planning is likely to be drastically restricted.

These actions also have serious implications for San Francisco Bay. Baykeeper is standing up for the Bay and the environment. We are:

  • Partnering with the national Waterkeeper Alliance and Waterkeepers around the country to advocate against weakening federal environmental protections
  • Stepping up our efforts to stop local expansion of oil and coal
  • Taking the sand mining industry to court to keep sand in the Bay for replenishing wetlands
  • Advocating for smart Delta water use to help make California climate-ready and water-efficient

And much more. You can help by reporting pollution to Baykeeper's pollution hotline, signing our latest action alert, or making a donation to support our work. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and stay ready to contact elected official when they need to hear from you. It's more important than ever to be vigilant in protecting our home.

Learn more about Baykeeper's work to protect the Bay from the federal anti-environment agenda.

Photo by Robb Most

We're back in court to stop excessive sand mining in the Bay

Sand mining

Baykeeper is back in court with a second legal action to challenge unsustainable levels of sand mining from the San Francisco Bay floor.

Recent scientific research shows that removing sand from the Bay is linked to sand loss at Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach has the highest rate of coastal erosion in California and provides vital habitat for the endangered Snowy Plover.

As a result of Baykeeper's successful legal challenge in 2015, the California State Lands Commission was ordered to re-evaluate sand mining levels for the protection of natural resources on behalf of the public.

But the agency conducted only a superficial analysis and then rubber stamped new permits for the same harmful levels of sand mining. Baykeeper is challenging again to keep healthy levels of sand in the Bay and on Ocean Beach.

Read more about Baykeeper's sand mining case.

Photo by Robb Most. Thanks to LightHawk Conservation Flying.

Stand up for more fresh water for the Bay and Delta

Delta aerial

Too much water in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is being diverted. There's not enough natural flow left to support endangered fish populations or a healthy ecosystem.

Now, there's a new plan to increase flows to the Bay and Delta. But the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which manages water systems throughout the Bay Area, is at risk of opposing more water for the Bay and Delta.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission needs to hear from Bay Area residents that we support water conservation and fresh water flows for the Bay and Delta. If you live in San Francisco, on the peninsula, or in southern Alameda County, please let them know you want healthier flows for the Bay and Delta.

Click here to see the SFPUC service area and submit a letter to the Commission.

Photo by Daniel Parks, Flickr/CC

Baykeeper defends Oakland's coal ban

Delta aerial

Baykeeper and the Sierra Club are standing with the City of Oakland against a proposed coal export facility on the shore of San Francisco Bay.

Last summer, the City of Oakland banned coal handling and transport, with broad community support. Now, the developer of a proposed shipping terminal has sued the city to overturn the ban. With support from our legal partners at Earthjustice, our attorneys are headed to court to help Oakland defend the ban.

The City Council's unanimous decision to keep coal out of Oakland came after months of advocacy by Baykeeper, the Sierra Club, local community groups, and many residents to oppose the terminal based on the threats to public and environmental health.

"A coal terminal on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay will hurt water quality and aquatic life," says Erica Maharg, Baykeeper Managing Attorney. "Baykeeper supports Oakland's right to ban fossil fuels that are a threat to the Bay and local environment."

Learn more about our coalition's stand to support Oakland's coal ban.

Photo by Robb Most

The rainy season takes California by storm

Rain hits SF Bay

California's historic drought may finally be waning. Recent rains have replenished reservoirs and the Sierra snowpack. This is good news for the Bay and wildlife that relies on plenty of freshwater.

At its peak, the drought impaired salmon runs, reduced river flows that provide freshwater to the Bay's delicate ecosystem, and contributed to outbreaks of potentially toxic blue-green algae in the Delta.

But it's not time to turn on the sprinklers just yet. Most of Southern California is still classified as being abnormally dry. And with climate change, extreme shifts between rainy storms and long-term drought will likely become the new norm.

Baykeeper is advocating to make water conservation a permanent way of life in California—even during rainy wet seasons. By using our water resources more efficiently every day, we can help make sure waterways, fisheries, and wildlife are ready for the future.

Photo by David Yu, Flickr/CC

Announcing Baykeeper's 2017 Blue Rivet Award winners

Baykeeper is proud to announce our 2017 Blue Rivet Award winners. The award honors community members, activists, and businesses that share Baykeeper's mission and have made significant contributions to a safe, healthy, and thriving San Francisco Bay.

Congratulations to the 2017 Blue Rivet Award winners:

Loni Hancock, for her legislative efforts as a state Assembly member and Senator to protect the environment. She capped a long and successful record of pro-environment legislation by successfully authoring a bill in 2016 that bars state funding for coal export facilities in California.

The Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge, an all-volunteer community group that has tirelessly protected and expanded the Bay's wetlands and habitat for endangered species. The group recently helped stop a massive development project slated for Newark tidal marshes.

Anchor Brewing, the iconic San Francisco craft brewery for their stewardship as an environmentally conscious local business and their partnership in Baykeeper's annual event, the Bay Parade, to raise awareness of Bay pollution issues and celebrate a thriving Bay that's safe for recreation.

This year's Blue Rivet Awards will be presented at Baykeeper's annual dinner at the Dolphin Club. We look forward to celebrating these award winners at our sold-out event on March 5.

The Bay Parade is coming July 9! Get ready to jump in

Bay Parade swimmer

Calling all swimmers, SUPers, kayakers, and boaters! Mark your calendars: The 4th annual Baykeeper Bay Parade is coming Sunday, July 9, 2017.

Join hundreds of other Bay lovers for a fun and active day on the water in support of a clean and healthy San Francisco Bay. You'll make it to the big screen when the parade's 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 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.

SUP, KAYAK, and BOAT options also available, all levels welcomed. Stay tuned for more details.

Registration opens spring 2017, look for the full announcement soon!

Photo by Clay Schmitz

Baykeeper is hiring—become our Field Investigator

Sampling for BaykeeperSan Francisco Baykeeper is seeking an enthusiastic water quality scientist and advocate to join our dynamic environmental enforcement program.

The Field Investigator is a two-year paid fellowship position that will work collaboratively with our scientist, attorneys, volunteers, and partners to identify and stop the biggest sources of pollution to San Francisco Bay.

Click here to read more about this position and learn how to apply.

Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta


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