Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for November 2014

Welcome to San Francisco Baykeeper's November E-News.

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for November 2014
Share this
Follow us

Donate NowSupport a healthy
San Francisco Bay

The Ghost Fleet's Almost Gone

The Ghost Fleet, 57 decaying military ships that poisoned the San Francisco Bay ecosystem for 40 years, is almost gone. Baykeeper won cleanup of these ships in 2010. Now, only five ships are left, and they will be removed by the end of 2015.

In 2010, Baykeeper, along with our partners Arc Ecology and NRDC, successfully reached a settlement agreement requiring the federal government to clean up and remove the rusting ships. The Ghost Fleet had already released more than 20 tons of toxic metals into Suisun Bay, an inlet of San Francisco Bay.

The worst ships are gone, and the cleanup is two years ahead of schedule. Ongoing pollution has already been greatly reduced. Experts estimate that this cleanup will have kept an additional 50 tons of toxic metals from being washed and blown into the Bay.

Read more about the cleanup of the Ghost Fleet and Baykeeper's annual inspection of the remaining ships.

Major Industrial Shipping Facility Agrees to Protect the Bay from Toxic Runoff

Baykeeper recently won a critical victory in our campaign to keep toxic industrial runoff out of San Francisco Bay. We secured an agreement from the Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation to protect the Bay from dangerous contaminated runoff.

Levin-Richmond is a large shipping terminal that handles hundreds of thousands of tons of harmful materials, including coal and petroleum coke (a toxic byproduct of oil refining). These materials are often stored in large exposed piles along the shoreline of the Richmond Channel. This allows cancer-causing dust to wash and blow into the Bay.

Under the new agreement, Levin-Richmond will immediately implement an extensive set of pollution controls to reduce runoff pollution and keep toxic substances out of San Francisco Bay.

Learn more about Baykeeper's victory to clean up pollution from the Levin-Richmond shipping terminal.

Baykeeper 25th Anniversary Flash from the Past: Responding to the Cosco Busan Oil Spill

In November 2007, the container ship Cosco Busan spilled 53,000 gallons of heavy fuel into San Francisco Bay. Oil stained shorelines and beaches, contaminated wildlife habitat, and killed thousands of birds.

Baykeeper patrolled Bay waters and coastlines and advocated for more resources to clean up the spill. We also urged officials to incorporate local and community cleanup efforts and to share crucial information with concerned residents.

Following the spill, Baykeeper participated in the Coast Guard's official review of the incident, helping craft nearly 200 recommendations for improving oil spill response, which has helped improve oil spill planning across the nation. Baykeeper also went on to win statewide legislation in 2008 to better protect the Bay from future spills and assure a more effective official response if spills happen. Since then, we've been a tireless advocate for the strongest possible protections for the Bay from oil spills.

Learn more about Baykeeper's response to the Cosco Busan oil spill.

Pelicans of San Francisco Bay

Soaring and gliding gracefully over the water, pelicans are a familiar sight around San Francisco Bay. Two types of pelicans live here, the California brown pelican and the American white pelican. They arrive and depart at different times of year, but both are here now (Photo credit: John 'K' Flickr/CC).

California brown pelicans are most common around the central and northern bay. They plunge-dive head first into the water from as high as 65 feet. Underwater, they open their bills and fill their huge throat pouches with water and fish. Then, back on the surface, they strain the water out the sides of their mouths and swallow their catch.

American white pelicans are common in the south Bay, especially at the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. They don't plunge-dive. White pelicans catch fish by scooping water into their pouches as they swim. Sometimes, groups of white pelicans form a semi-circle, slap their wings against the water, and drive fish closer to shore, where the fish are easier prey. (Photo credit: Joan Robins)

Baykeeper works to protect San Francisco Bay from pollution that can harm pelicans.

Learn more about the two species of pelicans that live around San Francisco Bay.

Support a Healthy Bay on Giving Tuesday

After Thanksgiving, and after the days of holiday shopping deals, comes Giving Tuesday, December 2, the day dedicated to giving back.

On Giving Tuesday, charities, nonprofit organizations, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together to celebrate generosity and to give.

We invite you to participate in Giving Tuesday on December 2 with a donation to support Baykeeper's work to protect San Francisco Bay from pollution. (Photo by Peter Gorges)

Then find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, and share how you're celebrating Giving Tuesday!

Of course, you don't have to wait. You can make your gift for a clean and healthy Bay today.

Make a gift to support Baykeeper's work to protect San Francisco Bay from pollution.

Baykeeper Fall/Winter Newsletter is Out

The Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Baykeeper News is here! Read about a major win for protecting California waterways from oil spills. And learn about East Bay cities making sewer upgrades that will lead to an enormous improvement in the long-term health of San Francisco Bay. (Photo credit: TJ Gehling Flickr/CC)

Plus, in honor of our 25th anniversary, we highlight key victories from our proud 25-year history. We've compelled oil refineries and a major chemical corporation to keep contamination out of the Bay, prevented sewage overflows into the Bay, and much more. You'll also find tips to protect the Bay during drought.

You can see an online pdf of Baykeeper's Fall/Winter 2014 Baykeeper News here. To request a copy of Baykeeper News by mail, please email

(Photo at top by Roberto Soncin Gerometta)

The Ghost Fleet’s Almost Gone!