Baykeeper's E-Newsletter for October 2012

San Francisco Baykeeper E-News
Monthly Update for October 2012
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San Francisco Bay

Take Action to Clean Up Industrial Pollution

ActionAlertBaykeeper's analysis of recent data shows that ninety-five percent of the Bay Area's industrial facilities are contaminating San Francisco Bay or its tributaries with toxic rainy-season runoff.

Now, we have an important opportunity to win tighter regulatory controls on industrial polluters. The California Water Resources Control Board is revising pollution limits on industrial runoff through the update of the Statewide Industrial Stormwater Permit.

Please send a message to the State Water Board to support reining in toxic industrial runoff pollution into San Francisco Bay and waterways statewide.

Take action today to help improve pollution controls on industrial facilities across California.

Congratulations, Swim for the Bay Swimmers!

SFTBTwenty-six swimmers made a 9-mile crossing of San Francisco Bay on Sunday, September 30 in San Francisco Baykeeper's annual Swim for the Bay.

Swimming in relay teams, the swimmers had currents to fight along the way, but they enjoyed sunny skies, warm weather, and terrific views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz Island, and the Bay Bridge.

We're so proud of their accomplishment, and honored that they swam to support Baykeeper's work for a clean and healthy Bay. Read more and see great photos of the 2012 Swim for the Bay.

Cleanup of the Ghost Fleet is Ahead of Schedule

GhostFleetThe Ghost Fleet—decaying military ships that poisoned the San Francisco Bay ecosystem for 40 years—is being cleaned up ahead of schedule. Thirty-six of the original 57 ships have already been removed from the Bay.

In 2010, Baykeeper successfully reached a settlement agreement with the federal government that required a speedy cleanup of the rusting ships. The Ghost Fleet has released more than 20 tons of heavy metals such as lead, zinc, and cadmium into Suisun Bay, an inlet that connects San Francisco Bay with the Delta.

Read more about Baykeeper's annual inspection of the ships and progress with cleanup.

Clean Water Act Turns 40 on October 18

CWAOctober 18 marks the 40th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act, a powerful tool for cleaning up waterways. Before its passage, San Francisco Bay stank from raw sewage and was choked with industrial waste.

The Clean Water Act required polluters to use better technologies to control their waste, leading to vast improvements in the nation's water quality.

One reason the law has been so effective is its "citizen suit" provision. If regulators are not keeping pollution in check, citizens and citizen groups like San Francisco Baykeeper can sue polluters and win legally-binding agreements for cleanup. However, the law has also repeatedly come under attack from polluters. Read more about the Clean Water Act on its 40th anniversary.

Thanks, Coastal Cleanup Day Volunteers!

CCDThank you to Baykeeper volunteers who took part in California's annual Coastal Cleanup Day in September at India Basin Shoreline Park.

Close to 40 volunteers cleaned up nearly 400 pounds of trash, ranging from entire bags of household trash, to wings from an angel costume, to tiny fragments of plastic and glass. Food wrappers and cigarette butts made up a large percentage of the total trash collected.

Baykeeper has cleaned up India Basin Shoreline Park for Coastal Cleanup Day since 2008, and we've seen a steady reduction in trash accumulating in the park. Read more about the park cleanup.

Oddball Creatures of San Francisco Bay

ToadfishOne fish has lights on its stomach and wakes up houseboaters. Another gets a crab to give it dinner and a worm to build its house.

Meet the plainfin midshipman—also called a toadfish—and the arrow goby. They're among the more than 35 species of native fish that depend on San Francisco Bay. Read more about oddball creatures of San Francisco Bay.