A Wonky Year Ahead

Last year included some tremendous wins for Save The Bay and our team of Wonks.  From Cargill pulling their proposal from the Redwood City planning process, to the successful passage and implementation of bag bans in Alameda County, San Francisco, and nearly a dozen other jurisdictions, it’s been a busy year.

As we look toward 2013, there continue to be exciting opportunities to improve the health and sustainability of the Bay, and more than a few fights that we’re gearing up for (and hope you are too).

 

Don’t Pave My Bay

Our “Don’t Pave My Bay” campaign to stop Cargill’s destructive development in Redwood City. In 2013, we’ll continue to work hard, day after day, to protect this key piece of the Bay from being filled.

  • Cargill’s developer has already announced plans to submit a revised proposal to put thousands of houses on these below-sea-level, restorable salt ponds.  We don’t know when they’ll submit the new plans, so keep your eyes and ears peeled, because this fight is far from over.
  • Meanwhile, the company is busy pressuring federal regulatory agencies to declare the salt ponds “exempt” from the Clean Water Act and other laws that protect the Bay.  The outcome of this ruling could give the project a second life, or throw up a host of new challenges.
  • We will continue to encourage Cargill to sell or donate these ponds so they can be included in the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge and restored back to much needed tidal marsh.  Last year supporters like you petitioned Cargill to sell the ponds, and we’ll continue to advocate for restoration over development.

 

Clean Bay Project

The Clean Bay program continues to build momentum and support from cities and counties across the Bay Area.  As of this year, more than half of the Bay Area is covered by either a plastic bag or polystyrene ban – or both.  Here’s what we are looking forward to in the year ahead:

  • Cities in Santa Clara continue to be mostly absent from the growing momentum to eliminate Styrofoam from our food ware stream.  We’re working with the City of San Jose and our local supporters to ensure that that the city passes a Styrofoam food ware ban in February.
  • The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is taking steps toward banning plastic bags and Styrofoam.  County staff have been asked to develop a set of options for the Board to explore, and Save The Bay is working closely to make sure any proposal underlines the impacts of plastic bags to our local waterways and the Bay.
  • It’s 2013 – that means Bay Area cities have a little more than 1 year to show that they have reduced the amount of trash flowing through their waterways by 40 percent, with a 70% reduction by 2017. How close are our cities to reaching these goals?  We’ll keep you posted.

 

Restoration Funding Campaign

We haven’t shared very much about our ongoing work to restore 100,000 acres of Bay wetlands, but all of that is about to change.  In the next few weeks, you’ll hear a whole lot more about our efforts in this area.  The entire staff here at Save The Bay is incredibly excited about the work we’re doing, and we can’t wait to share it with you.  Stay tuned…this is an announcement you won’t want to miss!