Weekly Roundup | May 31, 2013

newspaperCheck out this week’s Weekly Roundup for breaking news affecting San Francisco Bay.

San Jose Mercury News 5/28/13
Chinook salmon study breaks ground in bay, Delta
On a sunny morning in the state capital, Mike McHenry, a fisherman out of Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County, guided his boat to a dock on the Sacramento River and readied its 10,000-gallon hold for some special cargo.
In about 10 minutes the vessel was teeming with fish, their speckled backs presenting various shades of greens, browns and yellows. Soon after, McHenry would steer his boat 109 miles to Fort Baker, just east of the Golden Gate Bridge, completing the latest phase of a groundbreaking experiment involving one of California’s most vital and popular fish, the Chinook salmon.
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Marietta Daily Journal 5/24/13
Plastic ocean debris the target of new California bill
It’s a common sight on the nation’s beaches: among the sand, sea foam and gnarled kelp lay plastic bottles, bags and other garbage.
Each year cleanup crews throughout the U.S. collect millions of pounds of plastic trash from beaches and coastal waterways, with the biggest numbers coming from California’s 1,100-mile coastline.
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The Sacramento Bee 5/27/13
California beaches brace for Japanese tsunami debris
It’s an unseasonably warm day, and Avila Beach is packed with sunbathers and tourists. Scott Milner attracts more than a few curious glances as he steps onto the beach holding a Ludlum radiation scanner and proceeds to take background readings next to the pier.
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Pressdemocrat.com 5/29/13
High mercury levels in fish caught at popular Laguna de Santa Rosa spot
Fish caught at a popular fishing spot in the Laguna de Santa Rosa between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa had unacceptably high levels of mercury, well above the threshold where health officials normally recommend against eating them, according to a new state survey.
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Daily Kos 5/7/13
Sierra Club California Condemns Governor’s Delta Policy
The campaign by Delta advocates to stop the construction of twin peripheral tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta received a big boost today when Sierra Club California called on Governor Jerry Brown to abandon his “out-of-step position” on the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas.
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It’s Getting Fishy in Here!

Wetland Habitat means more and healthier fish!

Restoring wetland habitat around San Francisco Bay will strengthen fisheries.  Photo credit: Flickr user nchill4x4.
Restoring wetland habitat around San Francisco Bay will strengthen fisheries. Photo credit: Flickr user nchill4x4.

A new report from our partners at Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) provides yet another strong argument in favor of restoring our shorelines and wetland habitat.

More Habitat Means More Fish, the most recent in a series of reports on the fragile state of our nation’s wetlands and marine environment, makes the case for additional resources to protect and restore vital estuaries like San Francisco Bay.

In the last 150 years, San Francisco Bay has lost more than 90% of its historic wetlands, which when combined with the urbanization of the early 20th century, resulted in a disastrous fall in aquatic species and populations. Fifty years after residents realized the need for restoration and pollution controls, and following significant work, the Bay is on the mend.  But much remains to be done.

The RAE report reminds conservationists that marsh restoration isn’t just about enjoying a weekend out on the water.  Salt water fisheries like the Bay support some 1.7 millon jobs, and contribute nearly $200 billion to the national economy.  Fortunately, following the conversion of Bay wetlands from salt production in the 1950’s, an estimated 30,000 fish from 41 species have returned to San Francisco Bay.  This is proof positive that if you restore it, they will come (back).

We’re encouraged by the work of our partners, and hope that you can get more involved as well.  Want to dip your toe in the water?  Take our For The Bay Porpoise action today and tell the Regional Water Board to keep San Francisco Bay clean and healthy.

You can also read more about the RAE report, and the critical role of wetlands in our economy and our environment here.

Now, time to grab that rod and reel and head out for an afternoon on the Bay!