Bay Watch

photo credit: Wing

The following are a few stories of interest tracking the latest developments in water quality for the San Francisco Bay region.

The S.F. Chronicle reports that a loophole in the laws protecting California’s coastal waters is finally being closed: sewage discharge from ships is now prohibited less than 3 miles from shore. The Chron reports that while many sea-going vessels have been voluntarily following this protocol for years, some even waiting until further off-shore, the new legislation will formalize the practice and help to address water quality issues along state beaches. Read the full story here.

Oakland’s splendid Lake Merritt is in for an overhaul. The 140 acre “lake” is actually a brackish tidal slough that is connected to the San Francisco Bay via a narrow channel. However for many years its waters have stagnated with inadequate connectivity to the Bay due to the deterioration of the channel. All that is about to change as the $115 million that was allocated to improve Lake Merritt  in 2002 as part of  Bond Measure DD to improve the lake finally hits the ground. The improvements to the lake will be chiefly through improving the connections between the bay and the lake, and the removal of a portion of 12th Street at the southern end of the lake. Read a thorough account of the project at Quest, here.

BCDC (the Bay Conservation and Development Commission) released it’s draft Subtidal Habitat Goals Project report this summer. The project represents a ” comprehensive and long-term management vision for research, restoration and management of the subtidal habitats of the San Francisco Bay”. Read the draft report here.

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