Town Square

On Deadline: New report confirms first-hand knowledge of bay's health

Original post made by Jay Thorwaldson, editor emeritus, on Sep 21, 2011

For those of us lucky enough to have had intimate, first-hand contact with the San Francisco Bay over decades, a new report on the bay's health is encouraging, despite some disturbing aspects.

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Posted by qq
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Sounds like the bay is just a large retention pond. Might wanna have someone look over your math.

"Prior to 1960, the bay had already shrunk by a third, from about 680 acres to 430 acres due to diking and filling over 100 years or so, according to one estimate."

A levee near Hayward just opened up 650 acres back to the bay. Many of the Alviso ponds have already been breached.

Web Link

Buy those duck stamps and keep those Ducks Unlimited engineers employed rebuilding those tidal marshes.


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Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

Please note the "prior to 1960" qualifier in terms of bay size.

I didn't go into how BCDC not only halted the bay fill but reversed it on a 2-to-1 formula when some land needed to be filled -- open 2 acres of land to the bay for every acre filled. There is no question the bay is bigger than it was in 1960 -- but this didn't just happen, and that's my main point, I believe.

I also believe in duck habitat preservation, and once tried to interest folks in a coalition between Ducks Unlimited and an environmentalist organization. Got some funny looks out of the effort. I understand there have been such coalitions since, though. -jay

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Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Sep 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

OOPS! A math check. Thanks "qq." That's square miles, not acres. Good catch, and I fixed it. -jay

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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

My first Bay Area job was with Ideal Cement in Redwood City. We dredged the Bay for oyster shell, ground it up and burned it to make cement.
I believe closing the yacht harbor as a big mistake. Dozens of El Toros skeetering around the South Bay making hundreds of friends of that bay.

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Posted by Perspective
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 25, 2011 at 8:34 am

Nice report. Thanks. I have watched the Baylands Park get filled in from when we could "walk over the water" on the boards to "walk over the plants"..Amazing process over the last 30 years. Glad to hear it isn't indicative of problems, just natural evolution.

Still..gotta admit, I miss the "walking over water"