South Bay, Calif. Mayors Launch Clean Bay Campaign

March 3, 2006

Palo Alto, Calif., Mayor Judy Kleinberg hosted other South Bay mayors and officials in launching the Clean Bay Campaign. “Our biggest concerns for the health of San Francisco Bay are the day-to-day actions of the many people living in our Bay watershed,” Mayor Kleinberg said. “Every single individual can—and must—take actions that keep pollutants out of local waterways. Our campaign tells you how.”

City officials, environmental educators and media launched canoes provided by Save The Bay into San Francisco Bay from the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve here this morning. The water was surprisingly tranquil, the temperature mild and skies clear. Staff from the Regional Water Quality Control Plant provided an update on Bay health, including the challenge of keeping household pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, kitchen oils and grease, and pesticides out of waterways.

Participants included: Mayor Judy Kleinberg, Palo Alto; Mayor Nick Galiotto, Mountain View; Joan Sykes-Miessi, president of East Palo Alto Sanitary District; Matthew Bahls, assistant community director, Stanford University; Environmental Commission representatives Linda Demichiel and Joceyln Orr, Los Altos.

The Bay Area economy and quality of life depend on protecting the region's waterways from further degradation. The mayors voiced concerns that pollutants threaten fish and wildlife, water quality and marsh and tidal lands, and can even impact human health.

Although not confirmed in San Francisco Bay, nationwide studies show that fish may undergo sex alteration, altered behavior, poor hatching and other dysfunctions due to compounds in old medicines tossed into sewer systems. Wildlife in creeks and the bay face health threats from pesticide runoff. These and other pollutants can be reduced when residents learn proper disposal habits and choose less toxic pesticides. The Clean Bay Campaign appeals to residents to prevent hazardous household waste and common household pollutants from entering the Bay and creeks.

Linking a 25-sq-mile area of the South Bay in common purpose, the campaign is a collaboration of the Regional Water Quality Control Plant (RWQCP) and its partner agencies (East Palo Alto Sanitary District, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Stanford). While its message is universal, the campaign's reach extends to about 220,000 South Bay residents in the RWQCP service area. The RWQCP treats wastewater from the East Palo Alto Sanitary District, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Stanford. It offers extensive information and programs about pollution prevention for residents and businesses.

Source: City of Palo Alto