Environmental Issues Challenging The Clean Water Act Of The San Francisco Bay And Estuary ( Sfbay )

963 Words Aug 7th, 2015 4 Pages
Coastal Area
I live less than a mile from the San Francisco Bay and Estuary (SFBay). I wrote about this bay’s environmental issues in the Unit #1 Learning Journal assignment and have decided to use this opportunity to elaborate on two specific environmental issues challenging the SFBay.
To summarize this ecosystem: It’s the largest bay and estuary on the Pacific coast and has been damaged by industrial activity, starting in 1850 with the Gold Rush and quickly followed by the logging, railroad and salt pond industries. Its biggest threats are pollution, water diversion and filling-in. Conservation efforts began in 1965 and today the SFBay is collectively overseen by government and private organizations. Two environmental problems the SFBay faces are mercury contamination and overfishing.
The Clean Water Act lists the SFBay as impaired for mercury. Estimates suggest the bay’s sediment is contaminated with about two hundred metric tons of mercury, much going back to original Gold Rush. This pollutant has affected SFBay biota resulting in a state issued fish advisory waning not to eat some common fish such as Striped bass and limited intake of other species (OEHHA, 2011; Ely & Viani, 2010).
At the same time humanity was busy cutting down thousand year old redwood trees and hydraulically destroying the Sierra Mountains, they were also busy pillaging the SFBay for fish, shellfish and perhaps the unlucky whale pod that happened by. Some species were immediately depleted and by…

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