San Francisco Bay is considered to be “impaired” by mercury because some types of fish caught in the Bay contain mercury at concentrations that may threaten the health of humans consuming them. To reduce mercury in urban runoff from the Santa Clara Valley, the Program developed a Mercury Pollution Prevention Plan (Mercury Plan) in FY 2002-2003 and continues its implementation today. The Mercury Plan addresses the following five general goals:
- Municipal Use of Mercury-Containing Products
- Household Hazardous Waste Collection
- Monitoring and Science
- Regional, State and Federal Coordination
- Public Education and Outreach
The Mercury Plan is based on the premise that a Bay area-wide approach (and coordination) will be most successful in addressing mercury pollution. For this reason, many actions identified in the Mercury Plan relate to Program-level participation in regional efforts. These efforts are supplemented by county-wide and local actions. The details of municipality actions and schedules are included in the individual Co-permittee Work Plans and/or Annual Reports, as appropriate.
Santa Clara Valley Creek Monitoring for Mercury
In accordance with its Revised Multi-Year Receiving Waters Monitoring Plan, the Program continues to analyze water samples collected in Santa Clara creeks for mercury.
Guadalupe River TMDL for Mercury
The Santa Clara Basin Watershed Management Initiative (SCBWMI) is serving as the stakeholder forum for the development of the Guadalupe River TMDL Report for Mercury. The Guadalupe River Watershed encompasses parts of San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell, Monte Sereno and Santa Clara. The Program is a stakeholder in the Guadalupe River TMDL. The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) is taking a lead role in the TMDL development process by funding the study. Program staff is also participating in the TMDL process.
Guide to Eating Fish and Shellfish from the San Francisco Bay
Harmful chemicals like mercury and PCBs are in some fish in the San Francisco Bay. Women 18-45 years old and children should only eat fish with less chemicals in them. To learn which fish have less chemicals in them, and which fish to avoid, please download this Guide to Eating Fish and Shellfish from the San Francisco Bay from the California Department of Public Health. For more information and brochures in other languages visit: http://www.sfei.org/content/educational-materials.