July 27, 2011

A Common Question In San Francisco: How Much For The Weed?

From the Bay Citizen:

Regulators have refused to issue permits necessary for the [America's Cup] to move forward until organizers can prove the event won't significantly spread invasive seaweed through San Francisco Bay.
Concerns over exotic seaweed, including Undaria pinnatifida, a fast-growing Asian species that reaches 10 feet and poses dangers to native kelp species, prompted the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board on Friday to reject a 107-page permit application filed late last month by the Port of San Francisco.

But before anybody panics:

If it appears that it will be impossible to prevent the spread of the seaweed, [Watershed Division Chief Shin-Roei Lee] wrote, then the Port and America's Cup Event Authority will need to propose compensation, such as providing funds to an invasive species eradication program.

Invasive Seaweed Fears Stall America's Cup [baycitizen.org]
The 34th America's Cup Environmental Impact Report (And Issues) [SocketSite]

First Published: July 27, 2011 8:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

San Francisco- where fun comes to DIE

Posted by: sf at July 27, 2011 9:04 AM

If Larry the Billionaire wants to play in the bay he has to pay.

Posted by: tipster at July 27, 2011 9:17 AM

Well, I don't like over-regulation but I think it's a valid concern. Sometimes habitat destruction can be pinpointed to a very specific occurrence like with the Taxifolia disaster in the Mediterranean:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caulerpa_taxifolia

Now they're stuck with the mess. I have seen it. It's not pretty.

Posted by: lol at July 27, 2011 9:45 AM

What's the difference between these catamarans and the tankers and huge freighters from all over the world? These are huge boats that already come and go from the Bay daily, spewing bilge?

Posted by: [anon.ed] at July 27, 2011 9:55 AM

@anon.ed

The difference is that the tankers spill millions of gallons of crude oil into the Bay.

Posted by: sf at July 27, 2011 11:31 AM

Yes, but in terms of non-native flora and fauna hitching a ride?

Posted by: [anon.ed] at July 27, 2011 12:55 PM

The invasive species problem is real. Tankers and freighters are monitored, and don't wander all over the bay.

BTW, the america's cup seems to be down to just 5 challengers, of whom only two (new zealand and artemis) are expected to last long enough to actually build an AC72 boat.

Posted by: Delancey at July 27, 2011 1:06 PM

What's the difference between these catamarans and the tankers and huge freighters from all over the world?

Sadly, invasive species threats (and other environmental threats) are downgraded for trade and commerce.

Posted by: joh at July 27, 2011 2:25 PM

Delancy and joh are pretty much polar opposites. I think it stands to reason joh has it more right. Not sure of course, but whether or not something wanders around the bay would pale in comparison to something jettisoning exponentially more bilge.

Posted by: [anon.ed] at July 27, 2011 3:07 PM

From KALW via a Nov. 2010 SFGate blog: But something is making people in the shipping industry very nervous. It's the new ballast water discharge standard in California; a standard that's one thousand times stricter than the international one. It took effect this year for smaller vessels, but it will affect any vessel discharging in California starting in 2012.
That said, I just read the Bay Citizen article. The fear is about spreading the invasive seaweed [which] has taken root beneath some piers in San Francisco and could spread on the hulls of spectator boats as they enter and move around the bay.

Posted by: EBGuy at July 27, 2011 4:06 PM

What about all the huge tankers that sail into the bay every day from all over the world? Does anyone really think those thousands of hulls a year are as clean as a millionaire's competitive sailing vessel? Good lord things have gotten way out of hand.

Posted by: Stucco-sux at July 27, 2011 8:06 PM

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