The San Francisco Bay Fish Project is a two-year project to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals from eating San Francisco Bay fish. This Project is part of the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s strategies to reduce the levels of PCB and mercury in the Bay (these strategies are called Total Maximum Daily Loads, or TMDLs). The Project is intended to improve communication to the public about how to reduce their exposure to PCBs and mercury from consuming San Francisco Bay fish while the Water Board works to reduce the levels of PCBs and mercury in those fish. The Project also fulfills requirements in permits the Water Board has issued to the wastewater, stormwater, and industrial entities that discharge to the Bay. These entities are providing the funding for this Project.
While fish is an important part of a healthy diet, some fish from San Francisco Bay contain mercury and PCBs. An interim health advisory for the Bay recommends limiting the types and amounts of fish consumed as a means to limit exposure to chemicals. This advisory will be revised and updated in 2011. Under the San Francisco Bay Fish Project, CDPH will collaborate with community groups, local agencies, tribes, and others to raise public awareness about fish contamination issues in San Francisco Bay, and support community-based projects to reduce exposure to chemicals from fish consumption.
As part of the SFBFP, CDPH will:
- Convene quarterly Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) meetings to solicit feedback on project activities;
- Promote engagement and collaboration among interested stakeholders;
- Support and conduct risk communication and risk reduction activities;
- Conduct capacity building trainings.
The project is coordinated by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) in partnership with the Aquatic Science Center, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. Primary funding for the project has been provided by the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, the Western States Petroleum Association, the Bay Area Stormwater Management Agencies Association, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.