South San Francisco, CA June 27, 2017 Submitted by Lau Hodges
On June 21, 2017, the San Mateo County Harbor District Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to upgrade to 100% clean and renewable energy with Peninsula Clean Energy’s ECO100 program. This earth-friendly decision will affect the three properties the Harbor District oversees: Pillar Point Harbor, on Half Moon Bay, Oyster Point Marina/Park, in the City of South San Francisco and the Administration Office in El Granada. “The decision was a no-brainer,” said Board President Tom Mattusch, “the Harbor District is on the front line of sea-level rise, one of the most devastating effects of climate change.”
Over the past century mankind’s reliance on the burning of fossil fuels has released enormous amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scientific data has determined sea levels will rise 14 inches over the next 50 years and the average high tides, within the San Francisco Bay, will rise by as much as 66 inches between now and 2100. The ECO100 program generates 100% of its energy from clean and renewable sources, such as sun, wind and geothermal. By switching to ECO100 the Harbor District will prevent over 415,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emission from entering the earth’s atmosphere annually. This is equivalent to approximately 17,800 tree seedlings grown for ten years or 650 acres of forest that Mother Nature would rely on to process and sequester this amount of emissions each year.
“The Harbor District is working on facility upgrades and maintenance efforts that are a direct result of climate change,” said John Moren, Director of Operations for the Harbor District, “it’s great that we are doing our part to proactively reduce the factors which contribute to sea level rise.” By reducing impacts when possible, planning for impacts when necessary and using energy with the least amount of environmental impact available the Harbor District recognizes the important role local government can play in creating awareness within the community.
“It certainly worked within our community,” added Mattusch, “As I understand it the two staff who worked on this the most went home and signed their households up for ECO100!” While the Harbor District certainly can’t turn back the clock on climate change, if it can inspire awareness within the community, the citizens of San Mateo might be able to help stop the effects, evident in their own backyards, before it’s too late.
About the San Mateo County Harbor District: The San Mateo County Harbor District was first established in 1933 and currently operates Pillar Point Harbor and Oyster Point Marina/Park. Pillar Point Harbor remains a major commercial and sport fishing harbor, with 369 berths. It hosts several public events throughout the year and is an increasingly popular tourist destination on Half Moon Bay. The District began operating Oyster Point Marina/Park in 1977. It then completed construction of docks, a new breakwater, and onshore facilities during the 1980’s. Now with ferry service to other points on San Francisco Bay, Oyster Point Marina/Park provides a 408-berth marina and boat launch ramp, a fishing pier, a 33-acre park with hiking and jogging trails, picnic facilities and a 2.5-acre sandy beach. The District is governed by a five-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, who are elected County-wide for staggered four-year terms. For more information please visit the Harbor District’s website: www.smharbor.com