Founded in 1983, the Bay Planning Coalition (BPC) is a non-profit, membership-based organization representing public and private entities in the maritime industry and related shoreline businesses, ports and local governments, landowners, recreational users, labor unions, residential and commercial builders, environmental and business organizations, and professional service firms in engineering, construction, law, planning, and environmental sciences.

The maritime industry, movement of goods, and trade are central to business continuity and economic vitality of the Bay Area Region. The long-term future of our region depends on the vitality and responsibility of these industries.

We are the sole organization focused specifically on the economic interests and vitality of the Bay.

Reaching up to Sacramento, Stockton, into the Central Valley and the South Bay, our efforts connect us with businesses, regulatory agencies, local, state and federal officials, and nonprofits.

BPC is dedicated to providing timely solutions through our policy implementation and advocacy, through key partnerships, and through education. We are exceptionally proud of what we have accomplished thus far – and are focused on what is needed in the future.

Our Accomplishments

Policy Implementation and Advocacy

Advocating on behalf of businesses and nonprofits, we put the needs of our members and the Bay Area region first when meeting with important deciders.


Our partners are key stakeholders in the future of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Education & Outreach

Educating regulators, businesses, legislators, and conservationists on the importance of maritime and shoreline trade.

Other Historical Landmark Accomplishments:

2012 – Successful Event Series: BPC hosts a number of new events including Briefing on Ballast Water,  BPC-facilitated NOAA Eelgrass Meeting, Corps 101 Workshop, Energy and Water Nexus Summit, and the Long Term Management Strategy and Environmental Mitigation Banking Workshop.

2012 – LTMS Review: BPC was directly involved in the 12-Year Review of LTMS, and participated regularly in LTMS and DMMO meetings.

2012 – New Members: BPC welcomed 24 new member organizations and significantly increased member participation, awareness and outreach through discounted access to a variety of workshops and briefings relevant to the needs and interests of the BPC membership, resulting in over 175 individuals from BPC member companies attending Workshops in the 2012 series.

2011 –A New Chapter Begins for BPC: John Coleman takes over the Executive Director position in January. The 2011 Workshop Series includes “Is California Earthquake and Tsunami Prepared?”, “Regional Government and Regulatory Agencies- Is this Going to Work for the Business Community?” and “LTMS and Nutrients: What Are the Implications for the Bay’s Future?” The 2011 Decision Makers Conference focused on “The Economy in 3D: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.”

2010 – Executive Director Change: Among other accomplishments, BPC experienced a major turning point- founding Executive Director Ellen Johnck steps down to pursue other passions, and the Board of Directors, after a lengthy search process, selects John A. Coleman to succeed Ellen as BPC’s Executive Director.

2009 – Air Quality Improvements: With assistance from BPC, the Port of Oakland adopts Phase 1 of its Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan (MAQIP) with the goal to reduce the health risk from diesel pollution from ships, trucks, trains and other seaport sources by 85% by the year 2020. BPC’s Bay Area Seaport Air Emissions Inventory project for the other Bay Area ports, San Francisco, Redwood City, Richmond and AMPORTS-Benicia conducted in collaboration with the Bay Area Quality Improvement District (BAAQMD) is completed.

2009 – Port of Oakland’s -50’ Channel Deepening Completed: BPC assisted the Port with advocacy and fundraising for its -50’ navigation channel project and associated beneficial reuse of over 2 mcy of dredged material in the Hamilton Army Airfield wetland restoration.

2008 – 25th Anniversary of BPC’s Founding: A revised 2-year Strategic Plan now includes an Envisioned Future Statement as follows: Through the leadership of the BPC, recognized for its achievements in collaborative planning with public and private sector agencies and organizations, the Bay-Delta region’s industry, recreation and commerce will grow and the natural environment will flourish, resulting in:

  1. Innovative waterfront planning that sustains a working waterfront for water-dependent industry and jobs; supports a diversity of waterfront uses including water transit, marinas, wildlife habitat, and integrated with residential and commercial uses on contiguous land; addresses climate change and potential sea level rise, and fosters environmental-responsibility and compatibility among industry, residents and tourists;
  2. Expansion of world-class maritime goods movement, ferries, recreational marinas and water-dependent industries;
  3. Creation of a model of economic progress and environmental stewardship through regional innovation and supportive local, state, and federal policies and programs.

2006-2007 – Seaport Air Emissions: BPC focuses on a new challenge on the emerging issues related to the health impacts of diesel particulate emissions in and around the region’s ports and marine terminals. A Memorandum of Agreement is developed and adopted by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board and BPC port members to conduct an inventory of seaport air emissions and share the cost. BPC assists the Port of Oakland in the organization and development of its Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan

2005 – Infrastructure Safety Initiative: BPC adopts an Infrastructure Safety Initiative in response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The Initiative is an educational campaign aimed at strengthening the region, state and nation’s infrastructure such as levees, transportation, and water and energy supply facilities. BPC’s partners include the Bay Area Council, the Bay Area Economic Forum, the Homebuilders Association of Northern California, and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. The Task Force is calling upon state and national leaders to reassess spending priorities and adopt a new method of decision making emphasizing safety, disaster preparedness, prevention and response and improved permitting process for critical infrastructure projects.

2004 –California Performance Review: At BPC’s request, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review program evaluates permitting delays and inefficiencies in the Bay Area’s environmental permit process. The result is the creation of a local task force whose membership includes BPC members, environmental organizations, and S. F. Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) staff. The Task Force concludes its deliberations and produces a 19-point Report adopted by BCDC in 2006. The Report recommends changes to permit practices and proposes changes to dredging regulations to provide long-term permits. In addition, there is agreement on a revised interpretation of Sub-Tidal Policy #2 to include a programmatic alternative analysis for sand mining.

2003 – National Marine Transportation Partnership Project: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries selects San Francisco Bay and the Environmental Windows Workgroup as the West Coast demonstration project for its national Marine Transportation Partnership Project. NOAA appoints BPCand three other partners (BCDC, Port of Oakland and NOAA) to participate in the development of a series of “best management practices.” The windows workgroup will be the case study illustrating how ports can work with fishery agencies to effectively coordinate maritime operations and endangered species protection.

2001-2002 –Environmental Windows Program: BPC convenes the Environmental Windows Workgroup program under the Long Term Management Strategy for Dredged Material Disposal (LTMS) with state and federal LTMS agencies and stakeholders. The purpose is to address dredging delays caused by fishery agencies’ ever-shrinking seasonal work periods established to protect endangered species. Organized into six working groups, the “Windows” program participants work collaboratively to improve dredging project planning and carry out scientific studies on fish locations and potential impacts of shipping on endangered species.

2001 –Water Transit Authority: At the request of the S. F. Bay Water Transit Authority (WTA), BPC helps develop the ferry system expansion plan and coordinates an environmental review for adoption by the state legislature.

2000 LTMS Adoption: State and federal agencies adopt the Long Term Management Strategy for Dredged Material Disposal (LTMS). This culminates BPC’s 12-year effort to develop a plan for dredging and disposal, which includes the designation of several, dredged material disposal sites and a one-stop permit office.

1999-2000 –Port of Oakland’s -50’ Dredging Permits: With BPC’s advocacy, BCDC and the Regional Board each unanimously approve the Port of Oakland’s -50’ navigation channel deepening project.

1999 –S. F. Bay Wetland Joint Venture: BPC helps found the San Francisco Bay Wetland Joint Venture to advocate and establish a wetland restoration program which would coordinate wetland restoration with willing landowners.

1999S. F. Bay Trail: BPC helps found the San Francisco Bay Trail.

1999 –Seismic Safety Legislation: BPC advocates successfully for seismic safety legislation which identifies appropriate boundaries and responsibilities for setting construction standards between local governments and BCDC in the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.

1998-1999 –Marine Transportation Initiative: The federal Secretary of Transportation asks BPC to help implement the Marine Transportation Initiativewhichcoordinates harbor maintenance among federal agencies.

1998 –VP’s Al Gore Hammer Award: Vice President Al Gore awards BPC the Hammer Award for its leadership in creating the joint state-federal cooperative permit review program called the Dredged Material Management Office (DMMO).

1997 –CalEPA: Governor Wilson appoints BPC to the task force formulating the mission of the new California Environmental Protection Agency.

1997 – Clean Water Act Citizen Suits: BPC investigates and exposes abuses of the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act.

1996-2000 –Dredged Material Rehandling Project: The California Coastal Conservancy selects BPC as the lead stakeholder organization on its team to complete the Dredged Material Rehandling Site Study Project.

1996-1997 –Sediment Testing Guidelines: BPC completes its Sediment Testing Guidelines for Dredged Material Disposal at San Francisco Bay Sites which is then used as a framework for discussion within the Long Term Management Strategy.

1996 –Treated Wood Policy: BPC leads the RWQCB and the Department of Fish and Game with scientific analysis of treated wood products in marine environments.

1994-1995 BPC and Save the Bay Project: BPC and Save the Bay Association collaborate in a joint project to preserve BCDC lest its functions be transferred to the Coastal Commission, and reform it. The collaboration produces 40 recommendations for reform at BCDC, which BCDC unanimously adopts.

1994 USACE Reorganization: BPC successfully urges the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to reorganize its San Francisco District Regulatory Branch based on the “project manager” model.

1991-1992 –Delta Protection Commission: BPC collaborates with the Homebuilders Association of Northern California and the Delta chapter to establish and shape a new planning agency for the Delta, the Delta Protection Commission.

1991 –State Lands’ fees eliminated: BPC secures the elimination of unauthorized State Lands Commissionfees on dredging and streamlines dredging and mining lease procedures.

1990-2000 – LTMS Initiated: BPC serves as the catalyst for the state-federal Long Term ManagementStrategy (LTMS) for Dredged Material Disposal. The goal of the federal-state LTMS is to increase the availability of disposal options (in-Bay, ocean and upland) and establish a coordinated agency dredging permit process.

1990 –California Wetland Consensus: BPC and the California Chamber of Commerce form the California Wetland Consensus project, a group of statewide business and environmental organizations. The group develops guidance that Governor Wilson subsequently adopts as the Governor’s Wetland Policy Initiative.

1990 – Limited Government Project: BPC participates in the Limited Government Project in partnership with the Pacific Legal Foundation and the California Homebuilders Association. The Project advocates protection for property rights in federal land regulation.

1989-1991 – Regional Seaport Plan: BCDC and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission(MTC) accept BPC’s proposals for the Regional Seaport Plan.The proposals require that agencies consider market factors in allocating land for seaport use.

1988-1998 –Bay Protection and Toxic Hot Spot Clean Up Program: BPC forms a statewide committee on the implementation of the Bay Protection and Toxic Hot Spot Cleanup Program.The Committee works with the State Water Resources Control Board and its nine coastal regional boards over a period of ten years to achieve a scientifically sound and economically feasible cleanup program.

1988-1992 –S. F. Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan: The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) invites BPC to form and lead the business caucus in the development of the S. F. Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan. The Plan, adopted by Governor Wilson in 1992, forms the basis for a new water quality strategy based on controlling nonpoint source pollution and strengthens the decision making process for water allocation through the new CalFed program.

1988 – Deepwater Ocean Site: BPC, working with state and federal officials, assists in the designation of the new Deepwater Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site (DODS), greatly facilitating Bay dredging projects.

1986 –State OAL Decision: Ruling on a BPC petition, the State Office of Administrative Law (OAL) strikes down another “underground regulation”. The OAL rules that wetland policies adopted by the S. F. Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board (SFRWQCB) amount toa regulation and are not legally adopted. The law firm of Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy represents BPC.

1985 – CWA Plant List: BPC organizes a scientific panel on the federal Clean Water Act’s wetland plant list. It achieves a major agreement on placement of certain plants, such as lolium perenne, in obligate and facultative plant listings for the purposes of USACE’s wetland jurisdictional determinations.

1984 –Gubernatorial appointees: Governor Deukmejian approves BPC’s recommended appointees to BCDC and the SFRWQCB.

1984 –CWA wetland definition: Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy files an amicus brief on behalf of BPC in the U. S. Supreme Court in a case regarding the Clean Water Act’s wetland definition.

1983 –Diked Historic Baylands OAL Decision: BPC prevails before the State Office of Administrative Law, which rules that BCDC does not have jurisdiction over the so-called “Diked Historic Baylands”. The law firm of Washburn, Briscoe & McCarthy represents BPC before the OAL.


BAAQMD = Bay Area Air Quality Management District

BCDC = S.F. Bay Conservation and Development Commission

CalEPA = California Environmental Protection Agency

CWA=Federal Clean Water Act

LTMS = Long Term ManagementStrategy for Dredged Material Disposal

MTC = Metropolitan Transportation Commission

NOAA = National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

OAL = State Office of Administrative Law

SFRWQCB = S.F. Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board

SWRCB = State Water Resources Control Board

USACE = U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

USEPA = U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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