San Francisco Bay and Delta Sand Mining Project

14 Documents in Project


SCH Number
Lead Agency
California State Lands Commission (SLC)
Document Title
San Francisco Bay and Delta Sand Mining Project
Document Type
NOP - Notice of Preparation of a Draft EIR
Present Land Use
The proposed Project is located in the Central San Francisco Bay and in the Suisun Bay of the western Delta. The Central Bay leases constitute 2,601-acres and consist of nine (9) parcels of submerged lands within four (4) leases currently issued by the CSLC (Figure 1). The Suisun Bay lease area totals 938 acres and consists of two parcels of submerged lands within a single CSLC issued lease (Figure 2). In addition to the CSLC-issued leases, a third privately owned (not under the jurisdiction of CSLC) lease area is in the Middle Ground Shoal of Suisun Bay (Figure 2). Although outside of CSLC jurisdiction, the 2012 EIR considered, and this Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) will consider, sand mining within the private Middle Ground Shoal lease area as part of the proposed Project for the purpose of the environmental analysis. Sand mining activities are clustered in areas conducive to high river or tidal velocities that provide sand deposition with a low percentage of fine material (silts, clay, and mud), meaning mining activity may not occur uniformly across the entire proposed lease area.
Document Description
As originally described and evaluated in the 2012 EIR, the process of sand mining begins by using a tugboat to move a specialized suction dredge barge from its dock to a position within one of the lease areas. To begin mining, a dredge arm, which looks like a large pipe, with a metal drag head is lowered to the sandy bottom. Water from the bay or delta is entrained in the suction head generating a water and sand slurry to mobilize sand from the bay or delta bottom and pump it into a hopper on the barge. The drag head contains a screen to prevent large rocks or materials from being entrained. It also contains a suction vent fitted with a positive barrier fish screen and uses a suction velocity of 0.2 feet per second or less to prevent entrainment of fish. Within the Central Bay leases, mining operations typically occur at water depths ranging from 30 to 90 feet and last 3 to 5.5 hours per event. Within the Middle Ground Shoal and Suisun Bay leases, mining operations typically occur at water depths ranging from 15 to 45 feet and last 5 to 7.5 hours per event. A mining event is complete when the barge is full (to capacity) with sand. At that time, the pumping of sand is stopped, the dredge arm is raised, and the barge is moved by tugboat to one of several docking sites in the Bay Area for offloading. The barge (the Sand Merchant) operated by Martin Marietta is equipped with dry offloading capabilities (utilizing a conveyor belt system) and wet offloading capabilities (to pump the sand ashore). Lind’s barge (J5200) is equipped for dry offloading only. An onboard front end loader transfers the sand to an onboard conveyor system that carries the sand to shore. Most offloading and sand distribution sites have limited capability to stockpile or store sand for an extended period. The Project, as revised, proposes using equipment and methods that are substantially similar to those currently used and permitted under the existing leases and permits. The primary revision is to extend the activity analyzed in the 2012 EIR for 10 additional years. In addition to defining the geographic lease area boundaries, the CSLC leases identify the maximum allowable annual volume of sand harvested for each lease. The Project proposes reduced sand mining volumes compared with the currently CSLC-permitted volumes.

Contact Information

Christopher Huitt
Agency Name
California State Lands Commission
Job Title
Senior Environmental Scientist
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin
San Francisco Bay Area
Total Acres
San Francisco Central Bay, Suisun Bay, and Sacramento River

Notice of Completion

State Review Period Start
State Review Period End
State Reviewing Agencies
California Air Resources Board (ARB), California Department of Conservation (DOC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Bay Delta Region 3 (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Central Region 4 (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Planning (CDFW), California Department of Fish and Wildlife, North Central Region 2 (CDFW), California Department of Parks and Recreation, California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, California Department of State Parks, Division of Boating and Waterways, California Department of Transportation, District 10 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, District 3 (DOT), California Department of Transportation, District 4 (DOT), California Department of Water Resources (DWR), California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES), California Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC), California Natural Resources Agency, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Central Valley Sacramento Region 5 (RWQCB), California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region 2 (RWQCB), California State Coastal Conservancy (SCC), California State Lands Commission (SLC), Central Valley Flood Protection Board, Delta Protection Commission, Delta Stewardship Council, Department of Toxic Substances Control, Office of Historic Preservation, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marin Region 7 (CDFW)
State Reviewing Agency Comments
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Marin Region 7 (CDFW)
Development Types
Mining (Continued Commercial Mining of Sand)(Mineral Sand)
Local Actions
State Lands Commission Lease
Project Issues
Air Quality, Biological Resources, Cultural Resources, Hazards & Hazardous Materials, Hydrology/Water Quality, Land Use/Planning, Mineral Resources, Recreation
Local Review Period Start
Local Review Period End


Draft Environmental Document [Draft IS, NOI_NOA_Public notices, OPR Summary Form, Appx,]
State Comment Letters [Comments from state reviewing agencies]

Disclaimer: The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) accepts no responsibility for the content or accessibility of these documents. To obtain an attachment in a different format, please contact the lead agency at the contact information listed above. You may also contact the OPR via email at or via phone at (916) 445-0613. For more information, please visit OPR’s Accessibility Site.

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