San Francisco will spend $150,000 to study sailboat’s effect on birds

Indescribable. Loony tunes. Complete waste of tax dollars. Those three phrases don’t do justice to San Francisco’s plan to spend $150,000 in tax dollars to study the effect sailboats have as they quietly cruise by and scare Bay-area fowl.

The San Francisco Bay Area will be the home of the America’s Cup in 2013, and like all organizations and events who don’t want to offend the greenies, they actually have a published sustainability plan.

As a reminder, the America’s Cup is a sailboat race, and even though there are plenty of carbon-spewing watercraft, trucks, aircraft and other vehicles supporting the event … the race boats run on wind power.

The sustainability plan includes, in part…

The Authority, the City and the Committee intend that, if San Francisco is selected as host city for AC34, the Event will be a carbon neutral and zero waste operation and will emphasize resource sustainability and environmental stewardship. As appropriate, the Authority will endeavor to meet or exceed LEED or LEED-equivalent ratings pursuant to Chapter 13C of the San Francisco Building Code for permanent Event buildings.

Fine. Great. Congratulations.

That said, holding an event that will be promoted as carbon neutral and zero waste – completely impossible in my view – offers a great opportunity for someone, somewhere to make some money. And it’s even better if taxpayers are footing the bill.

To keep the big America’s Cup contest afloat, San Francisco has agreed to spend $150,000 to study whether the racing boats – and their towering sails – will scare birds on the bay.

The study, which will be conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, is part of a settlement of a lawsuit…

You get the picture, and of course the lawyers involved got paid off by the city too.

In addition to spending $150,000 on the bird-disturbance study, the city will come up with $75,000 for another type of bird – the legal eagles who filed the suit and could have tied up the America’s Cup for months.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. WagTheDog on June 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

    So, let me get this straight – Large, noisy ships moving into and out of the harbor constantly doesn’t scare the birds.? But large masted sailboats that will be there for 2 weeks might?? And when in any of the other AC’s was this? problem?? Even if the birds did fear the sailboats, they’d come back when the race was done and the boats gone.? I swear, there must eb lead in their drinking water or something.

  2. Eric on June 18, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Did we buy San Francisco from some foreign socialist government? ?Is it too late to get our money back? ?I can’t believe the drivel that these people call government out there. ?A sustainability plan? ?Carbon neutral and zero waste? ?A study to learn the effects of sailboating on birds? ?Do these jacka__es stay up nights trying to figure out how make themselves look stupid to the rest of the world, because you San Franciscans really do look stupid to the rest of the world! ?Really stupid!

  3. JBS on June 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    The worst part is that thousands of? San Franciscans are going to go along with this total B.S. load 0f crap. Lawyers = the weasels of commerce.
    I can just hear one of the ‘Frisco street zombies now : “Dude, like, I’m sacred of them big sailing boats. They’re not like the little ones I play with. They’re going to frighten my pet jelly fish and the harbor seal I talk to, and, yeah, they gonna scare them birds, or whatever they told me to say. Them sailing things are big, aren’t they? Hey man, you got a twenty I can have?”
    It’s hard to take Californians seriously.

  4. dairyair on June 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Ah, the Land of Fruits and Nuts!

  5. Common Man on June 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Maybe they should require wind turbines on the sailboats to be even more carbon neutral and after all, the greenies don’t seem to give a hoot about the birds decimated around the power turbines as long as they produce green energy. You can’t fix stupid.

  6. Lynn on June 19, 2012 at 7:52 am

    San Francisco does not deserve the honor of holding America’s Cup. Everywhere else in the world that reveres sailboat racing must be totally aghast. Ok that was a stupid word to use, very little gas is used, only by the Race Committee ?Boat.

    • JBS on June 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Add in all of the jet fuel used for flying around all of the individuals directly involved in the AC Race; all of the people traveling to be a art of the AC Race;? gas for all the cars and boats; all of the diesel to be consumed trucking (and boating) around all of the stuff to support the sailboats; and, all the energy that will be expended housing, moving and feeding all of the people working in the AC and more than a few of the media. Oh, and the alcohol that will be consumed in the Bay Area! Many, many more carbon stomping things, too.

    • Lynn on June 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      I am a free market capitalist all of that above makes me happy and makes the world go around. I’d give anything to go,well almost anything.

  7. Dimsdale on June 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Nothing is expensive when you are spending someone else’s money.? That is the basis of the lefty system, and the reason we, excuse me, they are running up the deficit.? It also explains why CT and other states are spending the pension money of the state workers.

  8. sammy22 on June 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Lynn has the right attitude.

    • Lynn on June 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      Thanks, Sammy!


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