Thousands of derelict pilings soaked with creosote will be removed from San Francisco Bay in an effort to clean up an important habitat for Pacific herring.
The Marin Independent Journal reports that the state Coastal Conservancy will run a program to remove 33,000 bay pilings after receiving a $2 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The pilings once supported fishing piers and boat launches.
Pacific herring remain the only commercially harvested fish inside the bay, and often use the pilings and other hard surfaces to spawn.
Herring are also an important food for whales, birds and salmon.
Since the pilings are covered in creosote, a byproduct of the coal industry, scientists are concerned that chemicals could be leaching into the herring eggs, exposing the larvae.