Suisin Marsh (Photo courtesy California Dept of Fish & Wildlife)

UPDATE: $2.8M lawsuit filed against private island club for environmental violations

A lawsuit has been filed against Point Buckler Club and its owner John Sweeney by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, which claims that waste has been illegally discharged into Suisin Marsh.

Point Buckler Club is a private, members-only club that markets itself to “Silicon Valley Executives” who are interested in kiting or hunting. The club is on its own island an hour from San Francisco by boat, in Suisin Marsh, a formerly managed wetland for duck hunting.

A news release sent out by the State Water Resources Control Board Thursday states that since 2012 the club has been discharging fill material into Suisun Marsh without a water quality certification. Due to this, 30 acres of tidal marsh were destroyed, impacting endangered species.

“Until tidal wetlands are restored, there is ongoing harm to sensitive species in the Bay-Delta ecosystem that includes destroyed or degraded critical habitat for salmonids and longfin smelt, decreased nutrient cycling important to Delta smelt, and the loss of habitat and feeding opportunities for several listed bird species,” the State Water Resources Control Board stated.

In response, a $2,828,000 civil liability suit has been filed, covering the number of days the club was in violation, the gravity of the violations, the history of the violator, and the club’s ability to pay.

UPDATE: John Sweeney and Point Buckler Club filed a lawsuit Thursday against the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, countering arguments that the Club has been bereft of its duties to maintain a healthy natural environment. The lawsuit outlines the controversy surrounding a repair to a levee that needed to be made in order to preserve duck habitat, and the subsequent communications and permits.

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