Coronavirus impact: Reduced traffic means lower water pollution levels in San Francisco Bay

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One unintended side effect of the novel coronavirus crisis could provide much-needed relief for the San Francisco Bay, according to David Lewis, executive director of the environmental group, Save the Bay.

CORONAVIRUS IMPACT: Maps show how much pollution has dropped in the Bay Area since shelter-in-place orders

Lewis says that cars contribute to pollution in the bay in ways that aren't always obvious, and the reduction in traffic from the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order could help.

"Cars create water pollution as well, because of everything they drop on the roads that eventually washes into the bay," said Lewis.

Many people are already familiar with the harmful effects of engine exhaust, which sends toxic particles into the air and ultimately into the bay. However, traffic causes a more direct form of pollution. The effects can be seen floating on the creeks and shoreline for miles.

Watch the video above for a full explanation from Lewis.

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