Scott Pruitt is terrible news for the Bay

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President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is an ardent foe of environmental protection who has attacked the laws that protect our water, air and land. In short—he poses a big threat to the Bay.

Trump selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the federal agency that protects public health and the environment. It’s a frightening choice. Pruitt led attacks against the EPA’s regulations and challenged the legitimacy of the agency itself through lawsuits.  He is unapologetically anti-science and anti-environment, with close ties to the very corporations and industries he would be regulating.

For years Pruitt has attacked the EPA and the Clean Water Act – the cornerstone of pollution prevention and wetlands protection here in the Bay and throughout the nation. He has fought EPA action against climate change, and sued to dismantle crucial laws and regulations that protect all of us.

Pruitt was one of the first to sue the Obama administration to block EPA from protecting the drinking water sources of 117 million Americans, and attacked the rules that prevent development in “waters of the U.S.,” which protect Bay wetlands against filling. He led other state attorney generals in trying to block restoration of Chesapeake Bay by filing an amicus brief on supporting draconian litigation, even though that Bay is more than 1,000 miles from Oklahoma.

He also crusaded against the EPA’s standards for reducing soot and smog pollution, its protections against toxic pollutants from power plants, and its authority to improve air quality in national parks and wilderness areas.

Pruitt proudly touts himself as a fan of fossil fuels.  And he supported fracking throughout Oklahoma with minimal regulation to protect groundwater.

I have no doubt that he would lead the Trump Administration’s effort to defund the EPA and cripple its enforcement against polluters. So to save the Bay, we must fight to stop Scott Pruitt’s nomination, and we need your help now.

For the Bay we love, the air we breathe and the water we drink, we call on the U.S. Senate to oppose Scott Pruitt’s nomination.

With the help of our thousands of members and supporters, Save The Bay will:

  • Demand that the U.S. Senate oppose Scott Pruitt’s nomination. We need help from our supporters to mobilize California’s Senators and others throughout the nation to block Scott Pruitt from becoming EPA Administrator.
  • Support our elected officials here in California to pursue strong state protections for the Bay, to counter the Trump Administration’s anti-environment policies.
  • Continue our leadership to protect and improve our environment, right here in the Bay Area. In the Trump era, effective local organizing and action is more important than ever.

We will stand up and fight for the health of our Bay and our environment. But we can’t do this important work without help from our supporters.

I’ve seen anti-environment Presidents before. They come to Washington, DC, and try to destroy protections for water, air and land that are essential for public health, wildlife, and the planet.  It takes strong, coordinated advocacy from people and organizations at the local, state and federal level to block them, and Save The Bay will join that effort with our colleagues and environmental champions in government.

We’ve also proven how much we can accomplish for the Bay without relying on the federal government for help.  New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has observed:

“If you want to be an optimist about America, stand on your head — the country looks so much better from the bottom up. What you see are towns and regions not waiting for Washington, D.C., but coming together themselves to fix infrastructure, education and governance.”

The Bay Area is a shining example of that, and Save The Bay has been a leading force for regional progress:

  • We worked for over a decade to create a new Bay Area funding source to accelerate Bay marsh restoration, building a broad coalition that ultimately won 70% voter support for the Measure AA parcel tax in the nine counties this June.
  • We endorsed nine successful local bond and tax measures for transportation, housing and infrastructure that can help the Bay Area grow sustainably, to be healthy and resilient.
  • We’re convening mayors and city staff from all nine counties to promote green infrastructure that adapts our communities to climate change, reduces Bay pollution and improves natural resources.

In Save The Bay’s 2020 Strategic Plan we set ambitious goals for improving the Bay and the Bay Area, and most of that is within our power as a region and a state.

We will combat the Trump Administration’s anti-environment agenda, and we will continue to make more progress—for the planet, and right here at home for San Francisco Bay.


Please consider supporting Save The Bay as we fight Scott Pruitt’s nomination and Donald Trump’s dangerous attacks on our environment.

Our 2016 Accomplishments for the Bay

Saving the Bay by Sustaining the Bay: A Year of Firsts…

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In early 2016 we published a visionary 2020 Strategic Plan, which maps out our ambitious path to healthy wetlands, Bay Smart communities, and a region that is resilient in the face of climate change.

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We installed 107,239 plants at sites around the Bay, creating important habitat for native and migrating birds.

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Save The Bay was instrumental in passing Proposition 67, a statewide bag ban that will keep billions of plastic bags from polluting our ocean, communities, and waterways, and Proposition 56, which will reduce the flow of toxic, plastic cigarette butts into our waterways.

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For the first time in Save The Bay’s history, we endorsed 10 local ballot measures that will contribute to a cleaner, healthier Bay and more sustainable Bay Area. With our support, 9 of these measures were passed by voters.

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Our 4,830 volunteers contributed nearly 15,000 hours to shoreline restoration projects, and we provided 2,500 local students with hands-on volunteer opportunities.

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Culminating a decade of planning and preparation, we passed regional Measure AA, which will generate $500 million for the restoration of Bay wetlands. Thanks to our tireless advocacy, more than 70% of Bay Area voters supported Measure AA.

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Working with nearly 40 cities and counties across the Bay, we created Bay Day, one official day for our entire region to celebrate San Francisco Bay. In its inaugural year, Bay Day reached over 2 million Bay Area residents.

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Save The Bay and our supporters successfully advocated for a ban on outdoor smoking at Sunnyvale bus stops, shopping areas, festivals, and farmers markets. Our success will help protect wildlife from toxic, plastic cigarette butts, and are a model for other communities.

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We removed 7,200 lbs. of trash from the Bay shoreline, making our marshes cleaner and healthier.

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We launched Save The Bay’s new Bay Investors Council, bringing together Bay Area leaders and influencers who support Save The Bay financially and introduces the organization to new friends. We hosted our inaugural Bay Investors Council event on Bay Day with a catamaran sail on the Bay.

Download the PDF version of our 2016 Accomplishments here.







 

Welcome Paul Ledesma, our new Regional Political Organizer

Paul Ledesma, Regional Political Organizer for Save The Bay
Paul Ledesma, Regional Political Organizer for Save The Bay

My earliest memories of Penitencia Creek include playing on the ruins of the turn-of-the-century mineral baths.

One of my favorite pastimes was searching for crawdads in the creek as it flowed through Alum Rock Park in San Jose. At that time, the area was surrounded by orchards and pasture lands that were disappearing vestiges of the Santa Clara Valley, and on the verge of being rechristened Silicon Valley.

The Valley’s constant and rapid change is what I most remember.

In 1961, the year I was born, San Jose had a population of just over 200,000. Today, over a million people call it home. As the city sprawled towards the foothills, the pastures and orchards disappeared.

Seeing such dramatic change during my childhood left me with the desire to better understand the forces at play that could cause such a transformation. Eventually, this preoccupation became a vocation, born out of an aspiration to help preserve the City’s undeveloped riparian corridors.

For the last 25 years, I have had a rewarding career managing environmental programs at the cities of San Jose and San Francisco where I worked on watershed protection, zero waste, and clean energy programs. At Save The Bay I want to apply the lessons learned from working in local government to my new role, advocating for higher standards, improved funding, and more oversight of the watersheds that drain into the Bay.

As Save The Bay’s new Regional Political Organizer, I’ll be working with Bay Area local governments and community partners in support of our new Bay Smart Communities program and our ongoing efforts to make Bay restoration a core element of climate change adaption policies across the region.

I am thrilled to join the policy team at Save The Bay.

When I was in local government, I relied on Save The Bay’s advocacy to amplify the City’s messages regarding watershed protection and reach into the community in a way that I couldn’t as a city staff person. The objectives of local governments and that of Save The Bay won’t always line up, no matter how hard we try. But, what I’ve learned from my time at City Hall is that the kind of collective impact needed to protect and restore San Francisco Bay doesn’t always require stakeholders’ objectives to align perfectly.

It just requires that we all share a core vision and keep traveling in the same direction.

A #GivingTuesday message from Jaime Redford

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As a documentary filmmaker, conservationist, and proud Bay Area resident, experience has taught me that when we focus on hope and solutions, our society is capable of great things. You and the Save The Bay community are proof of that.

Measure AA passed earlier this year because more than 70 percent of us here in the Bay Area stood up to restore our wetlands, and to make it better and healthier for everyone. And just weeks ago, Californians stood together to ban the plastic bag in our state once and for all by passing Prop. 67. Save The Bay and supporters like you are making climate change and other environmental issues personal — by talking about what’s happening in your backyards, by meeting people where they are, and by bringing people together to protect this magical place. And that’s inspiring to see.

As we travel to see our loved ones for the holidays and with #GivingTuesday right around the corner, I put this video together to share why I believe our Bay community is so important. The inspiring work of Save The Bay, and the hope and optimism of supporters like you, is more critical now than ever.

I hope you’ll take a minute to watch my video. Thank you for being a part of this movement, giving all you can as we work toward solutions for people, wildlife and the planet.

Sincerely,

JRedford

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Jamie Redford

Save The Bay Supporter and Fairfax Resident

Update: Prop 56 Passes for a Butt Free Bay

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By voting Yes on Prop 56, California voters said yes to a Butt Free Bay and to the inevitable impact it will make on reducing the amount of tobacco litter making its way into our local ecosystems. Photo by Dave Gordon.

In a resounding victory for Save The Bay’s Butt Free Bay Campaign, 63 percent of Californians said Yes on Prop 56. Prop 56 will increase the tax on tobacco products by $2 per pack effective April 1, 2017.

In addition to saving Californians billions per year in healthcare costs, Prop 56 will make a noticeable difference in decreasing the estimated 3 billion cigarette butts littered in the Bay Area each year. Economists project that Prop 56’s tax increase will decrease smoking rates, all while providing additional funding for anti-smoking programs in the state. This means less toxic cigarette butts draining from our streets and sidewalks into creeks that lead to the Bay, where they wreak havoc on local ecosystems.

We would like to thank the coalition of anti-tobacco organizations for their partnership in fighting tobacco special interests, and California voters for their overwhelming support of Yes on 56. Stay tuned for more information on how you can answer the call to action and take additional steps in our fight for a Butt Free Bay.