Meet Mike Katz, an Energy Consultant originally from Rockville, Maryland. Mike has been on Save The Bay’s Board of Directors for the past 13 years and served as the Board Chair from 2008 to 2012.
How long have you lived in the Bay Area?
I moved here when I was 23, and I am 54, so that makes it 30 years ago. I came here to go to grad school.
What is your favorite view of San Francisco Bay?
My most favorite view is from my windsurfing board, sailing off of Crissy Field with the Golden Gate Bridge ahead of me, the Marin coastline to the north and the city’s skyline behind me.
What is your fondest memory of San Francisco Bay?
The memory I will always cherish is the first time I windsurfed under the Golden Gate Bridge: it was terrifying and fantastic all at the same time. A close second: being on my board in the Bay, and a huge sea lion charged at me, and at the last moment dove under my board. Getting that close to such a magnificent animal was thrilling and a bit scary too.
When and why did you decide to join Save The Bay?
A friend of mine was stepping down from Save The Bay’s Board of Directors, and recommended me as a Board candidate. He knew of my passion for Bay recreation and my interest in energy and the environment. I’m very grateful he introduced me – and I’ve been on the Board for 13 years.
Why did you join the Legacy Society?
I created a Will and Living Trust about 10 years ago. Everyone should have a living trust, to avoid probate and the legal/public scrutiny your estate faces when you only have a Will. It made sense to me to create a modest bequest for Save The Bay to help its future, while I was planning for my family’s future. It was very easy to do.
What do you most appreciate about Save The Bay’s mission?
My introduction to Save The Bay included learning about Canoes In Sloughs, a fantastic program that brought kids outside and into canoes to learn about the Bay and have fun. It was a very difficult decision, as a Board member, to agree to end the program. But this was the right thing to do: Save The Bay’s history is rooted in protection from infill and to provide greater public access. We can make a difference by focusing on 2-3 major campaigns, and our expertise is best focused on protection of our shoreline, reduction of plastic pollution, and restoration science and education.
Without San Francisco Bay, the region would not be nearly as special as it is. The Bay makes our environment great. Even when I’m hiking in east Bay parks (some days it’s too cold to windsurf) I always look for that sliver of water, with the sun gleaming off its surface. The Bay is the tie that binds us all together as neighbors.