Board Profile | Sam Luoma

Sam Luoma
Save The Bay Board Member Sam Luoma has studied the Palo Alto wetlands since 1974.

Meet Save The Bay Board Member Sam Luoma, an Environmental Scientist originally from Great Falls, Montana.

When did you join Save The Bay’s Board of Directors?

March 2013

Do you have a favorite Bay site or experience?

Looking at the Bay from the research vessel Polaris and the Palo Alto wetlands. Since 1974, my colleagues and I have studied the Palo Alto wetlands, which is a wonderful example of where wetlands meet mudflats.

How did you get involved with Save The Bay?

I have known David Lewis a long time and loved the story of how Save The Bay began. Save The Bay is an organization of great integrity and as a scientist I admire the important issues it tackles. I also like the continued focus on wetland restoration and education, both are so important for the Bay’s future.

What do you look forward to most as a new board member at Save The Bay?

Further support of wetland restoration as flood control and sea level rise become prevalent in our lives. Also, preventing expansion of development on the shores of the Bay which is crucial to reducing our vulnerability to climate change and loss of biodiversity.

I recently signed up to be on the Host Committee for Save The Bay’s event Fall for the Bay on September 26th. I want to support this fantastic community event and have a chance to meet all of the members who have helped support the great work of the organization.

I also look forward to working with my fellow board members. I am impressed by the group and its dedication.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?

The mudflat clam Macoma balthica – I’ve worked with this species since I first started studying the Bay in 1974. They are hardy, flexible and a positive part of the Bay ecosystem; just like we should be.

Who is your environmental hero?

The amazing three women who founded Save The Bay – Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin and Esther Gulick. Also the people who were responsible for the California Water Accord in the 1980’s: former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit and his Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Bettsy Reike. The accord was a landmark achievement and an example of ways to begin solutions to complex environmental problems. Finally, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols who I worked for from 2000-2003.

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?

The people, culture, and the diversity of thoughts and ideas cannot be found elsewhere. Plus you cannot beat the wonderful climate.

What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment?

Recycle. I love that this is a habit for Bay Area residents. I hope this way of life and system catches everywhere in this country.