As our founder Kay Kerr once said, “The Bay is always in the process of being saved.” It’s an adage we invoke every time we go up to bat against another dangerous and foolhardy plan to fill in our Bay. This time of year especially, as we reflect on our accomplishments from the year and corral our resources for next year’s fights, we remember an important truth that underlies every single victory this organization has ever managed. The Bay isn’t just being saved—we, together, are saving it. To build on Kay’s timeless statement: the community is always in the process of saving the Bay.
There’s our founding story. In 1961, Santa Fe Railroad Company proposed a massive 2,000 acre bay fill development off the shoreline of Berkeley (map). Their grandiose development plans included a new airport, industrial and commercial buildings, houses, hotels, and more. Save The Bay came into existence in order to defeat this proposal and save the Berkeley shoreline –with the help of our founding members, we won that fight in 1963.
Then in 1968, David Rockefeller proposed to create a “new Manhattan” by filling 27 miles of San Mateo County shoreline. Their plan was to chop off the top of San Bruno Mountain (map), fill in the Bay with the dirt, while using the leveled mountain for additional real estate development. For the next decade, we worked doggedly with local allies to kill this plan—and we won.
Today, we’re standing with local residents against Cargill’s plans to build on restorable Redwood City salt ponds (map). For the last 5 years, we’ve thwarted Cargill’s every attempt to jam this plan through. Most recently and desperately, they’ve petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exempt this destructive developmentplan from the Clean Water Act. If we continue to thwart their efforts, we can exhaust and defeat them. But in order to stay in the game, we need your help.
This week, Save The Bay gives thanks to our many volunteers, neighborhood activists, supporters, and founding members. Thank you for standing with us and thank you for saving the Bay. We hope you’ll continue saving the Bay with us.