Six Ways to Celebrate The Bay

Six Things you can do for the bayWe’re celebrating the Bay! We like to appreciate the Bay every day, but the second annual Bay-A-Thon is a special way to rally around the unique beauty of the San Francisco Bay. The Bay-A-Thon is about enjoying and protecting the unique treasures of the Bay, so we’ve complied six ways you can make a difference, today.

Six Ways to Celebrate the 2014 Bay-A-Thon

  1. Whether or not your community has banned plastic bags, remember to bring reusable bags when shopping. Plastic bags pollute the waters of the Bay, smother wetlands and entangle and kill wildlife, so keeping them out of the Bay is a direct way to protect the Bay. Keep reusable bags in your truck or bike basket, in your backpack; and next to your keys. Leave your best bag tips in the comments below and share how you remember to bring and use reusable bags!
  2. Keep unwanted stuff out of the Bay. E-waste and old medications can contaminate millions of gallons of Bay water. Find your local center for these items and keep them out of the Bay! 
  3. Volunteer and restore natural habitats by hand at various sites around the Bay, and help toward our goal of re-establishing 100,000 acres of healthy wetlands around the Bay. You can have fun outdoors, learn about the Bay and help us protect it by joining one of our community based restoration programs.
  4. Take Action. Help eliminate toxic tobacco litter from entering our Bay so we can stop polluting our water and harming wildlife. Sign the petition today to call on your city to pass an outdoor smoking ban that would stop cigarette butt litter at its source.
  5. Stay informed. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get important Bay updates and breaking news as it happens, pose questions, or just say hello. We’re saving the Bay together, and we love to hear from you!
  6. Donate. Every gift that Save The Bay receives by July 14th will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $150,000. Your donation goes directly to restoring healthy tidal marsh around the Bay…to implementing plastic bag bans around the Bay and toward our restoration education programs for youth that will educate and inspire the next generation of Bay protectors.

Have a friend interested in saving the Bay? Select one of our eCards to send to friends and family. We’re not just saving the Bay for us here and now, but for future generations to enjoy the magnificent experiences we enjoy with our family and friends. What do you do every day to protect and save the Bay? Share your tips in the comments!

Support Your Bay with a Donor-Advised Fund

restoration volunteers
Your gift supports our work to protect and restore San Francisco Bay.

What is a donor-advised fund, and how does it help Save The Bay?

A donor-advised fund, or DAF, is a vehicle to simplify your charitable giving to Save The Bay. An easy way to think about a donor-advised fund is like a charitable savings account: you contribute to the fund as frequently as you like and then recommend grants to Save The Bay and other non-profits as you desire.

Do you already have a donor-advised fund? We recently installed a convenient new donation tool on our website to make DAF giving even easier. You simply choose the amount of your donation and connect directly to your donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable or Schwab Charitable.

Where does your DAF donation, or any donation to Save The Bay, go?

Every donation helps us sustain and expand our work to protect and restore a thriving San Francisco Bay. 100% of your contribution to Save The Bay stays right here in the Bay Area. Your contribution supports our work to:

  • Reduce Plastic Trash and Toxic Cigarette Butts: With an estimated 3 billion cigarettes littered in the Bay Area each year, not to mention the Styrofoam and other trash that threatens the health of the Bay, we are urging cities to eliminate this pollution at its source by limiting outdoor smoking and banning plastic bags and Styrofoam.
  • Restore More Wetlands: Seven million Bay Area residents, 400 native species, our economy and quality of life all depend on a healthy San Francisco Bay. That’s why we have a visionary goal of 100,000 acres of restored wetlands and, with your help, our staff and volunteers are making progress through our on-the-ground wetland restoration projects.
  • Lead the Ongoing Fight Against Reckless Shoreline Development: We’ve fought back Cargill’s plan to build a new city on 1,436 acres of restorable Bay salt ponds, but Cargill has vowed to keep trying. We remain vigilant and ready, thanks to our members and donors.

Our detailed financial statements and IRS forms are always available online, and if you have questions about making a tax-deductible gift to Save The Bay through a donor-advised fund you can contact Janine Kraus, Chief Development Officer, at 510.463.6806 or

We’re grateful to have such passionate and informed members and volunteers. Our San Francisco Bay faces ongoing challenges and emerging threats and we fight every day to protect and restore the Bay. Your support is what makes this possible, and we’re proud to be in this fight alongside you.

Meet Phil McGrew: Bay Photographer

Phil McGrew is a friend of Save The Bay who shares his love of the Bay through his incredible photographs. As you’ll see when you receive our 2014 Save The Bay calendar, Phil has a knack for capturing particularly magical moments of the Bay and its wildlife. We are honored to feature Phil’s stunning photographs in this year’s calendar because they help to remind us every day of the specialness of the Bay we are working to save. Here is a glimpse into the life of the man behind the camera…

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How did you get started doing nature photography?
I simply enjoy the natural world more than other types of photography. To me, nature is more real and raw. Animals don’t perform for our enjoyment, they are looking to mate, eat, and not be eaten. Animals don’t care if their hair looks good and their shoulders are straight. To be able to capture and share a moment in their day brings me great satisfaction.

Why is the Bay a special area of interest for you?
Since moving to San Francisco three years ago, I have never lived and worked more than 3 blocks from the Bay. I am staring at the blue water as I write this. The Bay is small enough to see across but big enough to be an immense body of water. The amount of wildlife it supports is overwhelming.

Do you have a favorite site along the Bay?
I am still discovering areas but I very much enjoy Coyote Hills. There’s a great diversity of wildlife there.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why?
I am fascinated by pelicans. Having grown up in a landlocked state, I didn’t see pelicans. They are huge birds, they are graceful in flight, and are efficient hunters. They hang out with friends and love cruising at sunset.

You take incredible photos of Bay birds and animals. Describe the process of getting those shots.
The first step is knowing where wildlife hang out and find food. Wildlife tend to forage in the morning and evening and be less active mid-day. It is sheer coincidence that photographers tend to keep a similar schedule since the light is better at those times. But, the key element is patience. It can take a significant amount of time to spot wildlife and to see it in action. I spent three days trying to photograph a pelican swallowing a fish earlier this year. It also helps to always have your camera with you.

What other activities or hobbies do you enjoy?
At the risk of sounding uninteresting, I mostly either photograph wildlife/landscapes or I’m processing those photos. I do have a pilot’s license but I’ve been a little intimidated by the mountains, wind, and fog around here.

Who is your environmental hero?
I really think the heroes are the grassroots organizations—right down to the individuals out there picking up trash. This literally happened to me today: I was walking by AT&T Park before the San Francisco Giants game and there was a small army of people picking up trash. Ignoring my mom’s advice not to talk to strangers, I asked them who they were. They were from a local biotech firm and had volunteered to pick up trash for the day. People who pick up trash along the shoreline really represent the last line of defense between land and sea.

What is one thing you do each day to protect the environment?
I recycle as much as possible. On most days, I have the opportunity to walk along the waterfront and I pick up trash when I see it.

What is your favorite Bay memory or experience?
I have two really. One is old and the other much more recent. I was in the Navy and stationed onboard a submarine. We sailed into the Bay and docked in Alameda. And while it was all work and no play, I knew I wanted to return to the Bay Area when the opportunity presented itself. My more recent memory is of one of the most brilliant sunrises I have ever seen. There was no one else around me. It was just me and a couple hundred ducks and they were completely silent and were all facing east as well. It’s as if they knew it was an incredibly rare and serene moment.

Thank you to Phil for capturing such beautiful images of the Bay, and sharing them with us in the 2014 calendar. We hope they’ll remind you of what we’ve accomplished together, and how important it is to save and restore the beauty of the Bay.

All current Save The Bay members receive their own beautiful 2014 Save The Bay calendar, featuring Phil’s stunning photographs. If you’d like your own calendar, join us today and we’ll send you one so you can enjoy incredible photographs like Phil’s throughout 2014!

Bay-A-Thon success! Thanks to you…

Bay-A-Thon BirdThank you for helping us reach our goal in our first-ever Bay-A-Thon!

We’re excited to report that 2,437 Save The Bay supporters came together to help us reach our $150,000 Bay-A-Thon goal. Every Bay-A-Thon donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, to double our resources to prevent inappropriate development  along the shoreline, restore wetlands, rid the Bay of toxic trash , and engage and educate volunteers through our community-based restoration programs. Thank you so much for your support!

We are making progress to protect our Bay. More than 65% of Bay Area residents now live in areas that have banned plastic bags, and more than 30% of communities have banned Polystyrene. More than 5,000 Save The Bay volunteers annually contribute invaluable time and energy planting native seedlings, and removing invasive species and trash from the shoreline. Every little bit counts toward the ultimate goal of re-establishing 100,000 acres of healthy tidal marsh around the Bay.

The 2013 Bay-A-Thon may be over, but saving the Bay is a year-round challenge. Let’s continue the momentum for a healthy Bay with these easy everyday actions:

Bring your own bag
Don’t flush medicine
Take Action
Follow Save The Bay

Thank you for doing your part to protect and restore our beloved San Francisco Bay!

Two Days Remain

Who are you saving the Bay for?

savethebay_photoPerhaps you’re saving the Bay for your children, who will grow up with the memory of watching fireworks over the Bay Bridge. Or maybe you’re saving the Bay for your energetic dog, who loves your Saturday walks along the shore. Maybe you’re saving the Bay for your mom, who enjoys her beloved view of the Bay from the house you grew up in.

The Bay belongs to all of us, and we share the responsibility to protect it from the challenges it continually faces from shoreline development and toxic pollution.

We’re excited to share that hundreds of Save The Bay members have joined together to support the 2013 Bay-A-thon and had their donations doubled through this matching opportunity. But we haven’t yet reached our goal, and we don’t want to leave any money on the table.

Only two days remain to double your donation to defend the Bay.

We have $22, 014 left to raise in the next two days, before the 2013 Bay-A-Thon ends. With your help, we can get there! Donating now will help us continue to defend the Bay for future generations. Can we count on your support?

Any gift that you can give will help sustain our efforts to halt massive bayfill, restore wetlands, and engage and educate the community to save the Bay. That’s why we must reach our 2013 Bay-A-Thon $150,000 target! Make your contribution now to have it count in the 2013 Bay-A-Thon.

It will go twice as far to Save the Bay. The Bay-A-Thon ends at midnight on July 4th! Thank you for joining your neighbors and friends to help us reach our goal. Together, we’re saving the Bay for all of us.