One Couple’s Fight to Save the Bay and Why They Need Your Help

One Couples Fight to Save The Bay
WATCH: One Couple’s Fight to Save The Bay

What would you do if your most cherished childhood place was at risk of being destroyed forever by a multi-billion dollar company?  Would you stand up to those high-powered execs and their slick PR flacks or would you shy away from a fight?

If you were Gail Raabe or her husband Matt Leddy you would stand up, rally your neighbors and make your voice heard.  You would keep fighting through all the ups and downs. You wouldn’t give up.

I am inspired by Gail and Matt’s story, which they recently shared in this powerful video. I bet if you watch it, you’ll be inspired too.

“When you pick a path, you follow that path until it ends.  You don’t just stop because it becomes scary or hard,” said Matt.

Gail and Matt are currently leading the charge to stop agribusiness giant Cargill’s continued efforts to develop as many as 1,436 acres of salt ponds in Redwood City with thousands of houses. This project would plop a new city on open space that should be restored to natural wetlands to benefit people and wildlife.  It would clog local freeways and put thousands of families in the path of rising sea levels.

After meeting in grad school, Gail and Matt settled down in Gail’s hometown of Redwood City.  They’ve been fighting to protect their Bay shoreline from deep pocketed developers ever since.

[quote float=”right”]“San Francisco Bay is just this theme that is woven throughout our lives,” said Gail. [/quote]

Because of the efforts of Gail and Matt to protect the Bay over the last few decades, the Bay is healthier. Local gems like Bair Island, which they helped save from development in the 80s, are vibrant natural places where birds and seals thrive and families visit to bike, kayak and enjoy the outdoors.

Cargill is relentless in its efforts to pave the Bay for profit.  Despite widespread opposition and a rejection of its development plan by Redwood City, the company continues to plan a massive bay fill project. 

Now Gail and Matt need your help in their fight to stop Cargill.  Please watch Gail and Matt’s powerful 3-minute story, share it with your friends via email and Facebook, and then tell Cargill, “Don’t Pave My Bay” by signing the petition.

Together, we can all take responsibility for our place, our natural treasure, so that it can be cherished by our children and our children’s children.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be inspired like I was. Watch “One Couple’s Fight to Save the Bay” today.

DMB Defaults on $47.5 million loan

Some key quotes from the article:

“Two Arizona newspapers reported that an affiliate of DMB Associates, partners in Cargill’s proposed 12,000 home development on the Redwood City salt ponds east of Highway 101, defaulted on a $47.5 million dollar loan in its home state.”

“Both the Phoenix Business Journal and the Arizona Republic reported in August that DMB Market Street LLC, an affiliate of DMB Associates, defaulted on the loan used to buy a 300,000-square-foot shopping plaza in Scottsdale known as Market Street at DC Ranch. Scottsdale is also the headquarters for DMB Associates.”

“Julie Abraham, of Redwood City, said she originally had an open mind about the housing project. However, the more she researched Cargill and its partner, DMB, the more doubt she had, said Abraham.”

“‘It kind of gives you pause and what impact that might have on (the salt ponds) project, which is going to be a longer, more profound project and their ability to see the project through,’ said Abraham.”

Read the full article: Pick up a copy of today’s Palo Alto Daily Post at numerous locations throughout the Peninsula.

GO Giants! GO AWAY Cargill!

The Phillies weren’t the only out-of-towners that were dealt a blow yesterday. As Giants fans were filing into AT&T Park, just before the Giants/Phillies NLCS game on the beautiful Bay shoreline, a banner was flying over the stadium telling Cargill and their luxury developer, DMB Associates, not to pave our precious San Francisco Bay. Fans were reminded that while our very own SF Giants are fighting for the National League title, corporate “giants” from Minnesota and Arizona are scheming to pave over and develop the very Bay that defines our region.

Check out some pics from the flyover!

If the fact that Minnesota-based agribiz giant Cargill has the gall to try to build a city on the Bay enrages you as much as it does us, sign the petition and learn more at

Dead End Ahead for Cargill

Sign the petition to stop Cargill and help us meet the goal to get 5,000 signatures by spreading the word to your friends!

Things keep getting worse and worse for Cargill and their Arizona-based luxury homes developer in their attempt to fill in 1,436 acres of San Francisco Bay salt ponds.

Not only have more than 140 elected officials from around the region come out against the project, but so have the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. An editorial in today’s San Mateo Daily Journal describing Cargill’s “overambitious plan” warns of “a long and contentious road ahead” if they continue on their current path.

This follows recent statements from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Water Board, and the EPA – three of the agencies Cargill would need permits from for their project to be approved – noting the importance of protecting and restoring the Redwood City salt ponds.

And today Save the Bay is proud to announce our new website – – to ratchet up the pressure on Cargill and the Redwood City Council. While the support of elected officials, newspapers, and strong statements from regulatory agencies are big boosts to our work – we know that to beat America’s largest private company, we need everyone in the Bay Area on board. Will you help us?
NOW is the time for you to stand up to stop Cargill from paving our Bay! We need 5,000 signatures by August 16 to show Redwood City Council there is widespread opposition to Cargill’s proposed development and convince them to stop this project in its tracks. Please sign the petition and spread the word at! Please promote this on your Facebook and Twitter pages also.

Cargill’s development is 17 times bigger than any other bay fill project approved in the past 50 years. It is, by far, the largest proposal on the San Francisco Bay since the introduction of environmental regulations in the early ‘60s. Now is the time for the entire region to show that our bay is not for filling – but for the health and enjoyment of all.

— Josh Sonnenfeld, Campaign Manager

Bay Area leaders step up to save salt ponds

Regional opposition to Cargill’s plan to build a new city of up to 30,000 people on 1,436 acres of restorable salt ponds continues to grow dramatically.

Last week more than 90 elected officials from all nine Bay Area counties submitted a letter to the City Council of Redwood City urging them to reject a massive development on Bay salt ponds proposed by Cargill Inc., declaring, “The era of filling San Francisco Bay is over.”

You can read about this significant swell of support from Bay Area leaders in the SF Chronicle and the SJ Mercury News.

Dozens of mayors and city council members, county supervisors, and state legislators strongly oppose the project, agreeing that “salt ponds are not land to be paved – they are part of San Francisco Bay to be restored to tidal marsh for wildlife habitat, natural flood protection for our communities, cleaner water, and recreation areas for everyone to enjoy.”

In addition to this latest batch of elected officials to come out against the proposed development, the Menlo Park City Council voted to formally oppose the project citing the urgent need to protect and restore San Francisco Bay.

And Peter Drekmeier, former mayor of Palo Alto has said, “It is not 1960, and the Bay is not the place for housing. This is not smart growth like Redwood City’s award-winning downtown projects. That’s why the City Council should just say ‘no’ to Cargill now.”

The bottom line: we all have a stake in what happens to our Bay. We must come together as a region to stop Cargill from paving over and destroying our great natural resource. If you have not yet signed our petition opposing this project yourself, please sign it today. You can also urge your own state legislators to sign the opposition letter by clicking here.

— Amy Ricard, Communications and Policy Associate