We were thrilled to host over 250 enthusiastic volunteers from The Conservation Alliance at the MLK Shoreline in Oakland in honor of Earth Day. The Conservation Alliance’s mission is to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values.
Thank you to the members of The Conservation Alliance, including employees of CamelBak, Clif Bar, JanSport, lucy Activewear, Mountain Hardwear, Marmot, The North Face, REI, and GU Energy Labs. These outdoor enthusiasts know just how important San Francisco Bay is to our quality of life.
We are all aware that saving our Bay takes precious time and resources to ensure that the next generation will be able to enjoy the beauty and lifestyle that we have come to love. We are also probably equally aware that volunteering and financially supporting Save The Bay are vital ways to get involved with the organization and to support the Bay. I want to take a moment to tell you about three unique ways you can also get involved with Save The Bay—they are less obvious than volunteering and donating, but are just as important and meaningful.
1. Take Action.
Help eliminate toxic tobacco litter from entering our Bay and polluting our water, harming wildlife, and costing taxpayers millions to clean up.
Sign the petition today to call on your city to pass an outdoor smoking ban that would stop cigarette butt litter at its source.
2. Tell your neighbor.
The work to continue to protect and restore San Francisco Bay is ongoing, and the more people we have in our community working together, the greater chance we have of making a real impact. Talk with your neighbor about the importance of Bay wetlands and pollution prevention, and share ways that they can contribute.
Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates to share with your friends, family and colleagues.
3. Become an advocate for us at work.
Whether you are a part of a small or large office, being an advocate for Save The Bay at your place of employment, not only educates others about the importance of saving the Bay, but also allows for our network of communities to grow and ban together. You may be able to leverage matching gifts or company grants to protect and restore the Bay.
These are just a few of the ways to get involved with Save The Bay. Please know that the Bay and everyone here appreciate all of the little things that each of you do for our environment! If you have a unique way that you help out the Bay already, let us know in the comments section. Thank you to all of you who continue to make the Bay Area a special and sustainable place to live!
Recently I had the pleasure of leading a volunteer event with Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. at our newest restoration site at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve. They showed up bright and early with positive attitudes and festive team shirts that displayed their iconic rabbit label (in case you were wondering, the rabbit’s name is Bernie).
As we drove out to our site through a maze of levees just south of the San Mateo Bridge we stopped to show them relics of the salt ponds that once covered the now ecological reserve and described future plans for the site, which will be open to the public in just a few years.
Once we arrived at our site we quickly got down to business. We worked hard as Willets searched for food in adjacent mud flats and flocks of sandpipers flew overhead in great numbers like a murmuration of Starlings. By the end of the day we were exhausted — and for a good reason. In total Annie’s installed over 100 native plants, including Marsh Baccharis (Baccharis glutinosa), Western Goldenrod (Euthamia occidentalis), and Creeping Wild Rye (Elymus triticoides). I am often impressed by how much gets done during our corporate volunteer programs.
After we cleaned up, we piled into our cars and drove back to the parking lot where we met. We said our thank yous and good byes and parted ways. My colleague and I reflected on the productive day and spoke longingly for next year’s program with Annie’s.
Little did we know we’d be hearing from them again much sooner than that. A little less than a month after our restoration event with them at Eden Landing, Annie’s sent us 2,500 organic granola bars to share with our volunteers! Now during our restoration programs we are proud to share these fantastic snacks made by a company that takes pride in sustainable, quality ingredients and cares as much about community as we do at Save the Bay. Our staff is so grateful for Annie’s contribution.
On May 2nd, 150 Googlers provided Save The Bay with 10% of the native plants needed for an entire winter planting season. The day started at Garfield Park with an introduction from Save The Bay’s Executive Director, David Lewis, and then we got to work.
Save The Bay sowed the seeds we collected last spring, and these seedlings grew too big for their flats. Googlers helped by transplanting 3,273 individual seedlings into their own containers in preparation for winter planting. These plants will grow big and strong in Save The Bay’s nurseries this summer and later provide shelter and breeding grounds for more than 100 threatened and endangered species, including the California clapper rail, salt marsh harvest mouse and snowy plover.
Save The Bay’s work sites contribute to more than 310 miles of Bay Trail that connects Bay Area residents to hundreds of parks and open spaces. Tidal salt marshes also protect communities from flooding, filter trash and pollutants before they reach the Bay, and serve as the base of the food chain for countless creatures. In addition, the plants we worked with will help the middle and high school students who come out on Save The Bay education programs this year learn more about the importance of tidal salt marshes. This event was a great example of corporate responsibility and Save The Bay’s community engagement program.
Suresh Raman has been volunteering with Save The Bay since 2005. He supports Save The Bay’s work not only by getting his hands dirty out on the shoreline with us, but also by being a dedicated donor. Suresh has increased his impact through eBay’s matching gifts program and by nominating Save The Bay to be considered for eBay Foundation GIVE Team grants. Thanks to Suresh’s passion and support for bay protection and restoration, more people are contributing to make our Bay cleaner and healthier!
What motivated you to get involved with Save The Bay?
I am always against the “development” (read: destruction) that takes place on ecologically sensitive land like wetlands, regardless of any perceived economic gain. It is always a long term loss for the environment and eventually for the economy as well. Save The Bay’s mission to protect and restore the natural state of the Bay and the lands surrounding it is very appealing to me. But what I am really thrilled about is Save The Bay’s success in restoring old salt ponds back to wetlands.
What has been your most memorable Save The Bay experience or event?
There have been two, the first as a restoration volunteer at Bair Island when Save The Bay’s Executive Director, David Lewis joined us. He regaled us with historical facts and figures about Bair Island and its ecology while we went about the restoration work. The second was a special Save The Bay Salt Pond Tour. The highlight of that outing was the walk up to the top of the old landfill that overlooks the infamous Cargill/DMB salt ponds. I’ll never forget that experience and being in the company of special people who all share my passion for the environment.
How easy was it to engage your employer in a cause that you believe in? And do you have any advice for other employees?
With eBay it was easy. eBay has a matching gifts program, where an employee contribution to any non-profit is matched dollar for dollar up to a maximum. eBay also has a bi-annual GIVE team grant making program for non-profits, with an application and selection process. I am happy that the GIVE committee has been benevolent to Save The Bay on many occasions. There have been the occasional eBay corporate team volunteer events as well. I am hoping that we can do more corporate volunteering in the future. eBay also has a Green Team that has an active role in shaping the green culture of the company. I hope this all makes a big difference eventually.
Where is your favorite place to spend time along the Bay?
The Alviso slough. It is a quiet place (almost lonely in fact) to do some sight-seeing, hiking or biking. I once went biking there and tried to race a train that was passing by on the tracks next to the trail. I lost badly, even with the wind on by back.
What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area?
Everything… the scenery, the climate, the bay itself, the intellectual capacity of the people fostering a hot-bed of innovation here, and the diversity of the culture. An amazing place really!!