Getting Muddy for Earth Day

Early this morning, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) joined Save The Bay and California Coastal Conservancy staff at Eden Landing for an Earth Day planting event.  Swalwell, who was elected to Congress in 2012, didn’t hesitate to get his hands dirty.

Rep. Swalwell gets muddy
Rep. Eric Swalwell gets muddy while he helps plant native vegetation at Eden Landing in Hayward.

In partnership with the South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project and California Department of Fish and Game, Save The Bay is working to restore transition zone habitat adjacent to tidal wetlands at Eden Landing Ecological Reserve on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in Hayward.  We bring volunteers out for hands-on restoration and stewardship projects to improve habitat, furthering the connection between our communities and the Bay.

On this beautiful morning, Congressman Swalwell helped us plant Seaside Arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima), one of many species critical to the transition zone where dry land slopes down in to open waters.  Native plants like Arrowgrass thrive here, and provide critical habitat for threatened and endangered species like the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse.

Want to come out and join us for a planting day?  Check out our public program calendar and reserve a spot today.

Volunteer Spotlight | Meet The Reverend Dr. Arlene K. Nehring

The Rev. Dr. Arlene K. Nehring
Each fall, The Rev. Dr. Nehring’s church spends a day volunteering with Save The Bay.

Meet The Reverend Dr. Arlene K. Nehring, originally from Beinbeck, Iowa.

How many times have you volunteered with Save The Bay?
Four times. I come out every fall with our church group.

Do you have a favorite site or experience?
Eden Landing

How did you get involved with Save The Bay? Our church has a special connection to Eden Landing because the Oliver Salt Plant was owned by a family in our congregation.

What is the best thing about volunteering with Save The Bay?
Being able to bring people of all ages to work together with neighbors to care for the Bay. 

What other activities or hobbies do you enjoy? Working with our friends and neighbors on community projects.

If you could be one Bay plant or animal, what would it be and why? A heron; they are so beautiful and graceful and they have a great view from their homes.

Who is your environmental hero? Sylvia McLaughlin

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area? The culture and ecological diversity

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

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay? Walking along the shoreline.

Help restore the Bay this planting season — volunteer with us.

Notes from the Field | High School Volunteers In The Marsh

Throughout the school year, Save The Bay runs programs with high school students and I always greatly enjoy working with this age group. I am particularly impressed when young people choose to spend a portion of their weekend volunteering to help preserve our tidal marshes. Amid homework, sports games, SATs, college applications, and a number of other activities, these students have set aside time to give back to their community.

Check out these photos of high school students hard at work restoring our sites at Eden Landing in Hayward and Byxbee Park in the Palo Alto Baylands. We are so inspired by their enthusiasm for restoring San Francisco Bay!

Eden Landing, Hayward

Byxbee Park,  Palo Alto Baylands

When asked why they volunteer with Save The Bay, students responded:

“It’s cool to learn about different plants.” -Amanda

“I like learning about the species and everyone is really nice.” -Divya

“I’ve been coming since September. I really like how the place feels…Last time I came, I saw a Jackrabbit!” – Jenet

“It’s fun. I like the food.” -Fernando

Join us in the marsh to find out which edible plants Fernando has been enjoying!

 Jess Madding, Education Specialist 

Notes from the Field | RAE Family Reunion in Florida

Save The Bay at RAE
Save The Bay reunited with our “family” of conservation organizations at Restore America’s Estuaries in Tampa. Representing Save The Bay were (clockwise from left): Donna Ball, Laura Wainer, Seth Chanin, Dylan Chapple, and David Lewis.

Family reunions can be wonderfully meaningful events, especially when they don’t involve awkward conversations and mandatory group photos with your distant relatives.  Last month, Save The Bay reunited with its “family” of ten community-based conservation organizations in Tampa, FL for their biennial conference.  The consortium, collectively referred to as Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), was joined by hundreds of other participants from government agencies, academic institutions, consulting firms, and non-profits.  Representatives from Save The Bay included David Lewis (our Executive Director), Donna Ball (Restoration Director), Laura Wainer (Senior Scientist), Dylan Chapple (a past Restoration staff now getting his PhD at UC Berkeley), and me, Seth Chanin.

Over the course of five days, conference attendees exchanged restoration strategies, community-based program structures, experimental outcomes, and educational techniques.  Laura delivered a wonderful presentation on the experimental planting work we are doing at Oakland’s Arrowhead Marsh, and Dylan shared the results of the work he is doing to test the use of soil amendments at Eden Landing in Hayward.   I also had a chance to present at the conference, joining educators from the Galveston Bay Foundation and North Carolina Coastal Federation to teach a workshop on education program evaluation techniques.

Though the conference sessions at Restore America’s Estuaries were tremendously informative, the most valuable aspect of my time in Florida was the opportunity for networking and informal sharing of experiences.   Field trips, meals, and explorations around downtown Tampa provided ample opportunity for memorable conversations with peers from other organizations, many of which have continued over email and phone.

I hope to reunite with the RAE family again in 2014!


Volunteer Spotlight | Meet Carolyn and Mandeep

Carolyn and Mandeep
Carolyn and Mandeep pose by the Bay at Eden Landing in Hayward.

Meet Carolyn and Mandeep, students from Fremont.

How many times have you volunteered with Save The Bay? 
5-7 times

Do you have a favorite site or experience? Pulling out Russian Thistles.

How did you get involved with Save The Bay? We had to do a high school service project.

What is the best thing about volunteering with Save The Bay? Learning about how we affect the local community.

What other activities or hobbies do you enjoy?
Sports, music, sleeping, bothering our siblings.

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

Who is your environmental hero? 3 women who founded Save The Bay

What is your favorite thing about the San Francisco Bay Area? Calm and serene environment.

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

Anything else you want to tell us? Happy 50th Anniversary!