12 months of Bay photos: Get your 2017 calendar today!

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I am thrilled to share with you the 2017 Save The Bay calendar! A huge thank you goes to our volunteer photographers who have generously donated their stunning Bay images to our Calendar Photo Contest. These unparalleled and spectacular photos are spotlighted in the 2017 Save The Bay Calendar and serve as a monthly reminder of the importance of protecting and restoring the San Francisco Bay.

The breathtaking photos inside the 2017 calendar pay tribute to one of the remarkable women who started it all—Sylvia McLaughlin. Sylvia joined with Esther Gulick and Kay Kerr more than 50 years ago to co-found Save The Bay.

Today, Sylvia’s legacy inspires us to tackle the new challenges facing our Bay. So I hope you’ll hang your calendar somewhere special where it can inspire you and serve as a daily reminder of the Bay treasures you are helping to save. The beautiful Bay we work to save is still under constant threat–from toxic Styrofoam, plastic bags, cigarette butts, and polluted runoff.

Your gift of just $25 or more will help restore pivotal shoreline habitat, prevent pollution from entering our Bay, lead the way for Bay Smart communities, and so much more. As a special thank you, we will send you the beautiful 2017 Save The Bay Calendar to remind you of the beauty your donation is helping to save.

Make a special tax-deductible contribution of just $25 or more, and we’ll send you a copy of this gorgeous full-sized, full color, wall calendar as our thank-you.

I’m for the Bay because…

IMG_1968_fb2What do you love about San Francisco Bay? Everyone who lives in the Bay Area has fallen for the Bay at some point, which explains why Bay Area natives are so proud of this area. The Bay adds to the beauty of the region and connects unique and bustling cities that comprise the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up in Alameda, I’ve had the unique opportunity to take my dog along the Bay within a 5 minute walk.  It’s hard to imagine not having that chance to enjoy the Bay at least once a week. The Bay is a constant reminder of just how lucky we are to live in such a gorgeous region.

For my summer project at Save The Bay, it only seemed fitting to focus on local love for the Bay, its importance, and how it brings together people from many different walks of life. I wanted to take photos of Bay Area residents expressing their love for the Bay and its importance to them. The Bay has different meanings to different people, but in the end they all connect to the fact that the Bay has significant importance to each person. This project engages different types of people, such as bicyclists, parents, runners, outdoorsy people, and environmentalists about their love for the Bay.

During the process of asking people to fill out the signs for the pictures, I found it interesting how most people picked “My favorite spot along the Bay is…” sign instead of “I am for the Bay because…”.  Several people mentioned that it was hard from them to describe, in one phrase, the exact reasons why they are for restoring the Bay. After I thought about that, it made sense because I had trouble explaining it myself. Of course I am for protecting the Bay (I do work for Save The Bay, right?!), but they are abstract reasons, so it is hard to articulate in one sentence. Maybe that is the point; many of us cannot imagine the Bay Area if the Bay was taken out of the equation because the region would not have the same feel without it. 

As you can see from this photo project, Save The Bay’s restoration efforts matter to people from all walks of life — from dogs, to adults, to teenagers. We all have reasons for protecting the Bay, and there are dozens of spots along the shoreline where we can experience our personal moments of appreciation for living in such a beautiful place. Personally, I am for the Bay because I want my future family to be able to enjoy living in the Bay Area just as much as I have. And my favorite spot along the Bay? It’s where I can sit on top of a cement boat on the edge of Bay Farm Island in Alameda and look out directly across the Bay to see the Bay Bridge, an outline of San Francisco, Oakland and the rest of Alameda.

View all the photos from this project here.

SLIDESHOW: Birds of the Redwood City Salt Ponds

We have written in the past about Cargill’s attempt to mislead the public and government agencies about the ecological value of the Redwood City salt ponds. While Cargill and its development partner, DMB Pacific, have withdrawn their original plan to build as many as 12,000 houses on the site, the companies consistently say they intend to submit another plan to fill the below-sea-level, restorable salt ponds with housing. As Cargill is busy lobbying federal agencies to exempt the ponds from the Clean Water Act and other important environmental regulations that protect the Bay, now seems like a good time to remind ourselves of the beauty and diversity of bird life found on these salt ponds.

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The San Francisco Bay salt ponds support hundreds of thousands of migratory shorebirds who rely on the Bay as a key stop on their route along the Pacific Flyway. The San Francisco Bay, in fact, is a recognized site of hemispheric importance for migratory shorebirds, and the Bay’s salt ponds provide important habitat for dozens of species, including several that are threatened or endangered.

Studies from Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory), a leader in studying shorebirds along the Pacific Flyway, document that the Redwood City salt ponds are home to at least 24,800 shorebirds annually, including the federally threatened Western Snowy Plover, a species whose surviving Pacific coast population now numbers just 1,500-2,000 birds. In addition, Point Blue describes the Redwood City ponds as having “among the highest [bird] counts from the West side of the Bay between the Bay and Dumbarton bridges” making up more than a quarter of the total shorebird population of the region.

The Environmental Protection Agency has called the Redwood City salt ponds a “critically important aquatic resource that warrants special protection,” as has the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board. Even Cargill’s own environmental consultants have observed over 70 different species at the Redwood City salt ponds, and have documented the federally-threatened Western Snowy Plover breeding on site.

Save The Bay has shared photos of the large numbers of birds that live on the Redwood City salt ponds in the past, but to really appreciate the beauty and fascinating behavior of these birds, you have to see them up close and personal.

Cargill has restricted access to the site, so we have turned to Bob Cossins and other talented local photographers for a good look at a few of the species that have been observed on the Redwood City salt ponds. Take a look at the slideshow and learn a little bit more about the shorebirds that are at risk of losing their home if Cargill is successful in their plans to pave over these 1,400 acres of San Francisco Bay. Help us protect the Redwood City salt ponds from development – sign our petition telling Cargill “Don’t Pave My Bay” and spread the word with your friends and neighbors!

 

(Special thanks to former Save The Bay policy volunteer Leland Malkus for his substantial support in the publication of this article and slideshow. All bird descriptions are courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)