5 Great Spots to Learn About SF Bay

As the mom of an inquisitive 7 year old, I’m always looking for fun and beautiful places for my family to learn more about San Francisco Bay.  Here are 5 of my favorite places to learn, play and explore:

  1. Exploratorium: Science-based learning is a huge part of our mission here at Save The Bay.  And the Exploratorium located at Pier 15 in San Francisco shares that value. With hundreds of exhibits to explore and engage with, The Exploratorium has many Bay-related exhibits. Check out the Bay Observation Terrace on the upper level where you can uncover the history, geography and ecology of the Bay Area.  Plus, walk right outside and enjoy the beautiful vistas of San Francisco Bay.

    Exploratorium photo, save the bay staff
    The Exploratorium’s waterfront location offers stunning Bay views. Photo: Save The Bay staff
  2. CuriOdyssey: If learning about wildlife interest you, CuriOdyssey has many exhibits dedicated to animals that call San Francisco Bay Area home including the river otter and the black crowned night heron. Walk through a 4,000-square-foot aviary and see if you can spot a snowy egret or a golden eagle.

    3453-2 Snowy Egret Arrowhead Marsh
    Snowy Egret at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland. Photo: Rick Lewis
  3. Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Visit the nation’s first urban national wildlife refuge on the southern end of San Francisco Bay in Fremont. Don Edwards NWR has 30,000 acres that host millions of migratory birds and endangered species. There are numerous recreation activities to choose from including wildlife viewing and interpretive walks. If you are lucky, you might spot two endangered species endemic to San Francisco Bay: the Ridgway’s rail and the salt marsh harvest mouse.

    Newark Slough, Photo: Paul Crockett
    Newark Slough, Don Edwards NWR Photo: Paul Crockett
  4. Aquarium of the Bay: Committed to protecting and restoring San Francisco Bay, the Aquarium of the Bay is a great place to discover more about marine animals. Get up close to some of the native shark species that call the Bay home like the leopard shark and the sevengill shark. Check out these fun “shark-tivities” including feeding the sharks, a shark touch pool and an exciting walk through the underwater tunnel.

    The Broadnose Sevengill Shark is one of six shark species that live in San Francisco Bay.Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium
  5. Bay Area Discovery Museum: With expansive views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito is a great way to play and learn about the Bay.  Play outdoors and feel the rush of cold-water tide pools, climb around iconic Bay Area landmarks or be a ship captain in Lookout Cove. Play indoors in Bay Hall with boats, ships and a Fisherman’s Wharf model.  This is a fun destination to be inspired by the Bay’s beauty and let your imagination run wild.

    Golden Gate Bridge at Sunset - Photo: Jill Zwicky
    View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Cavillo Point. Photo: Jill Zwicky

These 5 great spots to learn about SF Bay, have my 7 year old’s seal of approval!

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Looking for more ways to celebrate and enjoy the beauty of our Bay? Check out top spots to celebrate the bay, curated by our friends at Yelp!

Education Programs Grow Bay Stewards

8th grader Anya's class connected with the Bay through Save The Bay's Restoration Education Program.
8th grader Anya’s class connected with the Bay through Save The Bay’s Restoration Education Program. Watch her story.

Budding Bay Saver Anya Tucker is busy. From writing her first science fiction novel to persuasively advocating for a healthy environment, she is an impressive example of what’s possible when you invest in the next generation of creative problem solvers, scientists, and stewards.

An 8th grader from Oakland’s Julia Morgan School for Girls, Anya’s class spent a day doing tidal marsh restoration work and studying the science of the San Francisco Bay with us in April.

Her teacher Jess Dang connected with Save The Bay when she was looking for real-world science opportunities for the school’s Go Girl! Leadership program. “Quality, hands-on science is so important for youth, but girls especially. Even though the achievement gap is being closed in schools, women still lag behind men in engineering, math and science careers,” says Dang.

When Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin, and Esther Gulick founded Save The Bay in 1961, women made up just 7.3 percent of the United States’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) PhDs.

We’ve come a long way since then. Today, 41 percent of STEM PhDs are women. It’s a heartening statistic, but a PhD does not translate into a life in science and community leadership. When it comes to the actual STEM workforce, only 27 percent are women.

Empowering women in science means showing girls they belong in the field. For Ms. Dang, working with Save The Bay is a no-brainer. “The girls can really see the change they are making in the Bay.”

Anya has always hated cigarettes and smoking, but her field program with Save The Bay gave her an environment-wide view of the problem. “I never realized how many of those cigarette butts dropped on the ground actually end up in the Bay… We get one planet to live on and it’s our choice how we treat it.”

At Save The Bay, we are grateful for the strong, passionate scientists on our team who foster an educational experience that emphasizes creativity, inquiry and getting your hands dirty to restore tidal marsh one seedling at a time. Every year, 2,000 youth join us on the shorelines and tidal marshes, and through our work we hope to inspire the next generation of Bay scientists and stewards.

Save The Bay is always looking for new ways to share the stories of our restoration programs, so we were excited to use Adobe Voice to transform Jess and Anya’s experience into the video above.