Checks and Credit Cards Aren’t the Only Ways to Support Our Work


Have you been meaning to mix up your holiday shopping with some holiday giving?

A donation to Save The Bay could help us create habitat, prevent pollution, or connect students to wetlands they might not otherwise have the chance to explore.

Plus, we’re happy to share: checks and credit cards aren’t the only ways to support our work!

Ways You Can Protect the Heart of our Home:

  • Vehicle Donation Program – Yes, cars can help our cause! Save The Bay’s vehicle and boat donation program provides crucial support to our programs. Making the donation is easy – visit www.savesfbay.org/vehicle-donations to turn your unwanted vehicle into a charitable contribution.
  • Donating your IRA Assets – Use your traditional IRA to make your charitable gift. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows people age 70 ½+ to make charitable gifts up to $100,000/year directly to Save The Bay without incurring federal income tax on the withdrawal. Contact Katie Reitter at KReitter@saveSFbay.org or 510-463-6837 to get the process started.
  • Planned Giving – When you include Save The Bay in your will, trust, or beneficiary listings, you help ensure that future generations will enjoy a healthy, vibrant Bay. Your estate gift will have a lasting impact on the Bay, allowing diverse communities around the region to experience its beauty. Let us know that you have included Save The Bay in your estate plans and we’ll send you a beautiful framed Bay photo as a special thanks! Contact Katie Reitter at KReitter@saveSFbay.org or 510-463-6837.
  • Stock Donations – Did you know that Save The Bay accepts stock gifts? By making a gift of stock held longer than one year, you avoid paying capital gains tax altogether. Visit www.savesfbay.org/stock for account information.
  • Workplace Giving & Matching Gifts – Your employer may offer valuable ways for you to support Save The Bay’s programs. Visit www.savesfbay.org/employer-matched-gifts to learn if payroll deduction contributions and matching gifts are possibilities at your organization.
  • AmazonSmile – Give back while you shop this holiday season! Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to Save The Bay whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.  Simply visit www.smile.amazon.com and select Save The Bay as your charity of choice.
  • Make a Tribute Gift – You can even celebrate a loved one while championing our programs. Give to Save The Bay in honor of a friend’s birthday, wedding or other special event. You can also give the gift of membership! Visit www.savesfbay.org/tribute to make your tribute gift today.
  • Become a Bay Sustainer – Of course, traditional donations are always welcome! Bay Sustainers are a special group of Save The Bay members who make regular monthly gifts. Sign up to be a Bay Sustainer and we will send you a limited edition Save The Bay t-shirt: www.savesfbay.org/baysustainer
  • Volunteer – 44,000 pounds of weeds can’t remove themselves! Our dedicated volunteers were behind that breathtaking stat and many more this year. Save The Bay is profoundly grateful to have the support of thousands of people who show up rain or shine to pitch in at our restoration events. Their hard work helps us create habitat, protect wildlife, and improve water quality across San Francisco Bay. Check out our calendar to get involved: https://www.savesfbay.org/volunteer/calendar 

All of these options help Save The Bay protect the heart of our home for future generations.

For more information on the numerous ways to give please, contact Jackie Richardson at Jackie@saveSFbay.org or at 510-463-6835.

Brunch by the Bay: The NextGen of Bay Stewards

Brunch by the Bay Speakers
Brunch by the Bay Speakers

 

One of the most enjoyable events I get to run in my role is Save The Bay’s Brunch by the Bay. On Saturday, August 19th we hosted more than 60 guests, including many founding members, at the Berkeley Yacht Club to commemorate the organization’s founding and discuss our plans for the future.  We look forward to this event every year as a way to honor the organization’s deep roots and remind ourselves that our founders accomplished “impossible” things against all odds.  Sylvia, Kay, and Esther were three women living in a world dominated by men in the 1950s and 1960s. Their world had no environmental protection laws, and they successfully banded together for the good of the Bay and the communities that call it home.

I have spent my entire adult life and the majority of my decade long career standing up for women’s rights. When I learned about the founding of Save The Bay and the three fearless women who started a revolutionary movement to prevent Bay fill, I immediately wanted to join the cause. I enjoy working for Save The Bay because of our inspiring founding story, my Bay Area roots, and most importantly so I can teach my 18 month old daughter the importance of fighting climate change through proactive and nature-based solutions.

A commonly held goal amongst parents is to make the world better for our children and generations to come. This sentiment was echoed at the Founder’s Brunch by Allison Chan, our Bay Smart Communities Manager, who is making real strides on behalf of Save The Bay to help the Bay Area reach zero trash by 2022. One thing that drives Allison is the hope that her baby girl will grow up in a cleaner and healthier environment. Our other speaker, Kenneth Rangel, spoke about his work on the habitat restoration team and how some of the students he takes to the shoreline have never seen the Bay despite growing up just a few miles away. Thanks to Kenneth and his fellow restoration colleagues, Save The Bay leads over 5,000 volunteers to restore the shoreline every year.

Brunch By The Bay 2017

We must honor the unprecedented victories of our founders and continue to protect, preserve, and restore our beautiful Bay, which is at the heart of our Bay Area community. By joining the Save The Bay Legacy Society, you can support this vision! Your legacy can be to leave this beautiful community stronger and more resilient for those who come after us.  I am so moved that Save The Bay has received almost a quarter of a million dollars in legacy bequest gifts this year.  This unexpected funding allows us to hire and retain staff, like Kenneth and Allison, and equip them to engage more volunteers and advocates.

In the spirit of legacy, I encourage you to join us as a member of Save The Bay’s Legacy Society. We are so passionate about our Legacy Society that we’re offering a special, one-time opportunity to receive a beautiful framed photo of San Francisco Bay if you let us know that we are a part of your estate plans.  To learn more about legacy giving and receive your Bay photo, please contact me at kreitter@savesfbay.org or 510-463-6837.

I continue to be inspired by the stories of our founding members—how the Bay was in a dire state before Save The Bay was formed and how our founders’ tenacity and grit helped to transform it. I am grateful to our founding members for making the Bay Area a better place for me, and I am committed to doing the same for my daughter. Thank you for standing with us.

 

Coming Back to the Bay

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When I left for college, I knew that I would miss the comforts of home: friends, family, my bed, home cooked meals, and the smiling face of my golden retriever.  What I didn’t realize was the extent to which I would miss the diverse coastal landscape of the San Francisco Bay.

When I first traveled to Walla Walla, Washington, the small town where Whitman College is located, I was surprised to see how bare the landscape was. Flying over Walla Walla, all I could see for miles and miles were fields of yellow and brown. Soon after arriving on campus I learned that these were wheat fields and that they surrounded the area. As I familiarized myself with my new home, I began to appreciate the vast horizon that a flat landscape created and the striking oranges and reds that filled the sky above the wheat fields at sunset.

Although I’ve become very fond of Walla Walla, the Bay Area will always have my heart, and every time I come home my love for the Bay seems to grow even more. I still distinctly remember the first time I returned to the Bay after beginning college. It was Thanksgiving break and I had been counting down the days for weeks. I loved school and all of the amazing friends that I had made, but I longed for the smell of salt marshes, for the sound of waves reaching the shore and for the feeling of sand tickling between my toes.

When the time finally came to fly home to Marin, I plugged in my headphones, closed my eyes and envisioned all of my favorite places: Kirby Cove, China Camp, Point Reyes National Seashore, the Stinson Bolinas Lagoon and Muir Beach. Images of early morning fog, Sausalito houseboats, and California poppies danced in my head. I pictured myself hiking the endless trails of Mount Tamalpais and looking out on the Bay from its peak.

Before I knew it, I heard the pilot come on the loudspeaker, announcing that it was time to put our tray tables up and our seats back. The window seat provided the perfect view of our descent into San Francisco. When I looked out at the Pacific, my heart filled with warmth. As we flew over the Marin Headlands, I caught my first glimpse of the Golden Gate, the bridge that had connected me from school to home for years. It was the golden hour, the time when the sun hangs just above the Bay, leaving a glimmering layer of light over the water’s surface right before it sets.

To this day, I still cannot accurately describe the way that coming home makes me feel or the unique perspective that flying over the Bay provides. I always knew that the Bay Area was a very special place and that I was extremely lucky to have grown up there, but it wasn’t until I left that I realized just how important the Bay is to me.

Working at Save The Bay this summer has allowed me to engage in environmental work that pertains to the places that I am most passionate about protecting. Learning about Save The Bay’s amazing founders and the legacy that they created has inspired me to fight for the places that I care about and has further instilled my love for the Bay.

 

Off the Beaten Path: An Adventure Along the Mokelumne River

Mokelumne River California
Photo by Jackie Richardson

As an avid local day hiker I always longed for a bit more of an adventure. At the end of this summer I had the opportunity to take my very first backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the Sierra Nevada mountain range for a real off the beaten path experience.

Little did I know that I was hiking right along the Mokelumne Watershed, which links to the San Francisco Bay! The Mokelumne River begins in the Sierra Nevada, flows through the foothills across the Central Valley and into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which empties into the San Francisco Bay. Not only does it supply most of the East Bay’s residents their drinking water through the Mokelumne Aqueduct, but it also provides clean water to a thriving San Francisco Bay.

Pictured at the top right was the first stop, Lower Kinney Lake of Mokelumne Watershed. Kinney Lakes are actually a trio of reservoirs along Ebbetts Pass where you can often find PCT hikers camping out for a night. Once I arrived at Lower Kinney Lake I couldn’t believe how serene and clean the glass-like water appeared.

Mokelumne River
Photo by Jackie Richardson

While both preparing and hiking along the watershed I learned a few do’s and don’ts of backpacking (from a first timer’s perspective) highlighted below:

Do:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. I was surprised to find out how long it took to prepare my pack due to the limited amount of space.
  • Research! Be sure you have an idea of exactly what you need for your trip from tents and sleeping bags to freeze dried food.
  • Get fitted for your pack. This is one of the most important things I learned while getting ready for my trip. Have a professional fit you for your pack so you can be as comfortable as possible while hauling 40+ pounds up a mountain. Be sure they fill your pack with a realistic weight so you have an idea of how it would feel full. Make sure the majority from the weight of your pack is resting comfortably on your hips and not entirely on your back or shoulders. I was adjusting the straps on my pack for the first two miles of the trek until I found a comfortable fit. Everyone is different; make sure you find a pack that fits you right.
  • Take everything out that you brought in. A sign of a good backpacker is leaving no sign that you were ever there.

Don’t:

  • Don’t pack more than you can carry. This is very common for first time backpackers. Take the essentials and nothing more. Conserve weight by purchasing a water purifier, freeze-dried food and keep the electronics at home.
  • Don’t be an over-achiever. Do what you can. Carrying a 40+ pound pack is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Don’t out-do yourself on the first day.
  • Don’t skimp on the essentials, including rain gear, shelter and good hiking boots.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of nature. Be aware and know what’s around you.

While hiking along the Mokelumne Watershed I learned first-hand the satisfaction and challenges of backpacking, I also took on a whole new perspective about how water travels from the Sierra to the Bay. Backpacking in such an isolated area, knowing that the environment surrounding me supports the health of our Bay reminded me how important it is to take care of our environment, no matter where the trail takes you.

 

Time to Unplug

Unplug
Grover Hot Springs, Markleeville, CA

“Remember, you’re here to relax and get away from it all,” my boyfriend says as I frantically try to post one last photo of my roadside lunch on Instagram. We’re in a hot car, driving in the middle of nowhere for a long-awaited camping trip that we scheduled months ago as a way for us to escape from our busy schedules. At the time it seemed like a good idea, but with the fading reception of my trusty smartphone and one final text message (To my cat sitter: “please make sure you use the blue plate to feed her, she does NOT like bowls because they touch her whiskers”), I can’t help but feel a little bit anxious. I’m not worried about the fact that we might get mauled by bears or that a meltdown might happen at work, but I can’t shake the eerie feeling of suddenly being disconnected from my friends and networks, from an outlet for my thoughts. As we pass historical ruins and kitschy roadside tourist traps I find myself composing posts in my head that I know would make my friends laugh or probably collect a lot of “likes,” only to be unable to share them. It is weird. With the realization that there is no outlet for these musings (and that my phone is more-or-less useless to me at this point), I reluctantly hold down the power button and shut my phone off.

When’s the last time you unplugged? I mean REALLY unplugged. No phone, no games, no need to share (or even think about sharing) with others what you are doing at that moment—a true break for your brain from the chatter of the world around you. The answer might surprise you.

As the Online Communications Manager at Save The Bay (and a full-fledged millennial), I not only spend a good portion of my life staring at a screen, but the majority of my waking hours thinking about what I’m going to share with my social networks and how I’m going to portray the story of my life. It’s ingrained and, some would argue impossible, to turn off the compulsion to compose my thoughts in 140-character snippets and take numerous selfies of my daily happenings for my devoted followers. It’s a way of thinking that I’ve been trained to follow – short, snappy blurb, meticulously angled photo (don’t forget the filter!), funny or popular hashtag. Maximize the share-ability. However, while this skillset has certainly been an asset in my career, in my personal life I often have to ask myself, am I judging the value of my experiences for their authenticity or for the number of likes and comments they collect? I know having a community makes life more enriching, but if you never escape from the pressures that network provides, can you truly ever be in the moment?

It’s an interesting conundrum—one that, during my camping trip, I’m glad I had the time to reflect upon. It took a few hours for the anxiety to subside, but without the physical means for me to post to social media, I suddenly found my senses heightened. I scanned the mountains with greater care, breathed deeper, listened closely to the crunch of the dried pine beneath my feet – all with the intent that, without any external aids, I would commit as much as I could to memory. I would never be here, at this exact spot, with these exact emotions ever again and there were no posts, likes or shares that would fully capture or validate the simplicity, honesty and integrity of the moment. For the first time in a while my thoughts were my own, not meant for public consumption.

As summer turns to fall and the Bay Area comes out to play, I’m becoming a believer that unplugging is absolutely necessary for people to truly enjoy the wonder and beauty San Francisco Bay and California have to offer. The Bay is precious, unique and valuable on its own. Maybe you don’t need to post that photo of you posing at the top of a mountain or checking in at a state park to enrich your experience. Instead, maybe you just need some mental peace. I know those are the moments that I will hold onto as I return to the daily grind.

We at Save The Bay always appreciate and enjoy your posts and comments, but we also encourage you to take some time to mentally unplug. Explore the amazing place we live! Turn the phone off, don’t worry about the moments your followers are missing and breathe deeply – you might just find that you are able to see the beauty around you more clearly than ever before.