A Day in the Life of a Communications Fellow


 

The immediacy of social media can make it seem like an arbitrary and random content generator, when in reality many of the articles, photos, and tweets you see were planned in advance. Not only do these platforms allow us to share news and actions related to our cause, but they also provide an open channel to engage with people who support our work and care about the Bay. What is it like to have that responsibility?

When I get to the Save the Bay office on Monday morning, the first thing I do before opening any email is check my Facebook and Twitter pages. In fact, I check them constantly throughout the day, right after getting notifications for new likes, comments, or mentions. I even check them in front of staff–but it’s not what you think. What do we say? When? And how? These aren’t the easiest questions at 9am, and timing is the extra ingredient when figuring them out. In the morning I scan through recent news, filtering which stories could be shared throughout the week. I research facts about San Francisco Bay. I search for photos or other media to accompany them. I go through past blog posts–our archive is extensive–and try to determine what’s been said in our recent past that would be relevant to mention today. The list goes on–the pool of things to say is vast. But the next best part is: how to condense each of those pieces into a few sentences that will capture the timeliness of that moment and connect it to Save The Bay’s mission. It can be a huge challenge to figure out what that context is, but once I’m able to unite those connections (along with the help of an extra editorial eye), the return is more than rewarding. At the same time, we are always curious and eager to shine the social media spotlight on our colleagues. The Communications team keeps an ear to the ground for the Restoration, Policy and Development teams for blog ideas and keeping up with their important milestones and events. We mix their work with perspectives from our volunteers, some of whom are our most vocal supporters whose fresh experiences at our restoration sites and clean-up events remind us why we are involved with Save The Bay in the first place.

Some of the most engaging work I’ve been involved has been on Instagram, encouraging users to contribute photos to our #MyBayPhoto stream. They come from various backgrounds and relationships with the Bay, and they offer another element of appreciation and involvement beyond Save The Bay’s vision. While most of our followers are familiar with the organization in the past, Instagram allows us to be in tune with their visual point of view that we don’t often see when we are all in the midst of our work. I highly encourage you to have our account on your radar and show us how you’re involved with the Bay!

Find out how you can help Save The Bay through the Office Fellowship Program and apply by December 8!

Volunteer Spotlight | Thomas Huffman

Thomas Huffman and his Beta Alpha Psi brother's working hard to restore the MLK shoreline.
Thomas Huffman and his Beta Alpha Psi brother’s working hard to restore the MLK shoreline.

Here at Save The Bay we rely on dedicated volunteers to accomplish big goals. Beta Alpha Psi, an academic fraternity from CSU East Bay, is one of our devoted groups that has come out again and again to help with our restoration efforts. Last month we were able to get to know Thomas Huffman, a Beta Alpha Psi member, group organizer, and recent graduate, a bit better and learn about his experience with Save The Bay.

How many years have you volunteered with Save The Bay?

2 years

Do you have a favorite site?

Menlo Park

How did you get involved with Save The Bay?

Through my student organization, Beta Alpha Psi

What is the best thing about volunteering with Save The Bay?

Getting my hands dirty

What other activities or hobbies do you enjoy?

Surfing, cooking, playing guitar, and listening to records

Who is your environmental hero?

That fairy from Ferngully

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

Pick up cigarette butts and throw them away

What is your first/fondest memory of San Francisco Bay?

Seeing a Double Rainbow at a restoration event at Ravenswood

Outdoor Businesses Give Back to the Bay

RestoEarthDay_blog-min

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.

Together, we:

  • Collected and removed 1,230 pounds of trash
  • Weeded 2,200 pounds of invasive plants
  • Planted 800 natives plants
  • Transplanted 1,767 nursery plants
  • Washed 2,185 pots

Thank you all for helping save our Bay! See more photos on Facebook.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Events Around the Bay

Bay Area environmental groups are linking the increasingly popular Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service to growing concern about rising sea levels and their impact on vulnerable communities. This year’s MLK holiday coincides with this winter’s highest daytime tide. These King Tides are increasingly being used to understand and plan for the rising seas expected to result from global warming. Many groups have planned events around the Bay, including hundreds of volunteers expected at Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline in Oakland.

Outdoor Afro, Golden Gate Audubon Society, and East Bay Regional Park District
OAKLAND: Habitat restoration and celebration of Dr. King’s legacy.
At Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, near the observation tower off of Swan Way, 9 a.m. to noon
Over 50 people will be rotating through activities that include planting native plants to restore wildlife habitat; cleaning up trash; and viewing and learning about local shorebirds. The habitat we are restoring is home to the endangered Ridgway’s (former Clapper) Rail.

Save the Bay and East Bay Regional Park District
OAKLAND: Habitat Restoration and King Tides walk
At: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline, Damon Slough
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
About 75 people signed up to go on a walk with Save The Bay’s staff scientist, Hayley Zemel, who will take them along the shoreline and teach about King Tides. Afterwards, they will participate in wetland habitat restoration by planting native plants in Damon Slough and learn about the benefits of tidal marshes.

Acterra, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, and City of Cupertino
CUPERTINO: Young Audubon Day of Service, 9 a.m. to 12 noon.
At McClellan Ranch Preserve, 22221 McClellan Rd., Cupertino.
About 65 people have signed up to work on creek and native meadow habitat restoration at the preserve.

Environmental Volunteers
PALO ALTO: King Tides Walk, 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM
At Environmental Volunteers EcoCenter, 2560 Embarcadero Rd., Palo Alto.
Please register in advance
Participants will be observing and recording the effects of a “king tide” and learning about its impact on shoreline and marshland ecology.

Friends of Five Creeks and Citizens for East Shore Parks
RICHMOND: King Tides Walk, 10 AM – noon
At S.E. entrance to Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline, N. end of Rydin Rd.,
Shoreline walk from Point Isabel north will explore history including Native Americans and dynamite making, enjoy thriving restoration, see how rising sea levels threaten infrastructure and wildlife, and talk about possibilities for using wetlands to buffer some of the effects.

Friends of Sausal Creek
OAKLAND: King Tides Walk, Tue, Jan. 20, 10am – 12pm (NOTE: This is on Tuesday, not MLK Day.)
At Fruitvale Bridge Park, Oakland (Fruitvale and Alameda Ave., immediately S. of Fruitvale Bridge)
Local historian Dennis Evanosky leads a walking tour exploring the fascinating history of the waterway between Oakland and Alameda, where Sausal Creek now empties into the estuary via a culvert.

The Watershed Project and East Bay Regional Park District
RICHMOND: Shoreline cleanup, 9 a.m. to noon.
At Point Pinole Regional Shoreline, 5532 Giant Highway
Remove invasive plants and clean up trash.

Friends of the Richmond Greenway, The Watershed Project, Urban Tilth, Pogo Park, the City of Richmond, and others
RICHMOND: Planting gardens and Celebrating Dr. King, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At Richmond Greenway,
 8th St and Ohio Street and 16th and Ohio St.
Plant trees and gardens along the Greenway, build a rain garden, clean up trash and celebrate Dr. King’s legacy with speakers and presentations.

Citizens for a Sustainable Point Molate and The Watershed Project
RICHMOND: Habitat Restoration, 9 a.m. to noon
Point Molate Beach Park, Richmond
Install native plants and observe King Tides.

Other events at the MLK Shoreline on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015:

Martin Luther King Jr. Rally
99 Pardee Drive, Oakland, 9am to noon
Speeches and rally

Boy Scouts of America and East Bay Regional Parks District
Martin Luther King Grove, 8:30am to noon
Restore grove, plant shrubs, rake leaves, pick up shoreline  litter and spread mulch

East Bay Regional Parks District, Waste Management Civicorp, and Kaiser Permanente
Oak Port Fields, East Creek Slough, and Damon Marsh Trail, 9am to noon
Pick up shoreline litter, remove invasive French broom.

UC Berkeley Freedom Center and East Bay Regional Parks District 
Tidewater Boating Center, 12pm to 3pm
Pick up shoreline litter.

Three Unique Ways to Get Involved with Save The Bay

Annies volunteering with Save The Bay
A group from Annie’s Homegrown comes to volunteer with us at our MLK Shoreline site.

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.

Learn more about our Corporate Bay Savers Program.

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!