Save The Bay’s 2022 Annual Report

October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022

Over our 60-year history, one thing has remained true:
our community inspires us.

Save The Bay is the only regional organization that integrates political advocacy, mobilization of people, wetland restoration, and education to shape a resilient region. From our founding in 1961 to today, our vision for a healthy and resilient Bay Area is only possible because of you.

Donor spotlight

Lulu Carlisle, 4th Grade

Lucinda “Lulu” Carlisle, Oakland resident and student at Crocker Highlands Elementary, dropped by Save The Bay’s office with her family to deliver a generous surprise—a donation that she had saved up all year, and homemade cookies still warm from the oven!

Her card read, “I donated to you all because I love your organization! Because we need to do something about climate change! I hope you enjoy the cookies.” Thanks, Lulu!

Board spotlight

Juliana Park

Juliana Park is a Save The Bay donor, volunteer and board member. When asked why she supports Save The Bay, Juliana said:

“My daughter Sasha and I have been volunteering with Save The Bay for the last 8 years, since she was 12 years old. She recently came home from college and while marveling at the Bay, she shared that my generation should have responded sooner to the climate crisis. I contribute what I can to accelerate Save The Bay’s efforts, so we leave a better planet—and a healthy Bay—for my kids, and future generations.”

Photo Contest Winner

Adam Van de Water

Silhouette of kids cartwheeling on the beach in front of the sunset

Adam Van de Water’s stunning photo won the 2021 Annual Bay Photo Contest with the most social media votes. Adam told us about his photo:

“It was March 2021, our girls were going stir crazy with remote school, and they desperately needed to get out of the house. We had a picnic dinner by the Dutch Windmill and ran across the street to Ocean Beach to catch the sunset. It was so windy but so wide open, so free, and so magical.

“I hope [my photo] reminds us not only of the necessity of our Bay Area parks, open spaces, and shorelines, but the joy they bring to all ages as a respite from our urban lives.”

2021 Bay Photo Contest category winners


  • 1,000

    students K-12 in field trips

  • 92%

    underserved schools* 

  • $10,000

    school bus vouchers given

* receiving Title 1 funding, or 40% of students with free/reduced lunch

Our Bay Discovery shoreline field trips are back in full swing!

We run programs for grades K-12 at MLK Shoreline in Oakland and Palo Alto Baylands. If your school is interested, visit our website for more info and to submit a request.

Outdoor Learning Online

  • 4 new OLO videos created

    Ecosystem Explorer, Invasive Species, Green Infrastructure, and Creative Expression/Nature Art (include Spanish dubbing/subtitles) 

  • 4 previous videos translated

    Monitoring Restoration Sites, Bird Biodiversity, Save The Bay Intro, and Nursery Tour (one for each grade band: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

  • New and improved OLO webpage

    easier to navigate, can filter by subject, grade level, and language


Save The Bay stewarded all six of our restoration sites (80 acres in total), and three native plant nurseries. We focused the majority of our time on projects at the following sites, which comprise 45.5 acres of wetland habitat:

Bel Marin Keys, Novato   –   Eden Landing Ecological Reserve, Hayward  –   Ravenswood, Menlo Park

Community Engagement

  • 1,590

    volunteers at shoreline

  • 4,750

    volunteer hours

  • $142,500

    value of volunteer hours

Shoreline Restoration

  • 13,000

    native seedlings planted

  • 25,000

    lbs invasive plants removed

  • 1,000

    lbs of trash collected 

Nursery Spotlight

Native Seed Cycle

  • AR21-22_Slide_Seed Cycle


    Native seeds are sown in our greenhouses

    Click through to read more →

  • AR21-22_Slide_Seed Cycle


    Approximately 20,000 seedlings are transplanted into larger pots

  • AR21-22_Slide_Seed Cycle

    Summer & Fall

    As the seedlings continue to grow, we collect and process seeds for the following year

  • AR21-22_Slide_Seed Cycle


    Mature seedlings are planted at our restoration sites

  • AR21-22_Slide_Seed Cycle

    And the cycle continues!

Sowing Seeds

See our previous Nursery Manager, Rebecca Wynd, sow seeds to grow plants used at our restoration sites across the Bay. These seeds sprout in the greenhouse for a few months, before they are transplanted into larger pots to establish healthy roots. Eventually they are outplanted to the wetland transition zone during winter to take advantage of the rainy season.

Seed Stratification

Close-up of seedling growing in yellow pot

Stratification is a process of pre-treating seeds to simulate natural conditions that help them break dormancy and germinate. We soak some types of seeds in coffee, because it is emulates the acids in the digestive tract of animals, like birds. We also keep some seeds, such as native grasses, in the fridge with perlite for 1.5 weeks to give them the cool, moist germination environment they need.

Staff Spotlight

Millie Calzada, Native Plant Nursery Manager

Millie Calzada joined Save The Bay in June of 2022, and brings a wealth of experience, including work with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in overseeing seed collection of 50+ native species in the Presidio.

“Getting to share my passion for community-based stewardship with the public” excites them the most about Save The Bay’s nursery work. “Without community, there is no way we’d be able to complete the massive amount of work we take on in the nurseries and at our restoration sites.”

Millie is also enthusiastic about the affinity volunteer programs for LGBTQ and BIPOC community members we are hosting in the nursery in 2023.

Ask An Expert

What is a Horizontal Levee?

Infographic of a horizontal levee

Save The Bay’s Ravenswood levee was featured in a clip on ABC7 news, which highlighted the ways the project applies climate adaptation methods on a large scale and serves as a model for future projects around the region.

Horizontal levees are wide, gently sloping, vegetated buffers of land that prevent water from moving inland. Instead of traditional, mounded, narrow levees or hardened structures, horizontal levees are a nature-based solution to protect communities from flooding and sea level rise. Combining a gradual incline of land with tidal marsh, horizontal levees reduce flood risk through wave attenuation and vegetative protection. By growing plants suited for the habitat transition zone on a slope, horizontal levees are better suited to adapt to rising sea levels.


Save The Bay engaged with communities and decision-makers to reshape the region’s growth so it benefits people and the environment, and is resilient in the face of climate change.

San José

Urban Greening

In San José, the Bay Area’s largest city by size and population, Save The Bay focused outreach activities in East San José—where residents suffer greater exposure to effects of extreme heat, flooding, and other climate threats due to a lack of tree cover and historic underinvestment in infrastructure.

We collaborated with Tropicana-Lanai Neighborhood Association, and Veggielution (a community farm), and co-hosted a Spanish-language workshop on urban greening with Latinos United for a New America (LUNA).

Five takeaways from the workshop in English → and Spanish →

Ask An Expert

How Do We Keep Trash Out of Our Bay?

Since the Regional Water Board’s 2019 order that requires Caltrans to prevent trash from entering waterways through storm drains on 8,000+ acres, Save The Bay has focused on holding Caltrans accountable. The agency’s 2022 data shows that it is still failing to meet required standards and remains out of compliance.

Read why is the Bay still being trashed →

Solving the Public Funding Puzzle

Wetland around a bending creekWith our coalition of business, environmental, and government interests, we worked to encourage passage of state and federal funding for San Francisco Bay restoration and climate adaptation projects.

Our efforts led to a big win in the final days of 2022—a bill finally signed into law that we have worked to pass since 2010! It establishes and funds a new program at U.S. EPA to protect and restore our Bay. Additionally, our work contributed to $54.5 million in new funding at the federal level to fight pollution and restore wetlands around our Bay.

Bay Day

Celebrating the heart of our home

30 Days of the Bay: September to October 2022

1,200 participants from all 9 counties signed up for the challenge to explore 30 miles of the Bay Trail, or complete 10 activities such as kite flying and bird watching. Thank you to our sponsors for making Bay Day possible! Explore more about Bay Day 2022 →

Visit for info on the next Bay Day.