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Saving San Francisco Bay and our planet can feel daunting. We know how you feel, but inspiration is always around the corner (and in this blog!). Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22, and to celebrate we’ve put together 5 easy, worthwhile things you can do for our planet and our Bay.

1. Participate in the March for Science and People’s Climate March

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Resist, stand up and put on your walking shoes!  Have a poster making gathering with your friends and march alongside thousands of scientists and eco-warriors at the March for Science on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, and the People’s Climate March on Saturday, April 29.  We’d love to see your rally cries, so don’t forget to include the hashtag #savesfbay in your social media posts!

2. Be a year-round Bay saver

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Want to make a lasting commitment to our local environment AND get a cool Save The Bay t-shirt in time for the People’s Climate March? Become a Bay Sustainer today and support our work each month! Bay Sustainers are some of our most important donors. Your reliable monthly donation gives us the stability to plan for the future and ability to tackle urgent challenges to our local environment.

3. Volunteer with Save The Bay

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Put on your hat, grab your gardening gloves, and prepare for a marvelous day with Save The Bay’s restoration team.  Sign up to volunteer at one of our wetland restoration events and help restore our shoreline. Healthy Bay wetlands not only improve the Bay’s water quality, but they also protect Bay Area communities from rising seas.

4. Inspire others – share your SF Bay photos on social media using #MyBayPhoto

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From images of King Tides and trash in our waterways to pictures of people walking on the Bay Trail and soaking in the Bay views, we know first-hand that your Bay photos have the power to move and motivate people to create a cleaner, healthier San Francisco Bay. Help us spread the word! Next time you take a photo of the Bay, please share it with us on social media by tagging
#MyBayPhoto.

5. Tell-a-Friend about STB and help expand our conservation conscious community

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We depend on the Bay as much as the Bay depends on us to stay informed, ask questions, and take actions that help keep it thriving for years to come. Tell 5 friends about our work and ask them to subscribe to our emails. Sharing is caring!

Your support is one of reasons we have a beautiful Bay. Together we can make it cleaner and healthier for nature and people, keeping it vibrant long into the future. So, thank you in advance for your get-up-and-go and do-good determination.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Earth Day!


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Trump’s EPA budget was leaked to the press. It’s bad news for public health and the environment, especially our Bay. Trump’s budget totally eliminates EPA’s San Francisco Bay program. While other bays around the country face reductions in EPA funding, our Bay funding has been slashed to zero.

This is a slap in the face to you and every Bay Area resident who wants healthy communities and natural resources. The EPA is supposed to ensure clean water and healthy wetlands. But the federal government is turning its back on us by cutting EPA’s San Francisco Bay funding entirely.

We have to step up and protect our Bay from the White House. I hope you’ll make an emergency contribution to Save The Bay now so we can scale up our efforts at the state and local level to defend our Bay and the wildlife and communities that depend on it.

With Trump proposing these deep funding cuts, you and I will have to do more to protect the Bay. Save The Bay’s strategy is basic: act locally to make the Bay healthier. We’re working with Bay Area cities to reduce toxic pollution, restore wetlands, and lower climate change risks to people and wildlife. We’ve proven we can take on tough challenges and win. But we can’t do this without you. Please give today so we can preserve this amazing place we call home.


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In Sunnyvale, using reusable bags has turned into a lifestyle rather than just a policy. Photo: Vivian Reed

Present-day Sunnyvale, California is known as “The Heart of Silicon Valley,” but if you walk into any grocery store or stroll through the downtown farmer’s market in this tech town you’ll notice another trend: people carry reusable bags when shopping.

Four years ago, my hometown hopped on the bag ban-wagon, joining our region’s largest cities including San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose in working to address the Bay’s pollution problem.

Before Sunnyvale’s plastic bag ban went into effect in early June 2012, storefronts around town posted signs that read “Did you bring your reusable bags?”

To me this message was more than a friendly reminder—it revealed the city’s commitment to sustainability and curbing urban pollution.

Jessica Aronson supports Prop. 67. because it is the next step to saving our beautiful state.
Jessica Aronson supports Prop. 67. because it is the next step to saving our beautiful state.

My friends and Sunnyvale natives Jessica Aronson and Justin Matsuura were also thrilled about the new change and viewed this ordinance as a natural next step in ensuring a plastic-free California.

Unfortunately, ridding our state of this toxic non-biodegradable trash has turned into a drawn-out multiyear dogfight between California and out-of-state polluters.

So why are Californians forced to decide on a statewide plastic bag ban, again? The answer is simple: the Plastic Bag Industry cares more about making green than going green. That’s why there are two propositions on the November 2016 ballot about the same issue: Proposition 65 and Proposition 67.

Big Plastic has spent millions to fool voters into supporting Prop 65—a very regressive and disingenuous measure that would repeal the state’s existing ban approved by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014.

“It’s so frustrating that we have to fight so hard to protect our planet,” says Aronson. Keeping the bag ban to prevent toxic waste from building up around our homes and in our waterways seems like common sense.”

Having lived in an area where bags are banned, my friends and I know firsthand that transitioning to life without plastic bags is a natural adjustment that also makes you feel good.

On occasion store clerks have thanked and complimented Justin Matsuura for bringing his reusable bags to the store.
Store clerks have thanked and complimented Justin Matsuura for bringing his reusable bags to the store.

“I do feel better about the environment and myself when I pull out my reusable bags instead of using plastic bags,” says Matsuura. “Sometimes it even turns into a conversation starter!”

The simple act of bringing a reusable bag to the store quickly becomes second nature, making the experience of going to a store in a community where disposable bags are still legally distributed feel jarring.

“Traveling to areas without the ban seem bizarre.” Aronson explains, “It reminds me of how much waste people are still creating with single-use bags.”

In the years following the Sunnyvale Bag Ban, hardly any signs reminding shoppers to bring their reusable bags remain. And honestly, there is no real need for them anymore.

More importantly, this local ban has turned plastic bag litter into a problem of the past. A recent study reveals a 100% reduction in the number of single use plastic bags found in municipal trash capture devices. This is good news because stormwater is the largest source of pollution in San Francisco Bay.

Proposition 67 would allow cities throughout California to achieve similar victories in reducing plastic bag pollution. Matsuura believes this initiative will “keep our state trending in renewable, recyclable, and sustainable practices for our future.”

As Californians, we all favor policies that protect the environment and inspire sustainable choices. We also believe that intentionally destroying our environment for financial gain is not okay. That’s why our state’s most credible editorial boards, elected officials, and environmental leaders and organizations including Save The Bay vehemently oppose Proposition 65 and support Prop 67.

Join Jessica, Justin, and me next week in voting for a plastic-free California. It’s time to put the Golden State back on the map as an environmental leader invested not in financial gain, but in preserving this place we call home.

Vote YES on Prop 67 and No on Prop 65 on Nov. 8.

Photo: Vivian Reed


Learn more about the California Bag Ban on Save The Bay’s blog:

Op-Ed: Prop 67 bag ban stakes are global

Bigger than the Bag: the true promise of a state bag ban

Don’t be fooled by Prop 65


 


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Join us on Saturday, October 1 and remember to tag your Bay Day photos with #SFBayDay.

 

East Bay
Wetland Restoration with Save The Bay 9am – 12pm
Healthy Parks, Healthy People Walk at MLK Regional Shoreline 10am – 12pm
East Bay Regional Park District: Family Nature Fun at Crab Cove 2pm – 3pm
Group Bike Ride in San Leandro with Bike East Bay 10:30am – 1:30pm
Berkeley Group Bike Ride with Bike East Bay 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Lindsay Wildlife Experience: Meet Bay Animals! 10am – 5pm
Bay Trail Audio Tours Narrated by Doug McConnell All day
$4 Pints at 21st Amendment Brewery 12pm – 10pm
North Richmond Shoreline Open Space Alliance Festival 11am – 4pm
Warning, Warning & Watermark Film Screening at David Brower Center 2pm – 4pm
North Bay
Marine Mammal Center: Tours and Free Admission 10am – 5pm
Sonoma Land Trust: Sears Point Tidal Marsh Docent-Led Walk 10am – 12pm
Walking Tour around the Bay Model 10am – 12:30pm
Discounted Kayaking & SUP at Sea Trek 8:30am – 5pm
Bike the Bay – Ridge Trail’s Carquinez Scenic Loop 9am
Paddle the Benicia Water Trail 9am – 11:30am
Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Bay with Roger Leventhal and Sonoma Land Trust 9am – 10am
Napa Valley Museum’s Oktoberfest Celebration 11am – 4pm
Bay Day at Bay Area Discovery Museum 9am – 5pm
San Francisco
Coastal Cleanup at Heron’s Head Park 1pm – 3pm
No Butts in the Bay Beach Clean Up 1pm – 4pm
Farallon Island Expedition Discount 10:30am – 4:30pm
Discounted Adventure Cat Bay Sail 1pm – 3pm
Bay Day Boat Ride: Loop around the Bay 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Swim Across America with Baykeeper 8am – 12pm
Group Bike Ride with SF Bike Coalition 11am – 1pm
City Kayak Discounted Tours
Discounted Segway Tours of San Francisco 9am – 7:30pm
CUESA and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market celebrate Bay Day and National Seafood Month 9am – 1:30pm
Bay Day Giveaways at PIER 39 12pm – 2pm
Discounted Admission at Aquarium of the Bay 10am – 7pm
Intimate Marine Life of SF Bay at Exploratorium 12pm – 3pm
Reusable Bag Crafts at the Sea Lion Center 10:30am – 4:30pm
Bean Sprouts Family Day at the San Francisco Botanical Garden 1pm – 4pm
Peninsula & South Bay
Wetland Restoration with Save The Bay 9am – 12pm
Sloughkeepers Paddle and Cleanup of Alviso Slough 11am
Bay Trail Walk 9:30am – 10:45am
Climate Change and the Bay Hike at Ravenswood Open Space Preserve 2pm – 4pm
Wisdom of the Watershed Docent-Led Hike at Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve 10am – 12pm
Group Bike Ride with Silicon Valley Bike Coalition 10:30am – 1:30pm
Free Admission at CuriOdyssey 10am – 5pm
Marine Science Institute Boat Tours at PortFest 10:00am – 3:00pm
Learn to Kayak + Tour of Bair Island with REI 9am – 3pm
Inner Bair Island Bay Day Walk 10am – 11am
Tai Chi at the Refuge 9:30am – 10:30am
Bay Day Bike Ride at Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge 10:30am – 11:30am
Facebook Farmers Market feat. Save The Bay 2pm – 5pm
PortFest in Redwood City 10am – 3pm
“Walking The Bay 2” Photography Exhibit 12pm – 4pm
Bay Day Litter Poster Making at Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge 10am – 11am
Virtual Reality & Sea Level Rise with Look Ahead-San Mateo 10am – 2pm

Pump your tires, grab your bike helmet, and zip over to one of three Bay Day cycling events hosted by our friends at the San Francisco Bike Coalition, Bike East Bay, and the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition on Saturday, Oct. 1.

On Bay Day, thousands of Bay Area residents will unite in celebration of San Francisco Bay in their own unique ways. If experiencing the Bay on two wheels is more of your thing, then check out one of these family-friendly Bay Day cycling events happening near you.

Group Bike Ride with SF Bike Coalition
Saturday, Oct. 1:  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Grab your friends and family for a casual-paced 6 mile bike ride along San Francisco’s famed waterfront, The Embarcadero. Soak in the beautiful Bay views and learn more about the ongoing changes coming to the waterfront and ways you can get involved in the planning processes for new developments and transportation infrastructure. Sign up for this fun event today!

Berkeley Group Bike Ride with Bike East Bay
Saturday, Oct. 1:  3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

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Grab your friends and family and join Bike East Bay for a fun, easygoing 6.6 mile roundtrip ride from UC Berkeley to the Berkeley Marina and back on Bay Day. During the ride, you’ll pass over and learn about parts of the Bay watershed, including some historically significant creek restoration sites, and a permeable paved roadway experiment in Berkeley encouraging healthier rainwater runoff to the Bay. Sign up for this fun event today! 

Group Bike Ride in San Leandro with Bike East Bay
Saturday, Oct. 1:  10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Grab your friends and family for a fun day of riding on the Bay Trail with Bike East Bay. This ride will begin at the San Leandro BART station and make its way to the Hayward Regional Shoreline and back, passing by San Lorenzo Creek and Marina Park.  At the end of this 11-mile round trip Bay excursion, there will be the option to finish the ride at 21st Amendment Brewery on Williams Street. Sign up for this fun event today!

Group Bike Ride with Silicon Valley Bike Coalition
Saturday, Oct. 1:  10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Even in the heart of Silicon Valley, the world’s most renowned center for technological innovation, there are miles of paved bike trails leading to the Bay shoreline for all to enjoy. On Oct. 1 pedal your way from the Mountain View Caltrain station to the Bay shoreline with the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition. There will be 10-mile and 20-mile options available for riders of all abilities, and a chance to check out the newly-opened Moffett Field Trail. Sign up for this fun event today!