In the middle of the 2012-2016 drought, Save The Bay worked to restore a transition-zone levee in the Eden Landing Preserve managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. This was the first time that we experimented with utilizing a seed mix as a restoration technique. A hydroseed contractor covered the 4.25-acre site with a carefully selected mix of competitive native species, but due to inconsistent rain patterns that winter, the seed mix largely failed. For some, this experience might have served as a grim harbinger of climate change in our state, as California’s dry period grows longer and …


Native Seeding Last fall, a seed mix was spread across our 44 acre restoration site at Bel Marin Keys, in Novato, CA. 700 lbs of native seed were spread using a hydroseeding machine.The plants in the seed mix have qualities that specifically compete with the non-native weeds that come up on the site, making it easier for our perennial wetland plants to successfully establish at the restoration site. Half a year later, spring flowers have sprung! The native seed mix successfully rooted and grew into healthy plants in the seasonal wetland. As the plants dry out through summer, the seeds …


In California, winter rains bring spring flowers. Our state boasts one of the largest numbers of endemic plant species in the world: of the over 3500 species of plants found in our region, over 60% of them are found here and here alone, leading to spectacular “super-blooms” of native wildflowers in the spring when conditions are right (like the massive super-blooms in the California that occurred in 2017 after the abnormally wet 2016-2017 rainy season). But, it’s official: this past winter was one of the driest on record, with most of the Bay Area in a moderate to severe drought as …


One of our Instagram followers asked, “How do we choose our transition zone restoration sites?” This is a relatively simple question with a bit of history. The short answer is that we go where we have partner relationships and funding, but as we’ve been active in advocacy and habitat restoration work for many decades, our work has evolved. Save The Bay is lucky to have longstanding relationships with partner organizations like the East Bay Regional Park District and City of Palo Alto, where we’ve maintained native plant nurseries and restoration sites since the early 2000s. These sites are accessible, beautiful, …


The Bel Marin Keys Unit V Project in the San Francisco Bay Estuary has reached an exciting restoration milestone: over 10,000 native perennial plants have been outplanted this winter. This benchmark was made possible by the combined efforts of Save The Bay, Novato Baylands Stewards, AmeriCorps, the Conservation Corps North Bay, and dedicated volunteers. These 10,000 plants, including creeping wild rye, salt grass, and baltic rush, will contribute to restoring this vital wetland. The Bel Marin Keys site, under the California Coastal Conservancy and partnering with the Novato Baylands Stewards, includes over 44 acres of seasonal wetlands and alkali wet …


After the first rains this Fall, we spread a seed mix across our 44 acre restoration site at Bel Marin Keys, in Novato, CA. This seed mix consisted of locally collected, native, annual seeds that had been collected and cleaned over the last 3 years by our staff and partners in this project. The plants in the seed mix have qualities that specifically compete with the non-native weeds that will come up on the site, making it easier for our perennial wetland plants to successfully establish at the restoration site. Preparing the seed mixture! Some of the seeds in this …


By Juliana Medan Exciting news! Our Bay-Saving team can once again begin work at the Bel Marin Keys wetland restoration site in Novato. Save The Bay began work at this site around a year and a half ago but flooding from a levee breach and heavy rainfall this past winter prevented our staff and volunteers from accessing the site. This opportunity is especially exciting because it is our first public volunteer venture into the North Bay in many years. This restoration site is part of the larger Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project funded by the California State Coastal Conservancy. Save The …


“Is this legit? Really? Is this all… kosher?” Like any gifted scientist, Jeff Sandler views great results with even greater skepticism. He’d won our Alaska Airlines prize after making his first-ever $250 donation to Save The Bay? A local teacher who regularly brings students to our SEED programs? Jeff worried it was all a fix – too good a story to be true. Two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere they fly with no restrictions – a dream prize! My team stressed: he’d won it fair and square. A computer pulled Jeff’s name at random, but we at Save The Bay …


From the ancient Egyptians to the Ohlone living here in the Bay Area, many cultures experience winter as a powerful time of ritual, reflection, and renewal. The season officially begins Thursday, December 21st – with a solstice! The term translates to “sun stands still,” as the sun appears to pause in its incremental journey across the sky. Save The Bay decided to mark this changing of the seasons by planting seedlings with some of our most dedicated volunteers and donors. Through their labor and their generosity, this diverse community had already given richly to support our programs. But on last …


The 2017 State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference, held recently in Oakland, gave scientists, land managers, policy makers, community leaders, as well as writers and artists from across the Bay-Delta region an opportunity to connect with one another, and to build connections between their various fields. Throughout the conference, attendees were welcomed to “get out of their silos,” and explore the interrelatedness of their fields. The conference also provided a venue to look back at the past 20 years of tidal marsh restoration; to celebrate successes, evaluate where we fell short, and anticipate future challenges and opportunities for restoring …