You may have heard the term “horizontal levee” used to describe some of Save The Bay’s restoration work. “Levee” evokes something high and hard, like a dike or reinforced embankment, to stop water from encroaching on land. So how can a levee be horizontal – and what is a horizontal levee? 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, …


 Spring has sprung, and as the nursery manager, it’s my favorite time of the year! As the seasons change, so does our restoration work. Each year as it starts to warm in March and April, I sow the seeds for all the plants we grow out for our tidal wetland restoration sites across the Bay. These seeds sprout in the greenhouse over the next few months, and from June through August our team works on transplanting the tiny seedlings into larger pots so they establish healthy roots. We usually transplant over 20,000 seedlings each year! In the winter, we …


 Originally aired on ABC7: Thursday, February 10, 2022 By Dan Ashley and Tim Didion Along the southeast side of Bedwell Bayfront Park a design evolution is taking place that offers a glimpse of what 21st century levees could look like in the Bay Area and beyond. The 9.6 acre Ravenswood horizontal levee project is Save The Bay’s latest large-scale restoration endeavor. For this important project, we are combining our tried and true restoration method of planting native species by hand, with new strategies utilizing farming equipment to help spread the rhizomes of native grasses throughout the area. This project …


By Rosie Gosling, Sustainability and Impact Project Manager, SailGP This week twelve of us from SailGP came down to Menlo Park to roll up our sleeves and work with Save The Bay to help restore an area of tidal marsh in the South Bay Salt Pond, by Menlo Park. Our athletes, shore team and staff got to work to pull up the weeds and help the native plants to grow and rejuvenate the tidal marsh. It’s so important to take time to understand the places where we race and the challenges these communities face in regards to sustainability, focusing primarily …


Every year, Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Team engages thousands of volunteers to plant upwards of 20,000 native plants across the Bay Area to restore wetland transition zone habitat for wildlife. Our staff can quantify the progress made at each site through a number of metrics: the number of plants or species we planted at a restoration site, the pounds of invasive species we removed, or the gallons of water we used to irrigate the native plants we’ve installed. But how do we really know if we’ve made progress at any given restoration site? Every summer, the Habitat Restoration Team …


If you’re walking on the southeast side of Bedwell Bayfront Park you may be confused by the farming activity happening down by the salt ponds. Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Team is working with contractors to use farming techniques to restore habitat! After a long waiting period due to construction and the pandemic, our team is starting to vegetate the horizontal levee project this fall and through the winter. Volunteers that have met us on the shoreline in the past are probably familiar with our ongoing restoration projects on the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline or in the Palo …


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, …