Last week saw the return of rain to the Bay Area for the first time in months, kicking off the winter season and initiating a little-known but incredibly damaging event for the Bay – First Flush.  We recently wrote about how this event impacts the Bay with trash pollution, and how an overwhelming amount of this trash pollution is the responsibility of a single state agency – Caltrans. This year Save The Bay used the “first flush” as an opportunity to call out Caltrans for its failure to eliminate roadway trash from our communities by using our social medial platforms …


No matter where you live in the Bay Area, trash is one of our most persistent and visible pollution problems.  It litters our roads and blights our cities, and much of the trash that you see on the street eventually washes down into storm drains and through a system of pipes that flow directly out to the Bay. In fact, this week’s rain is acting as the “first flush” of the season, when the first large storm flushes out all of the trash that has built up around the region into the Bay.  A huge portion of this trash is …


Our  Giving Tuesday story continues as we as we travel to the high-marsh where a popular garden favorite grows alongside its low and mid marsh neighbors. Meet Common Yarrow, a versatile, widespread plant of the sunflower family, that grows in nearly every habitat across California and has a variety of uses, for both people and wildlife. Its nectar and pollen provide food for numerous insect pollinators, and birds will often use its leaves to line their nests to take advantage of its antimicrobial properties. Personality: Generous, beautiful, soothing Special Talents: Medicinal Friends: Insect pollinators and birds Foes: Fennel and Stinkwort …


Our wetlands journey continues as we move up the shoreline to the mid-marsh region. Here, Creeping Wild Rye holds the job of a wetland engineer. It grows rapidly and sends green shoots away from the mother plant to create a strong foundation of roots. Personality: Graceful, communal and tenacious Special Talents: Can live for long periods without water (drought tolerant) Friends: Butterflies, moths and nesting birds Foes: Wild Mustard and Radish Creeping wild rye provides vital habitat across the many ecosystems. It creates lush, dense patches of grass by reproducing through rhizomes, which are thick, modified stems that creep underground …


Today, our wetlands journey begins closest to the shoreline where low marsh plants meet the water’s edge. These are the first defenders of high tides, storm surges and rising sea levels and offer habitat for many species of wildlife, threatened and endangered. There are many low marsh species, but we want to introduce you to one of the tallest and shrubbiest plants around, Marsh Gumplant. Personality: Sweet, Nurturing and Protective Special Talents: Elicits the aroma of juicy fruit gum Friends: Ridgway’s Rail, Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse and Spittlebugs (aka Froghoppers) Foes: Pepperweed, Russian Thistle, Rising Sea Levels Gumplant is a …


By Rachel Ishizaki – Bay Smart Communities Fellow Save The Bay presented a workshop on climate change and Bay Smart communities at the 2019 San Mateo County Housing Leadership Day. This annual conference unites elected officials, agency leaders, the non-profit housing community, and activists to discuss current housing policies, challenges, and solutions. It was organized by San Mateo County’s Housing Leadership Council (HLC), a non-profit organization that works with communities and local leaders to produce and preserve quality affordable housing by advocating for policies that directly address the housing shortage. HLC brought together experts and community members to discuss this …


By Laura Booth – Save The Bay Nursery Fellow “The history of conservation is the history of how we value nature,” read an illuminating line in Amanda Brown-Stevens’ presentation to attendees at the 14th biennial State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference. The future of conservation, conversely, will be determined by how we value nature AND people, together. That was the thesis of this year’s State of the Estuary, where ramping up social-ecological resilience was the key theme, and separating people from nature was acknowledged as an ongoing tactic of oppression. Connecting People and Nature More so than in previous …


**Update: San Francisco Propositions A and E both passed by the needed margins to fund and zone for affordable homes for educators and vulnerable populations ** When you think of Save The Bay, you may not think of affordable housing, but housing the community is a huge part of our regional planning, and that planning has major ramifications for the health of our Bay. Demand for housing in the Bay greatly exceeds supply, and workers seek more affordable homes farther away from job centers, suffering longer commutes and losing access to public transit. Traffic congestion and crowded, long rides are …


In the next few weeks, our region is due for its first major storm of the season. Bay Area residents will be faced with flooding in our neighborhoods and along our commutes. Many of us will see a lot of trash being quite literally flushed from our city streets into local creeks and the Bay, along with a long list of dangerous chemicals and toxic pollutants. Some of that rain could have been captured and stored for local use during the dry season, but it will flow away instead. One of the reasons that flooding is prevalent in urban areas …


By Rachel Ishizaki – Bay Smart Communities Fellow The Global Climate Strike that took place from September 20 to September 27 was the largest mobilization of climate activists ever seen and was inspired by teenage climate activist, Greta Thunberg. The week of strikes were organized to coincide with the United Nations Climate Action Summit where world leaders met to discuss how they will meet the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over 7 million people rose up in defense of the environment to demand that countries enact much more ambitious climate policies. Carrying a sign that had a …