Save The Bay is one of ten community-based conservation organizations that make up the Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE), a national alliance dedicated to the protection and restoration of bays and estuaries that stretches from Rhode Island to Washington State. Every two years, RAE hosts an annual Summit to share knowledge around cutting-edge issues in coastal restoration and management. This year’s Summit, Investing in Our Coasts: Environment, Economy, and Culture, focused on the variety of benefits that coastal areas provide to communities and the nation, including ecological services, cultural services, and financial value. We always leave with a wealth of knowledge and this year there were several important takeaways:
  1. The future belongs to the youth, and young professional scientists will be vital to solving many of the problematic environmental issues ahead of our nation.
One of the great takeaways from this conference was the rare opportunity for Save The Bay’s young professional scientists to attend a national science conference to share Save The Bay’s work and to learn from and see other young professionals leading in their fields.
  1. Climate change and its resulting impacts to both the natural and built environments are issues at the forefront of restoration science.
The focus on not only the science but the cultural impacts of climate change was a key element of this Summit, and we learned about the current state of the science in sea level rise, droughts, fires, including the nature of the threats and how other scientists are addressing these issues not only in natural systems but in their communities.
  1. Cultural competency, diversity, equity, and inclusion cannot be ignored and are critical areas of focus for all organizations.
Save The Bay continues to work to serve underrepresented and underserved communities through our education and restoration programs and in our Policy program through our Bay Smart Communities initiative.
  1. The RAE Summit is a collaborative environment where like-minded organizations share new research and practices that help restore America’s estuaries.
The event mobilizes scientists, nonprofit leaders, restoration managers, educators, volunteers and others who dedicate their time to habitat restoration. With more than 500 speakers, 110 sessions, workshops and training, and 150 poster presentations it was six days devoted to saving and protecting our nation’s coastal regions and estuaries. We are proud to be a RAE member and at this year’s Summit Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Team:
  • Presented six oral presentations and a poster presentation to more than 1,000 attendees (for some it was their first-ever opportunity in a national public forum). These included:
    1. Raising the Funds: A New Agency, a Successful Tax Measure Campaign and Beyond
    2. How Will We Know When We Get There? Evaluating Metrics of Success in Transition Zone Restoration
    3. From Containers to Tractors: Looking to Farming for Large-Scale Native Plant Propagation Methods
    4. Winning Planting Recipe: Planting for Success at Oro Loma and Beyond
    5. Engaging and Empowering Environmental Stewards of the Future
    6. Scaling-up Volunteer Opportunities
    7. Farming for the Wetlands: Experimenting in Large-Scale Plant Propagation
  • Shared the progress and lessons learned through our corporate volunteer and education models.
  • Returned energized and excited to try new ideas and implement various lessons learned.
Learn more about the RAE Summit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to hear more about our habitat restoration work.
Donna Ball

Donna brings over 10 years experience as a salt marsh ecologist on the West Coast to Save The Bay, where she currently guides the Habitat Restoration Team in providing on-the-ground community-based habitat restoration programs utilizing over 5,000 volunteers annually. Previously, Donna worked at H. T. Harvey & Associates as a senior restoration ecologist working on a variety of large and small-scale tidal restoration projects throughout San Francisco Bay. She holds a M.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University, with a focus on Marine and Estuarine Ecosystems.