A Brief History Hero Image

A Brief History

The timeline below highlights the evolution of the Bay, the surrounding region, Save The Bay itself, and our efforts to restore and protect through landmark campaigns.

A Brief History Hero Image

A Brief History

The timeline below highlights the evolution of the Bay, the surrounding region, Save The Bay itself, and our efforts to restore and protect through landmark campaigns.

Pioneering Women Started A Movement

Sylvia McLaughlin, Kay Kerr, and Esther Gulick read the same 1961 Oakland Tribune article, which predicted a dire fate for San Francisco Bay if reckless development continued. Where others turned the page, this trio challenged massive companies, wealthy landowners, and powerful politicians. They truly started a movement to Save The Bay.

Their courage has inspired us to spark lasting change for San Francisco Bay. Here’s a look at our biggest milestones across the decades.

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1961

Sylvia McLAughlin, Kay Kerr, and Esther Gulick take action against filling of the Bay and create Save San Francisco Bay Association, now known as Save The Bay.

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1961

Sylvia McLAughlin, Kay Kerr, and Esther Gulick take action against filling of the Bay and create Save San Francisco Bay Association, now known as Save The Bay.

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1969

California legislature votes to make the Bay Conservation and Development Commission a permanent agency, regulating the use of the Bay and its shoreline.

1980

Save The Bay helps drive a successful campaign to defeat an enormous Bay fill proposal in Berkeley.

1982

Played and integral role in the defeat of Proposition 9, a ballot measure to halt a peripheral canal that threatened to divert fresh water from the Bay and Delta.

1995

Led successful campaign to defeat Governor Pete Wilson’s proposal to eliminate the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, based on Bay shipping and dredging interests.

1997

Launched the Education and Canoes in Sloughs programs that provided a curriculum to students about the Bay’s vibrant ecosystem.

2000

Launched community-based wetlands restoration program and published Protecting Local Wetlands: A Toolbox for Your Community.

2003

Defeated San Francisco International Airport’s plan to fill in two square miles of the Bay for reconfigured runways.

2006

Won Excellence in Restoration Award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

2008

Restoration programs reach new heights with a total of 10 sites, more than 40,000 volunteers, and about 100,000 plants grown and outplanted.

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2011

Celebrate 50 Years!

Led winning campaign to pass San Jose ordinance banning distribution of free plastic shopping bags.

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2011

Celebrate 50 Years!

Led winning campaign to pass San Jose ordinance banning distribution of free plastic shopping bags.

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2014

Governor Jerry Brown signs statewide plastic bag ban into law.

2015

Save the Bay Action Fund is established to pursue electoral efforts for the Bay.

2016

After a decade of planning and campaigning a parcel tax proposed by Save the Bay to generate $500 million for Bay Wetlands restoration—Measure AA—is passed by Bay area residents.

2017

Secured $20 million in the state’s first parks and water bond since 2006 to match Measure AA funds.