Save The Bay

Rating: 4.6 stars   20 reviews


1330 Broadway Suite 1800 Oakland CA 94612 USA


Save The Bay is the largest regional organization working to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay since 1961. Save The Bay engages more than 50,000 supporters, advocates, and volunteers to protect the Bay from pollution and reckless shoreline development and make it cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife. Save The Bay is leading a region-wide effort to re-establish 100,000 acres of tidal marsh that are essential for a healthy Bay. Volunteers from the community, local businesses, and schools work with our science team to perform hands-on restoration of the Bay shoreline. Save The Bay inspires the next generation of Bay activists through our award-winning restoration education programs.


Save The Bay History and Accomplishments: After the Gold Rush, rampant filling of shallow areas reduced San Francisco Bay’s size by one-third and destroyed 90 percent of the Bay’s tidal marsh. By 1961 there were plans to fill 60 percent of the remaining Bay, leaving only a narrow channel for navigation. The public had access to fewer than six miles of shoreline, and the Bay was choked with raw sewage and industrial pollution. Save The Bay stopped the destruction and gave the Bay a voice, proving that Bay Area residents can work together to make positive changes in their communities. In 1961 three East Bay women—Kay Kerr, Sylvia McLaughlin, and Esther Gulick—saw an Oakland Tribune illustration that depicted San Francisco Bay as a narrow shipping channel by 2020. To combat the rampant filling, they made phone calls, wrote letters, held meetings, and collected $1 each from thousands of Bay Area residents to create the "Save San Francisco Bay Association," and led a successful movement to save the Bay from destruction. By mobilizing citizens, the group won landmark victories for the Bay, including: • A legislative moratorium against filling the Bay • Closure of more than 30 city garbage dumps along the shoreline • A halt to the practice of dumping raw sewage into the Bay • Establishment of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) a permanent state agency to regulate shoreline development and increase public access. BCDC was the first-ever coastal zone management agency and model for most others around the world. The Bay Today: Thanks to more than 50,000 Save The Bay members and supporters, the Bay is cleaner and healthier than it has been in half a century. • Sewage is treated and industrial pollution is significantly reduced. • More than half of the Bay is ringed with shoreline parks and outdoor spaces linked through nearly 300 miles of Bay trail that is open to the public for walking, biking, and viewing wildlife. • Large bay fill projects have been stopped, and several large-scale wetland restoration projects are underway.

Target demographics:

San Francisco Bay’s survival depends on all of us. Save The Bay engages adults and students to protect and restore the Bay through our award-winning outdoor programs and advocacy efforts.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

Save The Bay engages our community of more than 50,000 constituents – including students, businesses and individuals – to protect and restore San Francisco Bay through volunteer restoration programs and citizen advocacy.

Geographic areas served:

Our quality of life and economy depend on a healthy San Francisco Bay. Save The Bay is the oldest and largest organization working exclusively to protect and restore this great natural treasure.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Save The Bay

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Save The Bay works hard to do exactly that-Save the San Francisco Bay. I feel that my donations are being well-used, and I enjoy the work they do, things like bans on plastic bags (to keep them out of the Bay) and volunteer events to plant native plants.

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Rating: 1 stars  

I donated once to this organization, and within one month had received a letter asking me to renew my membership. This letter was followed a relentless stream of letters, free calendars, and nagging cards suggesting I needed to renew. I won't donate again, since I'd prefer my money goes towards a cause, and not into full-color mailers and calendars.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Great fun! Provides a very positive connection to the Bay ecosystem. We weeded pepperweed, fennel, mustard and other non-natives to provide more habitat for native species.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

along the shoreline at Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline in Oakland. They've made good progress in reducing non-native plants and I really enjoy riding my bike on the trails.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

A local connection. Work done with Save the bay directly improves the lives of Bay Area residents.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Staff are very dedicated and great at leading volunteers. I volunteered with workmates and it was great to see people outside the office.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Stop Cargill and DMB from filling in restorable bay land in Redwood City for a housing development; Increase the amount of active restoration work they do.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

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