In early 2016 we published a visionary 2020 Strategic Plan, which maps out our ambitious path to healthy wetlands, Bay Smart communities, and a region that is
resilient in the face of climate change.
We installed 107,239 plants at sites around the Bay, creating important habitat for native and migrating birds.
Save The Bay was instrumental in passing Proposition 67, a statewide bag ban that will keep billions of plastic bags from polluting our ocean, communities, and
waterways, and Proposition 56, which will reduce the flow of toxic, plastic cigarette butts into our waterways.
For the first time in Save The Bay’s history, we endorsed 10 local ballot measures that will contribute to a cleaner, healthier Bay and more sustainable Bay Area. With
our support, nine of these measures were passed by voters.
Our 4,830 volunteers contributed nearly 15,000 hours to shoreline restoration projects, and we provided 2,500 local students with hands-on volunteer
Culminating a decade of planning and preparation, we passed regional Measure AA, which will generate $500 million for the restoration of Bay wetlands. Thanks to
our tireless advocacy, more than 70% of Bay Area voters supported Measure AA.
Working with nearly 40 cities and counties across the Bay, we created Bay Day, one offcial day for our entire region to celebrate San Francisco Bay. In its inaugural
year, Bay Day reached over 2 million Bay Area residents.
Save The Bay and our supporters successfully advocated for a ban on outdoor smoking at Sunnyvale bus stops, shopping areas, festivals, and farmers markets. Our
success will help protect wildlife from toxic, plastic cigarette butts, and are a model for other communities.
We removed 7,200 lbs. of trash from the Bay shoreline, making our marshes cleaner and healthier.
We launched Save The Bay’s new Bay Investors Council, bringing together Bay Area leaders and influencers who support Save The Bay financially and introduces the organization to new friends. We hosted our inaugural Bay Investors Council event on Bay Day with a catamaran sail on the Bay.


Despite Cargill’s efforts to exempt the Redwood City salt ponds from the Clean Water Act, Save The Bay – along with 3,000 supporters and Bay Area congressional leaders -- successfully lobbied the EPA to intervene.

Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Director Donna Ball was a lead author of the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Update, a scientific report highlighting the importance of transition zone habitat and calls for an acceleration of wetland restoration around San Francisco Bay.

Our Habitat Restoration Team grew 100,000 seedlings for planting at restoration sites around the Bay, more than double the number of seedlings we have ever propagated.

Save The Bay grew and planted 70,000 native plants as part of the Oro Loma Horizontal Levee Project. This experimental project will help scientists better understand a new model for improving water quality, restoring wildlife habitat, and protecting shoreline communities from flooding.

In November, the Regional Water Board passed a stronger stormwater permit and we will continue to work with local cities to prevent trash from flowing from urban streets into local waterways. We launched Zero Trash, Zero Excuse, a campaign calling on local residents, cities, and regional agencies to take necessary steps to get to zero trash flowing into San Francisco Bay by 2022.

More than 80% of Bay Area residents live in a city with a plastic bag ban. Milpitas passed a plastic bag ban in 2015, filling in the last gap in the ring of bag bans that protects South Bay habitat and wildlife.

The Save The Bay Action Fund was established as a 501(c)(4) sister organization that is permitted by law to engage in a wider range and greater degree of political activity.


Helped advocate for a statewide bag ban, which was signed into law by Governor Brown in September 2014. Save The Bay built a foundation of local ordinances in the Bay Area, whcih motivated cities in other parts of California to adopt bans. This trend finally built the support we needed to push for a statewide ban - meaning that fewer pieces of plastic trash will find this way into the Bay.

Launched a campaign to keep toxic cigarette butts out of the Bay, starting with one of the strongest outdoor smoking bans in the county. The City of El Cerrito recently approved their ban, inspired by advocacy from Save The Bay. 

Continued to stand up to Cargill when they tried to undermine the Clean Water Act by gutting the nation's most important water protection law. The Environmental Protection Agency stepped in to prevent Cargill from going around this key piece of legislation - stopping them from continuing their pattern of disregard for the Bay. 


Declared victory over the plastic bag with more than 65% of Bay Area residents living in a community that has banned plastic bags.

Ensured that polystyrene food ware will become an endangered species by getting more than 30 bans passed in Bay Area cities and counties.

Tackled tobacco litter with the launch of Butt Free Bay, a public education campaign and policy initiative focusing on working with cities and counties to pass and enforce outdoor smoking bans. 

Celebrated the renaming of Eastshore State Park to Sylvia McLaughlin Eastshore State Park in honor of Save The Bay's co-founder, Sylvia McLaughlin


Rallied Redwood City residents, businesses, labor groups, and local politicians to oppose Cargill/DMB’s destructive plan to build thousands of houses on 1,436 acres of restorable salt ponds. Redwood City rejected the plan in May 2012, but Cargill/DMB vow to return with a new proposal. 

Launched Virtual Marsh, an interactive citizen science tool that lets users engage with the plants, animals, and soil of the tidal marsh online.

Began restoration work on a new site at Hal Brown Park at Creekside in Marin County, in partnership with Marin County Parks

Expanded our capacity to restore more wetlands with the December 2012 Grand Opening of a new workshed at Palo Alto Baylands. 

Extended the reach of regional and local plastic bags and polystyrene bans throughout the Bay Area by working with cities to enact smart bans that work to keep toxic trash out of our waterways. In 2012 the following bans took effect:

  • Alameda County passed a comprehensive plastic bag ban.  
  • San Mateo County took the lead on a regional plastic bag ban that will eventually cover all of San Mateo County and six cities in Santa Clara County. Most cities have adopted the ban.
  • San Francisco expanded its bag ban to include all retailers and restaurants.
  • San Jose inched ever closer to voting to enact a polystyrene (Styrofoam) foodware ban, paving the way to becoming the largest city in the US to ban Styrofoam.


Celebrated 50th Anniversary as San Francisco Bay’s leading champion with special events throughout the year, culminating in an extraordinary gala– Splash! 50 Years of Making Waves.
Created more momentum to eliminate toxic plastic litter from our environment by helping San Mateo County ban on Styrofoam food containers and assisting Santa Clara and Marin Counties in passing plastic bag bans.
Debuted three innovative education programs – SEED (Students Engaging in Ecological Design), DIRT (Digging Into Restoration Technology), and BEST (Bay Environmental Stewardship Training) – to inspire the next generation of Bay stewards through hands-on, restoration programs.
Launched Battle for the Bay – an edgy and compelling online trivia game where players can save San Francisco Bay from historic rampant pollution and unchecked development.

Celebrated 50th Anniversary as San Francisco Bay’s leading champion with special events throughout the year, culminating in an extraordinary gala – Splash! 50 Years of Making Waves.

Created more momentum to eliminate toxic plastic litter from our environment by helping San Mateo County ban on Styrofoam food containers and assisting Santa Clara and Marin Counties in passing plastic bag bans.

Debuted three innovative education programsSEED (Students Engaging in Ecological Design), DIRT (Digging Into Restoration Technology), and BEST (Bay Environmental Stewardship Training) – to inspire the next generation of Bay stewards through hands-on, restoration programs.

Launched Battle for the Bay – an edgy and compelling online trivia game in which players can save San Francisco Bay from historic rampant pollution and unchecked development.


Helped build broad and growing opposition to Cargill/DMB's destructive plan to build a new city on restorable salt ponds in Redwood City with numerous elected officials from all nine Bay Area counties, nearly all of Redwood City's neighboring cities, thousands of Bay Area residents, and both the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Chronicle against the project.

Honored with Bank of America’s "Neighborhood Builders Award" for contributing to healthy, vibrant communities in the East Bay as a result of our pollution prevention and restoration work.

Celebrated new salt pond restoration at Ravenswood Pond in Menlo Park at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Senator Dianne Feinstein; and began hands-on restoration of this site with community volunteers.

Worked with San Jose to pass a landmark ban on single-use plastic bags – the strongest policy in the country and one that will significantly reduce plastic pollution in the Bay.

Recognized with the "Exceptional Outdoor Education Program" award by the Environmental Education Council of Marin.


Secured the first-ever regulations in the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit to require Bay Area cities to reduce the trash they discharge into the Bay.

Established the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority after the passage of AB 2954 to generate funds for Bay wetland restoration — a giant step toward realizing our vision of 100,000 acres of restored wetlands.

Launched "The Bay vs. the Bag" — a major campaign to reduce the number of plastic bags that clog our Bay each year.

Worked with several Bay Area municipalities, including Richmond and Marin County, to pass polystyrene bans to reduce trash as part of the Clean Bay Project.


Sponsored Assembly Bill 2954 to secure crucial funding to re-establish 100,000 acres of healthy Bay wetlands, as recommended in the Greening the Bay report.

Launched Cities Keep It Clean program, partnering with San Jose and other Bay Area cities to significantly reduce toxic runoff pollution in the Bay.

Secured federal recognition that 23 Bay shoreline areas are severely polluted by trash, violating the federal Clean Water Act, after Save The Bay named them Bay Trash Hot Spots.

Initiated campaign to prevent Cargill from paving over and developing 1,433 acres of retired salt ponds in Redwood City that could be restored to Bay wetlands.

Named "Nonprofit of the Year" by the Association for Corporate Growth San Francisco Bay Area chapter.


Published Greening the Bay: Financing Wetland Restoration in San Francisco Bay, a report presenting the case for a vibrant, healthy Bay ecosystem and recommendations to achieve it.

Save The Bay's Watershed Education Program marked 10 years of educating over 50,000 students from all nine area counties about the Bay.

Placed thought-provoking pollution prevention advertisements on public transit, educating tens of thousands Bay Area residents about how to reduce their impact on the Bay.

Shaped regional response to the Cosco Busan oil spill, encouraging comprehensive accident investigation, damage assessment, and restitution, and prompting improved federal and state efforts to prevent oil spills.


Launched the Keep It Clean! campaign educating residents on how to reduce their contribution to Bay pollution from cities and neighborhoods.

Collected 2,000 mercury thermometers from Bay Area residents, preventing potential contamination of ten billion gallons of water.

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

Secured state funding for Bay Area counties to monitor Bay beaches for bacteria contamination.


Save The Bay's Watershed Education and Restoration programs won the Friends of the San Francisco Estuary Outstanding Project Award.

Ensured restoration of tidal marsh habitat by successfully demanding the U.S. Navy do a full cleanup of toxic Superfund Site 25 at Moffett Field in Mountain View.


Secured passage of Healthy Bay Beaches legislation to protect public health by requiring regular and consistent water quality monitoring at Bay Beaches to make them safe for recreation. more>>


Helped state and federal wildlife agencies secure 16,500 of salt ponds for restoration to wetlands and related habitat. more>>

Forced San Francisco International Airport to cancel runway expansion project that would have filled up to two square miles of the Bay. more>>

Won litigation to force the U.S. Department of Interior to provide an additional 800,000 acre-feet of fresh water annually into the Bay-Delta, as mandated by the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992.


Published Turning Salt Into Environmental Gold, demonstrating the feasibility of South Bay salt pond restoration.

Launched Discover The Bay to provide the public with fun and inspiring adventures on the Bay shoreline.

Published Reclaiming the South Bay Shoreline, a Vision for Wetland restoration at Moffett Field.


Amended San Francisco City Charter to require voter approval for any large Bay fill project—Save The Bay led the coalition that secured passage of Ballot Proposition D by a 3 to 1 margin.

Published Putting It Back Together, drawing lessons from six large-scale ecosystem restoration projects across the nation to generate recommendations for San Francisco Bay-Delta restoration.

Published a new Watershed Ecology Curriculum for Bay Area teachers, meeting California's science standards for 6th through 12th grades.


Launched a Community-Based Restoration program, mobilizing community volunteers and students to restore wetlands around the Bay.

Published Protecting Local Wetlands: A Toolbox For Your Community, a resource to help community leaders understand and use wetland regulations.


Launched a campaign to prevent unnecessary Bay fill for SFO's proposed runway expansion into the Bay.

Published a study showing the potential for the reuse of clean Bay-dredged materials to restore wetlands habitat on severely subsided Delta islands.


Warned communities about the health risks of eating contaminated fish caught in the Bay. Our Seafood Consumption Information Project provided information in eight languages on how to clean and cook fish to minimize exposure to toxins.

Launched Canoes In Sloughs, Save The Bay's unique, on-the-water student education program.

Produced San Pablo Baylands, a film about North Bay wetlands protection and restoration, and a stewardship program for the region.


Led a successful grassroots campaign to defeat Governor Pete Wilson's proposal to eliminate the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, in collaboration with the Bay Planning Coalition.

Helped create Restore America's Estuaries, a national alliance of 11 "Save The Bay" organizations stretching from Maine to Louisiana, and Seattle to Florida.


Helped broker a negotiated settlement of California’s "water wars," the Bay-Delta Accord, which led to the adoption of new state standards for protection of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary.


Save The Bay and a coalition of organizations united as "Share the Water" helped draft and win enactment of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. Authored by Rep. George Miller and Senator Bill Bradley, and signed by President George Bush, the law is one of the most significant water policy reforms in California history.

Helped Citizens for Eastshore State Park secure state acquisition of key parcels to protect and preserve the shoreline of Emeryville, Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond.


Submitted a key brief in state court to protect the Bay-Delta Estuary, resulting in the Racanelli decision, regulating the amount of water diverted from the Delta and adjoining river systems.


Campaigned to defeat the Peripheral Canal at the state ballot box, protecting the Delta from additional detrimental fresh water diversion.


Defeated two enormous Bay fill proposals:

  • Off the Berkeley shoreline, through a landmark decision by the California Supreme Court in Santa Fe Railroad vs. City of Berkeley and State of California.
  • A proposal by the Westbay Community Associates to remove the top of San Bruno Mountain for Bay fill along San Mateo County shoreline.


Secured passage of the state's first wetlands protection law, the Suisun Marsh Preservation Act.


First Earth Day—Save The Bay was cited as an international model at the 1970 Stockholm Conference on the Environment.


Won state legislation to make the Bay Conservation and Development Commission a permanent regulatory agency, empowered to permit development on the Bay and a 100-foot shoreline band, and to require public access to the shoreline.


Mobilized tens of thousands of members and other organizations to win state legislation placing a moratorium on additional filling of San Francisco Bay. The McAteer-Petris Act established the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) as a state agency that would become the first coastal protection agency in the United States.


Save The Bay (Save San Francisco Bay Association) was founded by three women to stop unregulated filling of San Francisco Bay and to open up the Bay shoreline to public access.