Marine Science Institute to Operate Save The Bay’s Award-Winning Canoes In Sloughs Program

September 14, 2010

Save The Bay, the oldest and largest organization working to protect and restore San Francisco Bay, is pleased to announce that the Marine Science Institute (MSI) will take the helm of its award-winning Canoes In Sloughs environmental education program, effective immediately.  MSI has a long history of educating students about the Bay and is to the ideal organization to offer this important program to Bay Area students.  

"Our Canoes In Sloughs program has been an important tool to educate tens of thousands of students throughout the Bay Area about the San Francisco Bay.  We are very proud of the profound impact it has had on the next generation," says David Lewis, Executive Director of Save The Bay. "As Save The Bay focuses on its three primary goals – preventing inappropriate Bay fill, re-establishing 100,000 acres of tidal marsh, and ensuring a clean Bay free of trash – we are thrilled to see the program continue at the Marine Science Institute."

"We are very pleased to inherit Save The Bay's Canoes In Sloughs program," says Marine Science Institute Executive Director, Marilou Seiff. "It will be an excellent and treasured addition to MSI’s current suite of programs that have created one million environmental stewards since 1970."

Only Program of Its Kind in Bay Area

Canoes In Sloughs is an award-winning education program where students explore San Francisco Bay’s wetlands and sloughs in a canoe while learning about Bay ecology and history. This one of a kind program is popular with Bay Area teachers, due in part to the program's alignment with California State Standards for Science Curriculum.

Save The Bay created Canoes In Sloughs in 1997, modeling it after the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s successful canoe program. Since then, Save The Bay served nearly 5,000 middle and high school students annually. Over the years, Save The Bay developed relationships with hundreds of teachers and schools, generating demand through little advertising and mostly through word of mouth. The Marine Science Institute will now continue operating Canoes In Sloughs programs at Bair Island in Redwood City.

Marine Science Institute a Perfect Fit for Canoes In Sloughs

Save The Bay and MSI are long-time partners with a shared mission of protecting San Francisco Bay. For years MSI and Save The Bay have collaborated on educational efforts – holding cross-trainings and sharing staff – making this a natural program transition. Based in Redwood City, MSI has been a trusted community member and education provider for 40 years, offering the highest quality environmental education.

"The Canoes In Sloughs program provides students a special and rare experience on the Bay," says Marilou Seiff. "At MSI, we know this program very well because we have housed Canoes In Sloughs at our site in Redwood City for almost ten years."   

As part of the transition, Save The Bay has provided MSI with all the equipment needed to run the program – canoes, paddles, life jackets – as well as Save The Bay’s Watershed Education curriculum and the materials necessary for both the on the Bay and in-class activities.

Save The Bay Continues Award-Winning Watershed Education Program

After thoroughly analyzing the Bay’s needs and Save The Bay’s accomplishments and strengths, the organization is focusing its work on three major areas to make the biggest impact on the health of San Francisco Bay: preventing inappropriate Bay fill, improving water quality and re-establishing 100,000 acres of healthy Bay tidal marsh.

In order to focus resources on restoration stewardship, Save The Bay is continuing its land-based Watershed Education program that engages students to restore tidal marsh transition zone habitat, advancing its core mission to protect and restore the Bay. 

"We will continue to invest in the next generation of Bay stewards by engaging students in hands-on shoreline restoration and education programs," says David Lewis. "Through these programs, students will learn about wetland habitats, the role of native plants in a healthy ecosystem, and current issues affecting the health of the Bay."

How to Sign Up For a Program

MSI has already begun booking Canoes In Sloughs programs, and will continue to do so through the Fall season running from September through December.  Teachers interested in booking a program can contact Gail Broderick, Scheduling Coordinator at gail@sfbaymsi.org or 650-364-2760 x10.   

Teachers interested in learning more about or scheduling a Watershed Education Program with Save The Bay can do so online at www.saveSFbay.org/bay-education-programs.

About Save The Bay

Save The Bay is the largest regional organization working to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay.  As its leading champion since 1961, Save The Bay protects the Bay from pollution and inappropriate shoreline development, making it cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife.  We restore habitat and secure strong policies to re-establish 100,000 acres of wetlands that are essential for a healthy Bay.  We engage more than 25,000 supporters, advocates and volunteers to protect the Bay, and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders by educating thousands of students annually.   www.saveSFbay.org

About the Marine Science Institute

The Institute's mission is to cultivate a responsibility for the natural environment and our human communities through interdisciplinary science education. We achieve this goal through innovative marine science education programs that place students of all ages in direct contact with the natural environment; emphasize the interdependence of all living things, their connection to the physical environment, and the special responsibilities of humans to the environment; facilitate active learning through the use of observation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in a cooperative setting, and instill confidence, encourage involvement, and inspire accomplishment by providing positive role models. www.sfbaymsi.org