Save The Bay Kicks off Planting Season with Goal of 30,000 Native Seedlings

January 11, 2013

December 3, 2012, Save The Bay, the largest regional organization working to protect and restore San Francisco Bay, announced today that it will plant 30,000 native seedlings around the Bay this winter season. Volunteers are needed to meet this goal. Restoration sites are located in Oakland, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Kentfield.

Save The Bay’s Community Based Restoration Programs rely on more than 5,000 volunteers annually to restore the shoreline at sites around the Bay. Save The Bay specializes in restoring the critical areas adjacent to tidal marshes. Re-establishing native plants in this "transition zone" is important because the plants provide refuge and habitat for endangered species including the California clapper rail and salt marsh harvest mouse; help filter pollutants; serve as buffers during storms and high tide events; and counter invasive species that threaten the health of our wetlands.

“This is the perfect time to plant,” said Donna Ball, Save The Bay’s Habitat Restoration Director. “The winter rains have softened the soil and created optimal conditions for young natives to take root and establish. Planting season is a great opportunity to get outside, learn about the Bay’s tidal wetlands, and experience the beauty and diversity of life in the wetlands.”

As a result of development and fill, only ten percent of the Bay’s original wetlands remain. Yet, scientists say the Bay needs 100,000 acres of healthy wetlands to maintain a sustainable eco-system. Much of the original habitat at the Bay’s edge has been lost to agricultural use, commercial salt ponds, and shoreline development. Unlike tidal marshes, which can be restored fairly quickly by re-establishing tidal influence, transition zone vegetation needs human assistance to establish. Therefore, volunteers are crucial in this effort.

How to Volunteer
Save The Bay needs volunteers throughout the winter. We provide the ponchos! Community and corporate volunteers are particularly needed for our Winter Planting Festival December 5 – 8. Sign up here. Corporate groups larger than 15 are encouraged to sign up for private, weekday volunteer opportunities. Learn more about our Corporate Bay Savers Program here.

About Save The Bay
Save The Bay is the largest regional organization working to protect and restore San Francisco Bay. As the Bay’s leading champion since 1961, Save The Bay remains dedicated to making the Bay cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife. We protect our natural treasure from pollution and inappropriate shoreline development; 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 40,000 supporters, advocates and volunteers to protect the Bay, and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders by educating thousands of students annually.