The Baylands Committee gets involved in issues that affect the health of the Bay through advocacy and political action, especially lands that are located within the Loma Prieta Chapter’s borders. We support wetland restoration and protection and promote public awareness of local wetland habitats.
San Francisco Bay is part of one of the largest and most diverse estuaries in the United States. Wetlands are considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems and the tidal marshes that border the Bay provide habitat for many wildlife species, some of which are endangered. Notably, over half of all migrating birds along the Pacific Flyway stop in San Francisco Bay for refuge. The Bay wetlands also provide numerous services to mankind, including flood protection, CO2 absorption, and recreational opportunities.
Click on the link below to watch a short video about protecting local wetlands:
Credit: Michael Kerhin
Much of the historic wetlands in the Bay Area have been diked, filled in and/or developed. Urban sprawl has reduced the Bay’s size by one-third and destroyed nearly 85 percent of the it’s original wetlands.
More recently, thanks to the Sierra Club and many other environmental organizations, bayland protection and restoration is gaining public support. In 2004, state and federal agencies, with the help of Senator Dianne Feinstein, purchased over 16,000 acres of former salt ponds in the South Bay to create the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge and the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project.
San Francisco Bay is located at the heart of a dense urban region and is continuously threatened by development and pollution. If the health of the bay is an issue that concerns you, then join the Loma Preita Chapter Baylands Committee. Monthly meetings are now being scheduled. Contact Mike Kerhin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Below is a list of issues the Bayland Committee is currently involved with. Also listed below is contact information for other organizations you should know about as well as links to recreational opportunities around the San Francisco Bay.
Redwood City Salt Works
The Chapter has been working with other environmental groups since 2008 to stop the Saltworks project, which proposed turning 1,436 acres of restorable Cargill salt ponds in Redwood City into a mini-city. We oppose the project on many levels and would like to see the whole parcel returned to tidal marshland.
http://www.rcsaltworks.com (developer’s website)
San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant Master Plan (WPCP)
The Chapter has signed on to a letter objecting to the limited set of alternatives being offered for land development around the WPCP. In addition to improvements to the plant itself, the alternatives all include plans for massive retail, office, and light industrial development on the 2600-acre site that adjacent to bay front property.
http://www.sanjoseca.gov/index.aspx?NID=1669 (City of San Jose website)
Brisbane Baylands Project
The project proposes to develop a 680-acre of a former railyard and landfill with retail, office space, light industrial and residential housing. Environmental cleanup of the site is one of the project first challenges as is securing an adequate water supply.
http://brisbanebaylands.com (developer’s website)
Organizations and Recreational Opportunities
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
A preserve and wildlife habitat for migratory birds and threatened and endangered species. The refuge provides opportunities for wildlife-oriented recreation and nature study for the surrounding communities.
South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project
The largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast. When complete, the project will restore 15,100 acres of industrial salt ponds to tidal wetlands and other habitats.
Citizens to Complete the Refuge
Protecting the Bay's remaining wetlands by working to place them under the protection of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Redwood City Neighbors United
A group of Redwood City residents united by concerns over Cargill Saltworks Project.
Marine Science Institute
Hands-on, discovery-based marine education that enhances greater scientific knowledge and environmental awareness of the Bay.
State Coastal Conservancy
A state agency that acts as an intermediary among government, citizens, and the private sector to preserve California’s coast and San Francisco Bay lands for future generations.
Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center
Located just north of the San Mateo Bridge toll plaza, the Interpretive Center features exhibits, programs and activities designed to inspire a sense of appreciation, respect and stewardship for the Bay.
A planned recreational corridor that, when complete, will encircle San Francisco and San Pablo Bays with a continuous 500-mile network of bicycling and hiking trails.