Save The Bay

Building a Climate-Resilient Bay Area for All

Oakland, CA   |


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.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. David Lewis

Main address

300 Frank Ogawa Plaza Suite 10

Oakland, CA 94612 USA

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Formerly known as

Save San Francisco Bay Association



NTEE code info

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Climate change poses enormous threats to the health of the Bay and the Bay Area. We are restoring wetlands, building Bay Smart Communities, and reducing pollution to make the Bay Area resilient and sustainable.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community-based Restoration Program

Save The Bay’s restoration program builds on more than 14 years of knowledge, our methods are science-based and adaptive. We specialize in transition zone habitat, the productive strip between tidal marsh and upland, a priority habitat that improves water quality by filtering toxic substances and capturing sediment. It provides refuge for endangered and threatened species during high tides and storms, provides food and nesting habitat for shorebirds and fish, and reduces levee erosion to enhance flood protection in the face of rising sea levels. Our restoration model has proven success in establishing greater native vegetation diversity, cover, and creek bank stabilization in the riparian and transition zones of tidal marshes and creek mouths. Our program provides quality civic engagement opportunities to local businesses and groups to give back to their community.

Over 5,000 Save The Bay volunteers participate in all aspects of restoration, including: collecting native plant seeds, propagating plants in Save The Bay’s native plant nurseries, sowing plants along the shoreline, and removing invasive weeds and trash that degrade the Bay. We continue to invest in our volunteer base and improve the quality of volunteer experiences, which are consistently described as fun and meaningful. Many volunteers get involved through a community group, school, their place of work, or are seeking a rewarding opportunity for their friends and family. For many, the experience in the salt marshes opens their awareness to related critical environmental issues like storm drain pollution, fragile wildlife habitat, and climate change.

Population(s) Served

This free program uniquely combines a rigorous curriculum and application of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills with engaging restoration fieldwork that has a significant environmental impact. We offer four program options, customizing the curricula for students in grades 5 to 12:

BAY DISCOVERY; 5th-12th; restoration education field trips that connect middle and high school students to the Bay and engage them in critical tidal marsh restoration.
SEED (Students Engaging in Ecological Design); 6th-12th; students examine the full tidal marsh restoration cycle in the Bay and design a school habitat restoration project.
DIRT (Digging into Restoration Technology); 10th-12th; students experience habitat restoration through science technology assessments of soil and location. Youth collect and analyze soil moisture, water potential, salinity and pH, and report results
BEST (Bay Environmental Stewardship Training); 6th-12th; a peer-mentorship learning model that pairs middle and high school youth in the design and implementation of Bay habitat restoration projects, building leadership, critical thinking and communication skills.

Depending on the program option, our educators work with students during one or two classroom visits, and students participate in two or three working field trips. We offer programs to more than 100 Bay Area schools, and reach 2,000 (800 low-income) youth each year. We collaborate with local teachers to enhance their educational goals and strongly align our curriculum with California State Content Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Our program prioritizes participation of low-income youth through targeted school recruitment and by fully subsidizing our programs. Most importantly, we strive to earn the full engagement of every student, opening opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students to join STEM fields.

Population(s) Served

To protect the Bay and our region’s most vulnerable residents in these uncertain times, we need a broad coalition of interests advocating for smart, sustainable, and equitable development practices; we need Bay Smart Communities. We are promoting ecologically sound and equitable policies to ensure that the Bay Area’s growth benefits the Bay and builds broad and deep support for it among the region’s many diverse communities, with special care to engage those who have suffered environmental injustice.

Population(s) Served

Trash is the number one source of Bay pollution—it harms wildlife and damages water quality for all. Save The Bay works with local cities to clean up roads and limit or ban the use of harmful products. Stormwater runoff is the single largest source of Bay pollution. Save The Bay is advocating for local and regional policies to keep trash and other pollution out of storm drains to protect the Bay.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1) Restore tidal marsh habitat by increasing dedicated funding from regional, state and federal sources, 2) Re-establish 100,000 acres of tidal marsh to provide natural habitat for Bay wildlife and to create a buffer against sea level rise, 3) Prevent development and fill that threatens the Bay, 4) Improve bay water quality by reducing harmful pollution that threatens wildlife and people.

Save The Bay inspires community action by providing all residents with the chance to make a difference in their own backyards through both advocacy and volunteer opportunities along the shoreline. Our policy and restoration teams join forces with scientists and policymakers to ensure the long-term health of the Bay, our region's most important natural resource and the cornerstone of our environment, economy, and quality of life.

Over the past half-century, Save The Bay protected thousands of acres from Bay fill and development, and secured hundreds of miles of trails and parks on a shoreline that had almost no public access in 1961. In recent years, we've won bans on most single-use plastic shopping bags, secured tough restrictions on trash pollution entering the Bay, and engaged thousands of local residents in hands on habitat restoration. Many partners shared this work.

Moving forward, we are widening our sights to address upstream geographies and upland issues, working to shape decisions there that affect the Bay. To be even more effective at achieving our mission in times of rapid change, we are building strong new partnerships with community leaders and organizations, embracing new tools for mobilizing residents and influencing public policy, and focusing our scientific expertise on the most innovative and promising
restoration projects.

Save The Bay's habitat restoration and pollution reduction work already has the momentum it needs to succeed, but our region will face new challenges that we must address. We expect the impacts of climate change to intensify with greater extremes and variability, making sudden and severe shocks to the Bay's ecology and wildlife more likely. Business-as-usual is not an option.

The new threats ahead are no less challenging than those that our founders faced in 1961, when cities planned massive bay fill projects and the Bay's shorelines were lined with toxic dumps. However, we know we can achieve
transformational change within a generation— because we have done it before.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Bay Area population, including adults, students, teachers.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


Save The Bay

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Save The Bay

Board of directors
as of 01/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Christopher Hockett

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Donnie Fowler

Tech 4 America

Ron Gonzales

Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley

Sam Luoma

University of California, Davis

Lynda Sullivan

Dean Meniktas

The Meniktas Group - UBS Financial Services

Rhiannon Bailard

University of California, Hastings College of the Law

Nancy Fee

Juliana Park

UBS Financial Services

Jay Pierrepont


Suresh Raman


Lauren Swezey


Andrew Williams

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/5/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


Equity strategies

Last updated: 12/23/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.