by Heather Ah San
When someone asks you where you’re from, what do you usually say?
In my freshman year of college in Oregon, I struggled as an outsider to describe my home base.
The answer Sonoma County was met with crickets.
Wine Country? “That’s close to L.A., right?”
Fine, the Bay.
You’d think I said I lived in Santa’s North Pole based on their fervent response. How lucky I am, they’d say, to live so close to San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, all connected by our beautiful bay waters that allow us to call our home “the Bay.”
I don’t think it’s lost on any of us how lucky we are to live in the Bay Area, to be surrounded by a diversity of cities, people, cultures, landscapes and ecology. But the Bay Area is also changing rapidly and the iconic Bay that links us all will be impacted by these changes — climate change, development and an increasing population among the driving forces. That’s why it’s imperative we act now to protect the Bay for the future.
The nonprofit Save the Bay was formed to do just that: to plan for the ecological changes that are shaping and challenging the San Francisco Bay. This Saturday, October 7, they’ll be hosting their second annual “Bay Day,” holding educational and recreational events throughout the Bay Area to celebrate the unique ecological treasures of our region and inspire a movement to protect and preserve it for the future.
Sonoma Land Trust is excited to be among the organizations participating in Bay Day, hosting two events at Sears Point: a guided walk along the Bay to observe local shorebirds and a guided hike on the Eliot Trail section of the Bay Trail.
Our work to restore the tidal wetlands on the San Pablo Bay augments the Bay Area-wide strategic efforts to restore and protect the Bay. Since acquiring the property in 2005, our vision for Sears Point has been to restore tidal, seasonal and riparian wetlands, streams and upland habitats for native plants and animals, provide flood protection for nearby infrastructure and to develop public access and educational opportunities, including extending the San Francisco Bay Trail. Almost two years after breaching the historic Bayfront levee to bring the tides back to the wetlands, we’ve seen Sears Point quickly evolve into a beautiful functioning habitat. You can read more about the progress of Sears Point in our monitoring report.
Though this portion of the Bay only borders a few miles of Sonoma County, we’re aware at Sonoma Land Trust of how important it is to our ecosystem, our landscape, our economy and our identity. The Bay is so much more than a body of water — it’s an iconic and central part of our home.
Come celebrate the Bay and learn about the evolving wetlands at Sears Point with us this Saturday. To register for the shorebirds walk along San Pablo Bay or the guided walk along the Bay Trail, visit our website. To learn more about other Bay Day celebrations, visit their website.
Heather Ah San is Sonoma Land Trust's communications coordinator.
Sonoma Land Trust is a local nonprofit based in Santa Rosa, CA, that conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open lands in Sonoma County for the benefit of the community and future generations. This blog focuses on SLT's stewardship team, whose members do hands-on work to directly protect, restore, and safeguard the land for generations to come.