Engaging Diverse Communities in Bay Area Conservation
Critical and endangered shorelines in San Francisco Bay are about to receive a much needed conservation boost from residents of North Richmond and Bayview-Hunter’s Point. Using a Toyota TogetherGreen Innovation Grant, the Golden Gate Audubon Society built on its work with residents to launch the Wetlands and Wildlands Project, which helped clean up and restore the shoreline in the two communities.
These two densely developed neighborhoods host some of the most critical reaches of shoreline in Central San Francisco Bay. The North Richmond shoreline hosts historic wetlands and mudflats, which support sensitive species like red knots and endangered clapper rails, as well as the bay’s largest eelgrass bed, which serves as habitat for salmon and Pacific herring. Similarly, the tidal wetlands along San Francisco’s southern waterfront provide much-needed habitat for shorebirds and wildlife. The Wetlands and Wildlands project offers the underserved North Richmond and Bayview-Hunter's Point communities rare and much-needed opportunities to connect meaningfully with nature: to help make conservation more accessible to the community, Golden Gate Audubon along with the Port of San Francisco and other collaborators, organized field trips, birding classes, and volunteer events to attract local residents to get more involved.
Through volunteerism, this project helped create a sense of ownership and belonging in underserved communities that will hopefully continue to translate into long-term stewardship and protection of local wildlife and habitat. The restoration of the shorelines is not only be important for wildlife conservation and environmental health, but for the health of the community members who live there.