August 19, 2016
Bay Day 2016 Targets a Cleaner and Healthier San Francisco Bay
In our first-ever interview, we’ve been fortunate enough to connect with the passionate Malia Schilling.
She has a vitally important story to tell about San Francisco Bay…
Who is Save The Bay?
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.
What is your role for them?
I’m Save The Bay’s Events and Outreach Manager. For the past few months, I’ve been working as the project manager for Bay Day, conducting community outreach and collaborating with our Bay Day community partners to create diverse programming across the region.
What is Bay Day?
Bay Day is like Earth Day—for San Francisco Bay. Bay Day will take place the first Saturday in October every year, and serve as the one day a year where the region can come together to celebrate San Francisco Bay. On Bay Day, dozens of cultural attractions, community organizations, small businesses and parks all around the Bay Area will host special, Bay-themed programs so residents can explore, enjoy, and learn more about our Bay.
What is this year’s advocacy theme?
This year, Bay Day’s advocacy theme is plastic bag pollution. With a high stakes vote on California ballots in November, this is an important issue with direct, immediate impact on the health of San Francisco Bay.
Why are plastic bags such a problem?
Single-use plastic shopping bags kill fish and wildlife. They entangle, suffocate, and poison hundreds of animal species worldwide, including sea turtles, birds, and marine mammals. And they break down into tiny pieces that are eaten by fish and taint the food chain. Many Bay Area communities have already banned these bags in some stores, but there are too many exceptions and millions of plastic bags from other cities still flow into California’s shared waterways.
What do you hope to achieve this year?
This year we’re hoping to give people more concrete ways to make a difference. We want to reach people who probably don’t consider themselves to be environmentalists necessarily, but care about the future of their home and community all the same. As Bay Day continues to grow in the years to come, we want to encourage people to make Bay Day every day by choosing greener alternatives and lifestyle changes that will impact generations to come.
How can our readers help?
If you live in the Bay Area, sign our petition to declare Bay Day in your city. If you live in California, vote YES on Proposition 67 to keep toxic, plastic trash out of California’s waterways. If you don’t live in California, your support still matters. Sign up for our email list, and join us in supporting our mission of protecting, restoring, and celebrating San Francisco Bay.