Defending the bay

The Most Trusted Voice for Water in Northern California

San Francisco’s largest watershed conservation group, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that speaks not just for the Bay, local coastal waters, Delta, rivers, and wetlands, but for the wildlife and people who call this place—the largest estuary on the West Coast—their home.

With the mission to protect, restore, and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed from the Sierra to the sea, is changing the relationship that people have with the Bay. By utilizing technology and tapping into the lifestyle of the Bay Area, we are changing the conversation about conservation to make it approachable, achievable, and fun.

Through our five unique divisions, we motivate Bay Area residents, influencers, politicians, businesses, and out of town visitors to become agents of change for a healthy, thriving ecosystem.


Aquarium of the Bay

Located on San Francisco’s iconic waterfront, Aquarium of the Bay provides approximately 600,000 guests a year with unforgettable encounters with over 20,000 local marine animals that inspire both wonder and conservation.

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The Bay Institute

The Bay Institute’s scientists and conservationists develop and lead model scientific research, education and advocacy programs that have a major impact on improving the health of the San Francisco Bay watershed.

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Sea Lion Center

The Sea Lion Center provides free interpretive presentations by our Naturalists, educating local and out-of-town guests about one of San Francisco’s most popular wildlife species: the California sea lions that grace the piers along the city’s waterfront.

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EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park

This landmark environmental education center is a living classroom dedicated to environmental justice, green buildings, and making better use of the Earth’s resources to foster healthy people, ecosystems, and economies.

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Bay Model Alliance

The Bay Model Alliance, a partnership between the Bay Model Visitor Center and Aquarium of the Bay, works to build a comprehensive learning center for the Bay, on the Bay. The Bay Model is a fully accessible waterfront education center administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It showcases a working hydraulic model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta System.

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