Share Your Passion
As we realize what a wonderful resource our Bay is, many of us become motivated to help protect it and enact change.
The goals of the Water Trail call for programs to encourage stewardship. The Water Trail program is still in the early development phases, but in the future there will be opportunities to get involved. Stewardship programs that could be part of the Water Trail include trailhead stewards for care of launch sites, trailhead-based docent programs, or even kayak-based docent programs.
Volunteer at your local shoreline park, preserve, or refuge. Or become a member of a nonprofit that protects your watershed. Here are a few links to get you started, although there are many more organizations to partner with.
The vision to establish the Water Trail started with this dedicated group of non-motorized small boat users who wanted to ensure a future for the Bay that included adequate launching and landing facilities for human-powered boats and beachable sail craft. Their vision includes providing safe and enjoyable boating experiences, encouraging opportunities for stewardship, developing overnight accommodations (including camping), and broadening the demographic of people who have access to water-based recreational experiences.
California State Parks Foundation
California State Parks Foundation is the only statewide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California’s magnificent state parks. They have volunteer opportunities through their Park Champions program.
Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is dedicated to preserving and enhancing wildlife habitat, protecting migratory birds, protecting threatened and endangered species, and providing opportunities for wildlife-oriented recreation and nature study. They have volunteer opportunities in interpretation, environmental education, resource management, and maintenance.
East Bay Regional Park District
The East Bay Regional Park District spans Alameda and Contra Costa counties and offers outdoor recreation in 65 parks. They have volunteer programs in public safety, interpretation, environmental protection and habitat and species preservation.
San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is a nonprofit with the mission to conserve birds and their habitats through science and outreach. For almost 40 years, SFBBO has worked with citizen scientists from the community to conduct avian science and share findings with resource managers and others who make decisions that impact Bay Area birds. If you’re interested in discovering open volunteer opportunities please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Environmental Volunteers run the EcoCenter located in a historic paddlewheel boat building in the Palo Alto Baylands. The EcoCenter offers free environmental education through public learning programs, events, a digital touchscreen science exhibit, Marsh Cam, green building tour, and more. They also offer canoeing nature programs and have many volunteer opportunities.
Friends of the Napa River
Friends of the Napa River is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the Napa River watershed.
Boaters on the Petaluma River by Scott Manchester
Friends of the Petaluma River
Friends of the Petaluma River is dedicated to celebrating and conserving the Petaluma River, its wetlands and wildlife.
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy partners with the National Park Service and Presidio Trust to support Golden Gate National Parks and they offer a variety of volunteer opportunities.
Groundwork Richmond is an environmental organization that is working to restore the environment with the next generation of environmnetal stewards. They work with local partners to provide community-based learning and academic support opportunities, including a kayak program, as well as awareness around environmental and community-based career tracks.
Kayaks Unlimited (KU) is a cooperative paddling club based at Islais Creek Park in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco. The mission of the club is to provide affordable access to kayaking and other human-powered boating for all and to act as a steward for Islais Creek Park, a property of the Port of San Francisco. KU has a membership based structure that is completely volunteer run.
Petaluma Small Craft Center
Petaluma Small Craft Center is an association of non-motorized boating groups and individuals dedicated to getting people on the Petaluma River. Help people fall in love with boating by volunteering with their summer and youth programs and annual “Day on the River” event.
Save the Bay
Save the Bay is a nonprofit organization working exclusively to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay. They have many volunteer opportunities located throughout the Bay.