To all our supporters:
I hope this message finds you and your loved ones happy and well—and adjusting to our new (temporary) reality of sheltering in place and limiting social contact to beat COVID-19.
As residents of the Bay Area, I’m inspired to know that we continue to share a common bond through San Francisco Bay, despite our social distancing. The wave that breaks against the shoreline in Tiburon is made of the same water that nourishes the wetlands of Redwood City. Even as the Baykeeper office is closed, and special events and trash cleanups are postponed, our staff continues to tackle the biggest threats to the Bay’s health and keep our wildlife and communities safe from polluters.
We feel grateful to be able to work remotely to do our part to protect friends and neighbors. Some of us are caring for children who need extra love and attention during these uncertain times, some of us are heading outdoors to investigate the Bay and local trails, and some of us just want to find a roll of toilet paper! It feels important to keep up with the latest health advisories, but it's hard not to be overwhelmed by the news. Regardless of your situation, all of us can use a break.
In that spirit, Baykeeper is here for you.
Our staff has gathered up some of our favorite environmentally-minded podcasts, books, activities, and other recommendations. We humbly offer you our suggestions if you’re in search of something new to occupy your mind for a bit—and we’re eager to hear your ideas as well!
Stay healthy, and let us know how you’re making the best of being at home.
Ian Wren, Staff Scientist
"I like this recent article in Bay Nature about the City of Newark's stupid decision to allow a new housing development to be built in a flood zone—and the 'trails' section describes great Bay Area hikes you can explore online or experience in person as long as you practice proper social distancing. The National Park Service has a great blog about Bay Area ecology, and there’s a fantastic new podcast on water issues, many relating to California, by former NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti called Let’s Talk About Water. And right now I'm reading Mark Arax's book, The Dreamt Land, about the development of California's Central Valley."
Fiona Baker, Communications Associate
"If you're going stir crazy sitting at home, check out Tom Stienstra's tips in The Chronicle for the best places in the Bay Area to get outside. And I recommend the documentary Water from the Wilderness, the fascinating story behind Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley and San Francisco's water supply. It features Baykeeper’s Executive Director Sejal Choksi-Chugh."
Kayla Karimi, Legal Fellow
"When you need to get focused and leave stress behind, I recommend checking out Calm, an app that offers free guided meditations. To get in tune with your body as well as your mind, you can take yoga classes on demand through CorePower Yoga. And to satisfy your artistic urges, there are lots of free coloring pages at Crayola!"
Mark Westlund, Communications Director
"I love the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s jellyfish cam—it's more relaxing than watching guppies at the dentist’s office, and it’s probably the perfect visual companion for guided meditation. And if you haven’t seen the classic short film Plastic Bag, you really owe it to yourself. It’s about the existential crisis of a discarded plastic bag as it discovers the world and eventually becomes one with the Pacific trash vortex. Narrated in singular fashion by Werner Herzog, it's a great way to spend 18 minutes—and it also features jellyfish."
Jon Rosenfield, Senior Scientist
"When it comes to California's water issues, I always say that if you think it’s all about Delta smelt you're missing the big picture; however, this article from The Guardian really puts the plight of this endangered fish in context. Vice has a good, quick overview of Trump's mania to give away the Bay’s water to Big Ag, even though it could cause our Bay ecosystem to collapse. And John Sutter’s thoroughly engaging CNN investigation of the sources and impacts of California's unsustainable water use is one of my all-time favorites. By introducing us to the people he meets during his epic adventure following the course of the San Joaquin River, Sutter really personalizes some very complex issues."
Chris Len, Managing Attorney
"I'd be sad to live without Feedly. It’s an RSS reader I use to access stories from The San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Times, Lawfare, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and others. Once you've got it set up, it will display content as headlines and summaries that you can read now or save for later. You'll never miss another environmental story that your sources cover!"
Sejal Choksi-Chugh, Executive Director
"If you're looking for ways to entertain kids, I highly recommend the Our Planet series on Netflix, which has beautiful cinematography and does a great job of explaining why water is one of our planet’s most precious resources. My kids also enjoy learning about the Bay and the Bay Area from KQED's Bay Curious podcast. For adults, I highly recommend getting your news from Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, which is also available as an 'Ears Edition.' The podcast and Baykeeper IPA by Anchor Brewing are keeping me sane during these crazy times."
Photo by Gail Odom