Convene, Connect, and Catalyze Action

Our coalition of nonprofits, public agencies, and Indigenous Tribes stands together during this extraordinary time. TOGETHER Bay Area was built to connect, convene, and catalyze action so that we can meet these challenges with the energy and innovation for which our region is known. Our Framework for Justice, Equity, and Belonging guides how the Board, staff, and members of TOGETHER Bay Area participate in the organization’s programs such that we center equity, work for justice, and ensure that everyone belongs.

Our two programs

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Advocacy for Transformational Funding and Policies

The goal of the Advocacy Program is to harness the collective power of our members to shape and secure transformational public funding and policies that support TOGETHER Bay Area’s mission at the state and federal levels.

Learn more:

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Convening a Powerful Coalition

The goal of our Convening Program is to build the relationships that support the environmental and social changes required for resilient lands and people. We also want to increase collaboration and our collective ability to respond to challenges and rise to opportunities. 

Learn more:

Advocacy Program

We are working hand in hand with our members to create a more equitable, resilient San Francisco Bay Area, from the ridgelines to the Bay shoreline. We advocate for social equity, healthy lands – including working lands, public and private lands, and urban and rural lands – and for equitable public access to nature.

Our 2021 Policy Platform outlines a broad and values-based policy framework to implement our coalition’s mission to create a climate resilient, socially equitable Bay Area. This document guides the coalition in its policy and political leadership activities, as well as in its collaborations and partnerships. The 2021 Policy Platform was developed with leadership from our Policy Committee and Board of Directors, and input from our members. 

Our members, through our Policy Committee, actively participate in and contribute to TOGETHER Bay Area’s Advocacy Program.  The Committee ensures that the Advocacy Program’s goals and activities remain aligned with our mission and values. The Committee helps us advocate effectively towards our goals, and does so through values-driven, collaborative, inclusive participation of our coalition’s members.

Regional reports

Bay Area Green Stimulus Opportunities

We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape how we live together on this planet because of the public health and economic crises we’re facing. Our members are part of the solution and this report makes that case.

Our findings reveal that with investment from the State, our members could create at least 10,500 new jobs with more than 620 projects throughout the 10 counties that would in turn directly or indirectly serve all 7.7 million residents. 

Rapid assessment of August fires

Mid-August lightning ignited fires across the San Francisco Bay Area. For several weeks, all Bay Area counties except San Francisco experienced fire, with burns in Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Sonoma, and Solano counties. These fires include the CZU, SCU, and LNU Lightning Complex Fires, which, sadly, encompassed many rural residential and some urban areas. The lightning fires in the Bay Area have been fully contained, leaving approximately 565,000 acres burned.

Given the geographic scope and scale of the fires, a regional assessment was needed in order to provide context of the 2020 fire incidents for the many affected land-owning agencies, organizations, and individuals. See the data here. 

This assessment was done by Tom Robinson and Dr. Stu Weiss. Contact: [email protected]

Conservation Lands Network

The Conservation Lands Network (CLN) is a regional conservation strategy for the San Francisco Bay Area, with a bold but achievable goal of conserving 50% of the Bay Area’s ecosystems by 2050 and a science-based pathway for achieving it. It features decision making tools that support strategic investments in land protection and stewardship.

The CLN focuses on conservation in areas that represent the region’s biodiversity and support ecological function across the nearly 5 million acres that comprise the 10 Bay Area counties. Updated in November 2019, CLN 2.0 equips the Bay Area to respond to climate change, connect landscapes, and connect upland and bayland conservation.

The CLN was launched in 2005 by the Bay Area Open Space Council and will continue with TOGETHER Bay Area in order to leverage data, tell stories, and make the case for resilient lands. 

Factsheet on Wildfire and our members

We compiled facts about wildfire prevention, recovery and restoration. For example, 40 open space districts, resource conservation districts, park departments, land trusts, and water districts actively manage 28% of the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI).

Convene Program

Join us at an upcoming event or watch one of our past events. Participate in a community conversation. Connect, share, learn, coordinate. Our events are made possible by TOGETHER Bay Area’s members.

Upcoming Events

20 Questions for Sam Schuchat’s 20 Years

You’re invited to honor and celebrate Sam Schuchat’s 20 years at the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC) as he plans to retire this July. Under Sam’s leadership, the SCC has grown and evolved to meet 21st century challenges and opportunities. The agency has positioned itself as a strategic partner and catalyst for nature-based solutions to climate change and equitable access to the outdoors. And the SCC has been a long-time partner to TOGETHER Bay Area and the Bay Area Open Space Council.

On Monday, June 14 from 3:30-4:30pm we’ll gather to ask Sam 20 questions about his reflections on the past 20 years, wisdom for this particular moment in history, and hopes for the SCC in the future.
 
Joining us to ask Sam 20 questions are the following colleagues and friends:

Adriana Guerrero, Brown Girl Surf; Amy Hutzel, Coastal Conservancy; Ana Alvarez, East Bay Regional Park District; David Lewis, Save the Bay; Eamon O’Byrne, Sonoma Land Trust; Janet McBride, Bay Area Ridge Trail Council; Lee Huo, San Francisco Bay Trail; Mary Small, Coastal Conservancy; Tim Ramirez, SF Public Utilities Commission

You’re invited!

  • Monday, June 14 from 3:30-4:30pm
  • Free and open to everyone
  • Come learn about the SCC and wish Sam the best in his next adventures
  • The Zoom link will be sent to everyone who RSVP’s

About Sam Schuchat and the State Coastal Conservancy…
Sam Schuchat has served as the Executive Officer of the State Coastal Conservancy since July 2001. Some of Sam’s accomplishments in partnership with the talented SCC team include:

  • Served four California Governors and five Natural Resources Secretaries
  • Distribution of approximately $1.3 billion through voter-approved Propositions 12, 40, 50, 84, 1, and 68
  • Establishment of the agency’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) guidelines
  • Establishment of the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority and the placement of Measure AA on the ballot in the Bay Area
  • Establishment of the Explore the Coast and has provided 220 grants to date, enabling thousands and thousands of people to visit the coast, many for the first time
  • Establishment of the Climate Ready program, supporting public agencies and nonprofits in addressing climate change through nature-based adaptation
  • And so much more!
Stewardship and Belonging, a three-part community conversation

In our last conversation series titled ‘Making Land Stewardship Relevant, Relatable, and Inclusive’ with Yakuta Poonawalla, we explored: 

  • The power of storytelling to break down barriers 
  • The need to lead with and center Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion values in all aspects of our work 
  • Connecting communities to science and nature through relevant programs and engagement 

These hourlong conversations have brought us together during very challenging and demanding times, and given us an opportunity to learn from each other and grow together. We hope they led to some new openings for everyone who attended. We learned that this work can only strengthen and deepen further through collective effort.

We invite you to another series of Community Conversations to continue to dive deeper. In this next series, we will devote time to specific topics and expand our conversations as we individually and collectively learn and explore. Please come prepared to share your learnings, and support each other in doing so too.  

Will you join us? Please RSVP for one, two, or all three sessions:

  • April 22 from 10-11am – Stewardship and Indigenous Wisdom — Completed
  • May 11 from 3-4pm – Community Conversation as part of the TOGETHER Spring Summit  – Completed
  • June 17 from 10-11am – Stewardship and Environmental Justice  

The Stewardship and Belonging Community Conversation series is free and open to anyone who is interested. 

Past Events

Some of our latest events are below. All of our past events (and there are many!) can be found on our YouTube channel

May 10-13, 2021: Inter(Action) Spring Summit

We convened a 3-day interactive online conference with 25 speakers. Recordings will be posted on June 1. 

May 11, 2021: Love in the time of COVID at the 2021 Spring Summit 

Let’s talk about how the current crises intersect with one another. In this conversation with Rohan Radhakrishna, who was appointed by Governor Newsom to the Office of Health Equity with CA Department of Public Health, we’re going to start with racism and how it shows up in how we advance public lands as an essential service for public health. What are the lessons learned from the past year? How do we implement them? What internal work do we need to do individually, and what do we need to do organizationally? Join us for a conversation as we explore this transformational moment together.

With Rohan Radhakrishna MD, MPH, MS, Deputy Director, Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health.

May 13, 2021: Community and Agency Partnerships – 2021 Spring Summit

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) are vital in meeting the current national moment with integrity. But how do we put these intentions into action? How can we build authentic partnerships between public agencies and community-based organizations? How can we rethink community connections so that we manifest real change, not greater inequities? Our panelists will share lessons from equitable partnerships that serve communities affected by COVID-19 and other crises.

The panelists are:

  • Liz Darby, Marin County Parks
  • Blanca Hernández, YES Nature to Neighborhoods
  • Sedrick Mitchell, CA State Parks
  • Jeannette Tuitele-Lewis, Big Sur Land Trust
  • Kevin Wright, Marin County Parks – facilitator
 
See the TOGETHER Bay Area YouTube channel for more webinars and events.
Community Conversations 

Since March 2020 we have been facilitating regular conversations with communities of people around the issues they face and the opportunities of the moment. These are open, honest conversations with peers from around the region where we can listen, problem-solve, and support each other. 

Some of the Community Conversations we are facilitating include: 

  • Senior leaders at public land management agencies. 
  • Stewardship and Belonging. 
  • Nonprofit Executive Directors. 
  • Communications and public affairs. Google Drive folder is here. Sign up here.
Regional public education campaign

Our members and partners need to communicate consistently and clearly to the general public about the risks of overcrowding the region’s public lands (parks, trails, beaches, open spaces, etc). We do our part to keep parks and people safe and healthy. And we need to welcome new park users, remind people of the value of public lands, and encourage kindness.  

In collaboration with our members, we have created regional messaging, a website (BayAreaOutdoors.org), two short videos, social media assets, and a toolkit that our members and partners can use.