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
Advocacy for Transformational Funding and Policies
The goal of the Advocacy Program is to work towards climate resilience for communities and lands, including urban, rural, public, and working lands, and to prioritize social equity in policies and funding mechanisms at the regional, state, and to some extent federal levels.
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.
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.
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 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).
Join us at an upcoming event or watch one of our past events. Participate in a community conversation. Connect, share, learn, coordinate.
How California is Cutting the Green Tape and what it means for you
On climate change, winning slowly is actually losing. ~Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot
How can we increase the pace and scale of the ecological restoration and land stewardship necessary for climate resilient lands and water? One way is to change the permitting and regulation requirements so they encourage the “good” instead of just preventing the “bad.” That’s one of the goals of the Cutting Green Tape initiative which launched last year with a paper, Cutting Green Tape: Regulatory Efficiencies for a Resilient Environment. Join us for a briefing and conversation about what this means for you and our collective effort to build climate resilient lands and communities.
- Wednesday, March 31 from 1-2pm
- Free and open to anyone
- This webinar will be grounded in the Bay Area but the information will be applicable to anyone in the state
- Zoom link will be sent to everyone who RSVP’s
Co-hosted by TOGETHER Bay Area and the CA Landscape Stewardship Network
About Cutting Green Tape. Cutting Green Tape is focused on improving interagency coordination, partnerships and agency processes and policies to allow ecological restoration and stewardship to occur more quickly, simply, and cost-effectively. In November 2020 the California Landscape Stewardship Network released Cutting Green Tape: Regulatory Efficiencies for a Resilient Environment which provides an important set of recommendations for improving regulatory processes for projects that benefit the environment. Though anchored in the CA Natural Resources Agency, Cutting Green Tape is an interagency effort with support from Secretary for Environmental Protection Jared Blumenfeld, Secretary for Food and Agriculture Karen Ross and State Water Resources Control Board Chair Joaquin Esquivel.
Spring Summit: May 10-14, 2021
Our Spring Summit on May 10-14, 2021 will be a week of sessions, conversations, and events that you can fit into your schedule. We are prioritizing interaction in the Spring Summit with many opportunities for you to meet new people and talk with colleagues around the region. This Spring Summit will not be just another Zoom webinar!
Fall Forum, October 1-2
Over 200 people joined us for our first Fall Forum on October 1-2, 2020. The distinguished speakers – some of whom are sharing what gives them hope in the video above – talked about park equity, wildfire, jobs for climate change, and so much more. Attendees participated in seven sessions and engaged with fellow attendees in a dynamic online platform. Two of the sessions were members-only working sessions where we discussed the coalition’s intentions for equity and developing the 2021 policy platform.
One attendee described the event as: “Empathetic, Informational, Inspirational, New faces / new voices, Thought provoking, and Participatory.”
Policy and Funding for Transformation
Watch to meet our members and learn what our coalition’s priorities are as articulated in our 2021 Policy Platform. And we discuss how we can support efforts for a climate resilient and equitable California in this legislative session (and beyond!). With Marc Landgraf, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, and Annie Burke, TOGETHER Bay Area recorded on January 25, 2021.
Leveraging regional data with the Conservation Lands Network
Getting the most out of the Conservation Lands Network, a powerful tool for decision-making and making the case for support. CLN Project Director Tom Robinson will demonstrate how to interpret the results of the CLN Explorer Tool’s Conservation Portfolio Reports for land assessments, fundraising, and climate change implications. With Tom Robinson on October 14, 2020.
Regional conservation strategy and the Conservation Lands Network 2.0 webinar. With Tom Robinson and Stu Weiss in partnership with the CA Coastal Conservancy on March 26, 2020.
30 Minutes Together conversations
30 Minutes Together conversation with Bob Neale about phases and emotions of wildfire recovery. Bob serves as Stewardship Director at Sonoma Land Trust and talked about his experience living through the Sonoma County fires of 2017, 2019 and 2020. With Annie Burke on September 3, 2020.
30 Minutes Together conservation with Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino about resilience, community, and how to nurture ourselves in tough times. Vincent is a member of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe of the San Francisco Bay Area and Louis is a member of the Rumsen Ohlone community. With Annie Burke on May 14, 2020.
30 Minutes Together conversation with Laura Rodriguez about privilege, meaningful experiences in nature, and the work we all need to do. With Annie Burke on May 7, 2020.
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:
- Nonprofit Executive Directors. Contact Annie Burke for more information.
- Senior leaders at public land management agencies. Contact Annie Burke for more information.
- Communications and public affairs. Google Drive folder is here. Sign up here.
- Land stewardship during COVID shelter-in-place. 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.